Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Is there such a thing as a typical day in 7th grade? If so, I guess that is how today could be described. We started with a 6-12 math department meeting which was simply frustrating. I do NOT understand why high school staff are so reluctant to simply use the State of Michigan's version of an exit exam for Algebra 1, Geometry, etc... When I look at the state's curriculum assessment expectations, I can understand how overwhelming it must be to try to cover all those. But truly, is it any different for them than it is for me? It may actually be somewhat easier at that level because inevitably some students drop out or go to alternative school. It was validating to hear that middle school scores are up and the ensuing recognition of our efforts at that level.

Then off to social studies. We watched a couple of newscasts from Jim Lehr NewsHour about the Sudan. I want students to really understand how deplorable conditions in the refugee camps are. They then started their research on diseases that are prevalent in the camps. They were all working quietly, engrossed (or grossed out... ) in their individual pursuits online so I ran to the 8th grade math teacher's classroom to ask about our earlier department meeting. She was just as frustrated as I so we talked longer than I should have been gone. On the way back to my room, I bumped into the principal and he and I chatted a minute or so. All together, I might have been gone 5 minutes. However, on returning to my room, they were off-task, jabbering away and goofing off. I gave my little "you don't need me here to know what you should be doing" speech to deaf ears.

The rest of the morning was quiet, relatively. Math and pre-algebra classes, I quickly reviewed one last time on slope, y-intercepts and linear equations. Then I passed out the quiz. WOW.. some of them ROCKED, some that I never thought would "get it"! and then, some of my normal 'A' kids, bombed it. **sigh** One young man stayed after to see what he missed - why he had gotten a 10%. Without fail, he could answer each question. When I asked him what happened, he said he was just confused earlier. I don't understand at all.... I just do not!!

But we are moving on, writing and solving 2 step equations in math and working on percents/fractions/proportions in pre-algebra.

another day in 7th grade....

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