The MEGnitude of Change

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jan 29 2013

The Jan Brady of My Classroom Bunch

Raise your hand if you think I only teach geometry.

If you’re reading this blog, you primarily hear about my trials & tribulations in timeblocks 1, 4, 5 and 6. But what about 7th? Why, yes — I do have a class during that time. Why, yes — I do teach something other than geometry.

Timeblock seven belongs to my six-person trigonometry & pre-calc team. Many of the challenges my geometry class presents me (behavior management, data investment, and EOI prep) don’t exist in my seventh period. Instead, I have a whole other array of challenges…& opportunities.

– My students come from different mathematical backgrounds. Some have taken Algebra II online & therefore are a little shaky on their foundations, while others came from schools that prepared them incredibly well mathematically.
– My students can get frustrated with the material. They often feel like the vocab is difficult to access — and I can’t blame them. Unlike geometry, these concepts are incredibly abstract, and finding practical applications to latch onto can be difficult.
– My students get down on themselves. They have fun — I spent a lot of time building a strong “team” atmosphere at the beginning of the year — but they don’t believe that they can master the material. They’re frustrated.
– My students don’t feel loved. Quite frankly, my classroom is full of trackers & posters & incentives for my geometry students, and I’m still figuring out how to track trig effectively.

I’m struggling to find forward motion in this class, and I know there’s hope. My trig/pre-calc students feel like the Jan Brady of my A209 classroom family — overlooked because they’re compliant & willing to work with me. So, here are a few resolutions I’m making:

– TRACKING. Get it done. I love tracking — and I know they’ll feel empowered by the numbers.
– Set a tangible final goal — if not the EOI, then something we can set together.
– College investment strategy.

Our A209 Bunch is about to kick it into gear — look for future posts on this wacky & exciting array of individuals.

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My journey in mathematics and beyond

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