Rookie Year: Day 80

I should really try to write some more today since yesterday’s forgotten post was so bad.

Meh.

I have a dead week in between final exams and the start of the next semester. Students are a little checked out and frankly I am too. There’s something strange about continuing to hold class past the final exam for a course, but it is a necessity of the scheduling. I will have new students after MLK weekend. I’m not going to waste the instructional time though. One because I I wouldn’t feel professionally okay with that and two because if we don’t do something, the students will eat me and each other alive.

So I am leaning heavily on some pre-made activities from Desmos that are meant to introduce solutions to linear equations. They are really quite fantastic lessons and are accessible for free. This works out nicely because systems of equations are the first thing students will learn in their next class if they move on to Intermediate Algebra, but if they didn’t pass and are repeating Foundations of Algebra they have to integrate a lot of different skills they should have learned this past semester so it serves as a nice review.

Because we have already taken final exams I have a pretty good idea of where my students are sitting grade-wise now and this final week of assignments won’t make huge differences one way or another. There will be a few border students who will go up or down from Bs to Cs or from Cs to Ds and vice versa, but there won’t be any “I was passing and now I am failing” or “I was failing and now I am passing”. All the students who are failing my class are sitting far below the cutoff of 60%. I was feeling good about my passing percentages, but then I looked at the amount of Ds that I had and then I no longer felt so good. My DFW rate is sitting at about 50%. Yikes. But this is about what the other teachers told me to expect for this class so I am guess I am doing no worse than par for the course. I do not apologize for that pun.

My online classes–am I allowed to talk about those in my rookie blogs?– have started up and I am excited to try using Go Formative in a college setting for the first time since the site has worked so well for my high schoolers. I haven’t really figured out how I will use it for my undergraduates (which was funny because they asked me about it and the best answer I had was that we would play it by ear), but there’s some ideas floating around in my head. I am thinking it will be a nice tool for gauging answers quickly if I do a mass Google Hangout and eventually I would like to incorporate it into my written lessons so that they become more interactive. That will probably be a summer project when I have more time so for now I will just experiment.

Lastly as an aside, I have been thinking about putting all of my blog posts together, editing, adding some extras, and writing a book at the end of this year. You know, one of those journal-type books. Is that a terrible idea? I’d really like some feedback on this.

Thanks for reading.

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One thought on “Rookie Year: Day 80

  1. I don’t know about “journal type books” (you’d think I’d know more, given how much writing I do), and I haven’t been reading here continuously, but I do think the collating and editing of your posts might be valuable, whether you decide to publish in the end or not. It adds that extra measure of reflection, and makes it easier to refer back to anything if someone else wants information.

    There’s also the fact that things which you may take to be mundane others might find fascinating. For instance, this concept of “scheduling” to run a course past the time of it’s exam. Where I am, there’s a week of high school exams, one day of turnover, and then the teacher has entirely new classes. So said teacher needs to be learning new names and teaching new course material at the same time as they’re marking final projects and doing report cards for the outgoing students; January is as close to hell as it gets. This “dead week” is interesting.

    It’s cool to see that you’ve found something to cover there through Desmos, I’m glad you’re able to use the time well. Also, good not to apologize for the puns. Humour is important. All the best with whatever you decide.

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