Sunday, April 25, 2004

After grading the fraction quizzes from Friday, I just want to cry... the majority were absolutely HORRIBLE. I'd swear those students had not been in class the past few weeks had I not seen them there with my own eyes. But ah... the success of Kim... 109 %!! I was happier than she was I do believe. But she was one of those 6 who stayed after to study Thursday, and it really made a difference for her. And there are a handful not finished. Several others got decent grades, and I have to remind myself that of those 12 on Independent Study, there would have been at least 10 A's there.

Now onto other stuff - we will hit upon scientific notation, decimal place value and value - and Denise gave a great idea yesterday - we are going to go outside and shoot baskets - then we will look at the ratio/percent of basket shots and made!! Some will love that. But some, alas, will be turds... of the one young lady who NEVER can lighten up and enjoy life. Last week, I had a student beg to work with a partner. At the beginning of year, I almost always allowed partners/groups for most everything. But lately, I admit, I've been a grouch. WHen the young man begged, I said on one condition:place your hand on your heart, and hold up the other and repeat after me. Then I went thru a ridiculous litany of I promise work WITH my partner, not copy from my partner. I promise to speak only in a quiet voice to my partner and not YELL across to the room to others, and so forth. EVERY student all day, until this one young lady last hour, who refused to participate. WHAT A GRUMP...and then on Thursday's math starter - I wrote - In your journal, 5 tiimes write: I promise to study for my fraction quiz tonight. Again, same thing - she wrote that she was sorry to inform me she could not write that because she doees not lie and she was not going to study. I wrote back (rather catty I know...) that I was sorry to inform her that would not get credit for her entry...

But I chaperoned Fun Night Friday and that was a blast - I have to remind myself to make time to enjoy them so I do not lose my grip with reality and sink into this ever-widening abyss of darkness I feel somedays. We laughed, we danced, we sang to the live (albeit it horrid) band of high schoolers. I came away rejuvenated...

Connie is nearing the end of her class at NMU - she is such a nervous wreck. I remember those days and do not envy her. She will be fine - she is just toooo enabling - too kind hearted - too gullible with those little "help me"s the kids want to throw her way. I like to think I was that soft-hearted at some point but I think I was always more of a realist - no pencil - hmm... too bad... forgot your stuff in your locker again... too bad... did not copy examples from board... too bad.... Don't get me wrong - I don't expect them to be perfect - just actually attempt to be successful on occasion!!

ahh... Sunday evening... another week ahead - with 6 1/2 to go before summer!! WE CAN DO THIS!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

When I sit down to reflect, the thoughts are so jumbled I find myself overwhlemed by the actual direction I want my written thoughts to take. It seems during the day I feel so frustrated and disappointed in the 7th graders this year - they seem overall, mostly unmotivated, even lazy... but then at home, looking back over my day, I remember the good stuff - the perks... the smiles... I guess that is what keeps me going even when I feel the math I am teaching just is not adequately meeting the needs of my classes.

We have been working on fractions for the past few weeks. ICK! There are still a few in each class that have no concept that 4/8 is equal to 1/2. And in the meantime, the rest of us have moved onto adding and subtracting and muliplying and dividing the little buggers - oh I know... differentiation... sure... I do have one small group, a few from each class, who are working from the CMP Comparing & Scaling book on their own. But it is so mind-boggling to try to juggle lessons for several groups within the classroom. I am stretched tooooo thin with special ed students in each class, dicipline problems of the major variety that keep students from my class day after day... Jake is suspended again...gosh.. I miss him.... but it seems he is harassing some other little guy... I don't know... some times I just feel like I wish I could shake them... for not doing their assignments, for being mean to each other, for doing those dumb things 7th graders are known for... and then other times, I think they just need a huge hug....

Sunday, April 04, 2004

WOW!!! What a wonderful field trip.... I got to go with our 8th graders to Detroit - about 400 miles each way... on charter buses (well... they were not really great but it was so much nicer than a school bus).

We left Wednesday am about 9, and headed to Oden, about 2 hours south of here, to tour the new Oden Fish Hatchery. Awesomely cool! Most of the kids really enjoyed it - of course some were "bored" or simply cold. Then we boarded the buses again and headed on our way. We got to the Radisson Suites in Farmington Hills where we were met with open arms, organized keys, room assignments, a hospitality room... it was wonderful. Then we went to the Hometown Buffet for dinner where we all ate tons of food. Turner ate 3 pieces of cheesecake after polishing off several plates of real food! Then to Canton to the Skate Station 2 for a few more hours of fun. Back to motel where I thought they'd never go to sleep.

The girls in the room above us got up at 5 so Nancy & I got up and headed down with a big crew to wait in lobby for breakfast at 6:30. Yummy!! Then off to Detroit Science Center with the SolarMax Imax, digital planetarium presentation about Mars, electric light show, lunch.... exhibits... lots to see and do - the glass elevator was horrible - the kids and I rode and rode, and I screamed and screamed. The SOlarMax was greater than you can even imagine. WOW! The Mars one... good... but most kids, and adults feel asleep - mostly from lack of it the night before, granted... then to Pontiac, to Great Lakes Crossings to eat at Rainforest Cafe - what a ripoff - pizza and salad for about 14 bucks a person!! too much for what we got but the kids enjoyed the ambiance. Then about 1/2 stayed at mall for video games and such, while Nancy, Dennis and I took the rest back to motel to pool, and play cards and jus thang out. Nancy and I fell asleep early - must have been about midnight.

We had left a wakeup for 7 but alas Cory woke us at 6:15 wondering why we weren't up. So up we got and ate and went to African American Museum. Hmmmm.... not impressed - under construction - renovations.... they split us into 2 groups and the kids could not hear... the hammers and saws in the other rooms were too loud, the guide talked to low... very boring.... not much to see anyway. THen to Burger King in Farmington Hills for lunch where they had assured us they could feed all hundred of us in about 1/2 hours. NO WAY!! What a mess.. tiny BK in first place... first 3 orders came out quickly and correct.... after that, nothing but disaster.

THen to new Holocaust Memorial Center which will open to general public APril 20. WHat a wonderful experience. They even had a survivor talk to us - the kids were absolutely moved, as was I - tears in many eyes....

all in all - trip of a lifetime... bus broke down on way home,.... oh.... I could go on and on.... I am so thankful I got to go!