Sunday, October 19, 2014

Let's engage high school students while we teach them Common Core Elementary Math

We spent 4 hours Saturday morning learning how to do this to (I mean with) high school students.

I understand they come to high school without the requisite skills.

I understand the state has decided everyone can understand trig.

I just don't think teaching them this method instead of how to use a calculator is an effective use of my time or theirs.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Six word Saturday: more positive outlook

Look at the bright side first.

For more Six Word Saturday participants, click here.

I think I am looking at the dark side of the mirror too often.

And I know I have to remind myself of this too often.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

"Just make up some problems for me to work"

This is said - usually - after they have been given several worksheets of problems that they have not worked. Suddenly I am supposed to create 5 or so problems out of thin air that are appropriate and easy to work.


Then explain to me why they get offended when I say find one of the worksheets you have been given and we will work the problems out.

I am not saying I will not help them. I am saying that, with all of the problems I have already given you, I don't want to have to make up more just because you 1) don't want to open your notebook 2) didn't bring your notebook or 3) don't want to go over to the table to pick up a worksheet.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Six Word Saturday - bulletin boards

Post cellphone statistics on [the] bulletin board.

For more Six Word Saturday participants, click here.

I am so tired of cell phones.

It would be one thing if, as they think, students could multi process. But they can't.

I walked up to one student, sat beside him, and was halfway through the write up before his fellow students' comments broke through the haze and he put his phone down.

They don't pay attention, they do not do any work on their own, I am still expected to justify why their grades are so awful and then, reteach, retest, and pass them.

I know of three deaths last month that are probably attributable to cell phones. Enough already!

I found this poster, which I will put on the board. I want to put clippings of accidents as well. OK, no one reads the paper anymore. If any of you find links attributing accidents or deaths to cell phone (or other elctronic devices) usage, please email me the link. ricochet04 at


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Shootings and Ebola

The news of an Ebola case in Dallas has overshadowed two school shootings today - one in North Carolina and one in Kentucky.

Thank God no one was killed.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Six Word Saturday

I want to adopt all strays.

For more Six Word Saturday participants, click here.

I know it isn't possible, but I want to.

When I see a stray dog or cat - or kid - I want to gather them up and take them home.

Today, on my way home from a place I didn't even want to go to, I saw 2 big dogs by the side of a very busy road. I stopped - with some vague plan of coaxing them into my car.

Animal control pulled in right behind me and I asked her if I could help. She allowed as how she didn't want me to get bitten (sounds like a plan) so I followed her on the shoulder as she tried to coax these dogs to come to her.

One sort of ambled away - a big black old dog. The other panicked and bolted into the road and was hit.

She managed to stop traffic and get the dog off the road before anyone else hit him but I am sure that by now he is dead.

The other dog then came to us and she put a leash on him.

By this point, a man had stopped, blocking the outside lane so we and the dogs would not get hit. (Did I say busy street? It is an interstate and the major truck route into Atlanta.) And the woman who hit the dog had stopped and joined us.

Animal control backed her truck up. The man helped lift the dying dog into the truck. The woman kept saying "We couldn't swerve." That would have caused a major, major accident and would have resulted in injury or death. Love dogs, but she is right, she couldn't swerve.

The man lifted Smelly, the big black dog into the truck. We all hugged - because it was devastating that the yellow dog couldn't trust us enough to let us help.

On the way home, I called animal control and told them that if Smelly's owner doesn't claim him, I want to adopt him. So they have my name and number.

This is so symbolic of the kids who daily throw themselves in the street rather than let us help them.

I wish I could end on a happier note. As the Animal Control officer said, through tears, you never get used to it.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Teach the tool not the skill

This week I was basically told I am not there to teach math. I am there to teach CALCULATOR so the kids can get the right answer on the standardized test and the data will show growth.

NYC Educator said it better.

I look forward to the day the pendulum swings the other way. I hope it happens soon.

We have done these students such a disservice.

With a Brooklyn Accent is addressing this as well.