Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Tonight my great students start a well deserved Christmas Break. I'm sitting here watching the Hoosiers and reflecting back on the first 4 months of school with great joy. I am so proud of my students. They have worked really hard and done everything I have asked. My Algebra classes put out a great effort to pass the State ECA test. We will know early in January who passed. I have kept it no secret that I am not a fan of Standardized tests. My students and I don't need a test to tell who struggles with Algebra and who doesn't. Yet, every single student has worked hard to try to pass. I am so grateful for that effort. I am so blessed to have students who work hard, ask for help, and TRY.  I have had an average attendance rate of 94% and 100% during the ECA test. WOW! that is great effort.

I have had virtually NO PROBLEMS with attitudes or lack of focus during our class periods. We have accomplished much and will end the 2nd term with a flurry.

Today, we ended the term with a Math Rummy Card tournament. It was fun watching students enjoy the challenge of math within a Card game. RYAN HATHAWAY was the Algebra Champion followed closely by EMILY KENNEDY. Ryan, Don't eat all that Chocolate by yourself. Thank You to my wonderful Wife Stephanie for baking Chocolate Hip Cookies as a reward for all their efforts.

Thank You Students. Enjoy your time away from school Enjoy this wonderful time of the year and enjoy your time with family and friends.

It may seem silly or UNCOOL, but I will miss you and truly look forward to getting back together on January 3rd!

Merry Christmas and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Count Down?

I love the count down to Christmas. We have 22 days left and now the television is filled with Christmas Specials and Movies. I'm in the middle of watching a "Classic" -- Christmas Vacation with Chevy Chase. I can't count the number of times I've seen this movie, it's still hilarious!

BUT, the count down I'm talking about is NOT Christmas. I am counting down the days to my Algebra Class ECA test.  8 days left until the BIG DAY! The Algebra portion of the test is December 13th and 14th. My Algebra Classes are covering some new material this week, but we are mostly spending time reviewing concepts and covering practice problems.

I feel confident my students are ready, but just like a basketball team. Preparation is one thing. Putting it all together in a game is another. In the end, my students have to apply what they know.

In Geometry, our House Finishing Project is nearing completion. The groups make their presentations tomorrow. In many ways I have loved this project. Secretly, my students have learned to read blue prints, apply area and perimeter, converted units of measure, and used numerous 21st Century Skills like collaboration, critical thinking, communication, and problem solving.

The project hasn't been easy and there has been some stressful situations. But, I am proud of what my students have done. I also have learned quite a few things about PBL by doing this project. So, it has been a good FIRST PBL project.

My Geometry class will head back to more "pure" Geometry for a while and spend time studying TRIANGLES!

I have been back in the classroom for over 3 months and I could not ask for better students. They are learning and I am learning right along side them.  I am blessed!