Saturday, July 27, 2013

Students start soon

Six Word Saturday

New year, new set of rules.

For more Six Word Saturday participants, click here.

If you were in a business that overhauled everything every year, there would be no surprise that the company didn't do well.

New school year, and what is happening around here?

The state is not going to participate in the Common Core testing because the price is too high - so they will create their own. Isn't that why they sold us on revamping the curriculum after 8 years - again - that we would be common with the rest of the country? And isn't that why we spent taxpayer money, to implement the Common Core?

We have been working on unit plans and collaborative planning (changing formats every year with the assurance that we will yse the NEW format in the future.....). Now we are going to PLCs - professional learning committees. With the assurance that everyone will pull their weight. Meetings eating up the little the planning time we have (and that would be great if you have course, not so much if the planning is for a course you have taught multiple times and you have new course that you do not have common planning for that you have never taught. And no free planning period to work on.

Repeat with me: I will think positive thoughts. I will think positive thoughts. I will think positive thoughts.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

On line learning

San Jose State has decided to curtail its online classes for a while while it determines why three of the classes (remedial math, Algebra 1, basic statistics) have such large failure rates.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I am really enjoying this book

This is a combination travelogue of a 40ish editor who doesn't DO outside things, a history of Hiram Bingham III (the Yale professor who discovered Machu Picchu, and a history of the Incas at the time of the Spanish invasion. The author is following the trail (and notes) of Bingham's 1911 trip. I am really enjoying it.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Very Random Thoughts

I feel like my thoughts are like a ball in an arcade game - skipping all over the place.

A student sent me a link that he has new "music" coming out. I am touched that he would think of me but, really, I have sampled his "music" in the past and I am never going to purchase any or listen to it more than in passing. It is everything I hate about hip hop and rap: 80% of the words (or more) consist of words and ideas (like demeaning women) that I do not condone.

I gather people are either irate or gleeful about the Zimmerman verdict. There were no winners. But - if we are going to trust this system to exonerate those we fill should be freed or punish those we feel should be punished, we have to trust when it gives a verdict we do not care for. The state did not prove its case, instead its witnesses proved the case the defense had laid out. I am afraid that people who are not intimately involved in this case but have inserted themselves into the case will take the law into their own hands and lynching will return.

Do we have no people with common sense anymore? Several people saw these names before they ended up on tv. Could no one see they were wrong? (“Sum Ting Wong,” “Wi Tu Lo,” Ho Lee Fuk,” and “Bang Ding Ow”) Apparently not. Those were the names read on TV as the crew of the plan that crash landed at SFO.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Sometimes I think my priorities are screwed up but . . . . .

Who would grab their bags before they grabbed their kids after a plane crash?

Mine are adults and I would make sure they were off the plane before I even thought about bags.

Luckily for everyone involved, the fire was slow to start. It will be interesting to see if any of the 182 injuries were due to this thoughtless behavior.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Math Resources from Georgia Virtual School

I found a lot of resources at Georgia Virtual Schools in math here.

There are notes and shared assessments for math 1 (algebra 1, some geometry, and probability), math 2 (first half algebra 2, some geometry, and statistics), math 3 (second half algebra 2 and statistics), and math 4 (analytic algebra and trig). There is also Common Core Algebra 1 and Calculus.

In addition there is Language Arts (high school English subjects); Science (Anatomy and Physiology, Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Forensic Science, Oceanography, Physical Science, and several AP courses); Social Studies (American Government, Economics, Psychology, Sociology, World Geography, World History, AP European History, AP Government Comparative, AP World History, US History); World Language(Spanish, French and German); CTAE/Electives (various); and Middle School (math, English, and Science).

That is a lot of free material.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Six Word Saturday

Setting priorities - not up to me.

For more Six Word Saturday participants, click here.

I have control issues.

I want to be looking at the students I will be teaching, going through the data we are supposed to be looking at.

You know - while there is no pressure. While the weather is cooperating. (Not much else you can do while it rains- since that interferes with doing things outside or watching tv.

But, since they won't assign students to my classes, my priorities have to be redone.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

First pass of data

They want us to analyze students. The ones I have so far have passed (on average) 3 classes out of every 4. If I separate the on-level class from the repeater class, on level averages 90% pass rate, repeaters 65%.

What a surprise

They have started populating the on-line gradebook with students. I am not obsessing because I know everything is subject to change (they were still changing mine last year 3 weeks into the schoolyear - and changed it some more later. What a mess!!).

I am running fairly consistently with a 15% error rate. You know, kids in classes they have already passed, kids in classes where they haven't passed the pre-requisites, kids in classes they can't take. You know . . .

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

How do I teach them to be adults when they will not let go of mommy?

This article says it all.

I am Aliyah Shell

My facebook is filling up with students and former students making comments in support of Trayvon Martin - that he was a good student, that he was active in his church, etc. I know very little about Trayvon except that I think the gun escalated whatever was happening that night. The only person who really knows is Zimmerman.

I believe in the judicial process so he is innocent until proven guilty.

So, before the defense has started, before the prosecution has finished, a group of people are inciting riots, saying they are going to riot if the trial doesn't go the way they think it should. (I particularly loved the comment from one person that he had a list of stores where his riot would start. Huh?)

I delete these from FB - it is inappropriate.

I want to comment (if I could without starting an argument) that I could take this more seriously if we knew why Trayvon had been suspended for 10 days. In my school, that is usually the step before a tribunal and expulsion.

I could take it more seriously if there were the same outrage over the death of Aliyah Shell (here and here).

I could take it more seriously if there were the same outrage over the death of Antonio Santiago and the relatives who tried to cover up for the shooter.

I think Trayvon gets more press because the teenagers identify with him. But I think they should look at the other shootings and think.

When I was in high school we had to collect 50 articles about traffic accidents and write about the cause of each. (This was the year before most of us got our licenses). Maybe we should require kids to collect articles about shootings involving teenagers and analyze them. Doubt it would be possible.

I don't think this has anything to do with race and everything to do with priorities, rational thinking, consequences. I have no idea how to word it.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


Went to the dentist and had a conversation about how much technology has changed in the xxx years I have been going to this dentist. As we waited for the computer to recover from its blue screen of death. As we were doing xrays. That we gor to redo because the computer burped.
However I do love the technology and the dentist makes going to the dentist more than tolerable.