March Madness

It is indeed March. One day things are good, the next, well, you know. Kids are kids. We have spring break next week and I believe that everyone is quite ready. I know I am. I have just re-shuffled students in classes, and am seeing that slight revival in engagement in the classroom, but I know that it could very soon diminish.

My algebra students have just finished working with transformations and using them to show two figures congruent, naming the transformations which take a pre-image to an image, and feeling very confident about the whole deal. Their quizzes look pretty good. We started working with constructions today and they worked through three of them without missing a beat. We really have done these kids a disservice by keeping them in algebra for several years. They are excelling in the transformational geometry. I am planning a project for them soon. I’m going to have them create a drawing from constructions, allowing them to be creative and colorful. I am also hoping to have time after our last unit, and it looks like we will, so they can work with either tessellations or fractals and again be creative. They are enjoying themselves quite a bit, and I am enjoying the fact that they are having fun. I know math has not been fun for these students in the past.

The geometry students are definitely feeling the spring fever, and a break will be welcome with them. I hope we can get back on track after it. We have just started working with right triangles and will be going to circles, then area and volume. I am hoping to also have time with them for some kind of project to allow them some fun also. This has been a trying year for our geometry students, the first year we have focused the course in the transformational format as the CCSS have designed. It has been a real learning curve for us as teachers, and yet, I feel like I have accomplished quite a bit this year. Having found the MTBoS over the summer and utilizing their constant encouragement and focus on good teaching and student success, I feel like I have been able to create some really good lessons this year (also some flops but we can’t have everything) and my energy has been revived. I started as an energetic teacher 11 years ago. Trying to force collaboration at my site, along with four years of caring for my mother with alzheimer’s and the eventual loss of her last year really taxed my strength. I am glad to have found my new colleagues, and look forward to next month in New Orleans where I will meet a few of them, then again in Jenks, OK in July where I will meet more.

I feel like next year will be much better, and I am ready for the challenge.

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