Monday, November 24, 2008

Field Trips...

Every year I rack my brain for a good field trip related to statistics that I would be able to take students on. What topic is so essential that it is necessary to take students on a field study to investigate this topic fully? Every year I ask myself this question, and I have yet to take students on a field trip. I have enough paperwork to handle, the last thing I need is to remind kids to get their yellow form signed and manage. The yellow form........the Golden Ticket of NPHS.

"Hey Mr. C, I will not be in your class because I am going on a field trip. I do not intend to make up the work. In fact, you are going to need to work harder and take more time out of your day to account for everything that I'll be missing. I'm allowed to do this, I have the yellow form that you NEED to sign."

I'm considering an initiative in which I would refuse to sign any field trip form. Another idea is that when a kid hands me a field trip form, I'm going to hand them one back. The teacher that is taking them on the field trip is going to sign it, enabling that student to miss their class once to come to mine and make everything up that they missed as a result of their field trip.

I love how the yellow form gets handed to me...powerfully, with a minimal exchange of words. Should I start requiring a 2 page typed essay about what each student learned on the field trip? Then when a student hands me their essay I just throw it in the recycling bin without even reading it? Is that cruel? Would it end the slew of yellow forms that inundate my desk at the most inconvenient times?

This blog was more therapeutic in nature than any others. Maybe I'm a jealous math teacher who can't take field trips. It does get terribly stressful to manage the 10 tests that I have sitting in a makeup folder right now. I just needed a bit of a release. Thanks for the read!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hoods, Tests, etc.

Okay, my first rant has to be regarding the newest fashion trend at NPHS known as the hood. Every kid that has a hood insists on wearing it from one class to the next. It doesn't rain in the hallway, there is no need to wear your hood. The best response is when you ask/tell a student to take their hood off, they act like its the most offensive thing they have heard in their life. You get the scowl and then the stareback like..."Who are you to tell me to take my hood off?" I'm a teacher here, you're not supposed to be wearing a hood. Not only is it disrespectful of school policy, it doesn't look cool.
Famous Hood Wearers

Do yourself and your friends a favor...don't wear a hood in the hallway, in my classroom, and tell them to do the same.

So the Unit II test, not sure whether I want to do a Wednesday-Thursday thing or a Thursday(1st and 3rd)/Friday(4th-6th)/Monday(all) type of testing situation next week. We are so done with Unit II.

Grades - I give a very generous homework grade as some of you may have noticed. I have it built into my gradebook that every student receives +.05% to their grade to account for test grading/test/grader error. After these two "bonuses", I am not going to mess with your grade matter how close. A pre-emptive sorry to any and all affected by this. One final time...I don't care about your grade, I care about your score on the AP Test. Your grade before the homework kicker is what should be the most important.