First Week Observations

Against all advice, I went into my first week smiling, friendly, unflappable, gregarious. As such, my students as of Friday aren’t taking me seriously. It probably didn’t help that I had freshman sitting in tables of 4 without much guidance from me on what that was all about.

A course correction is thus in order, so the desks will be back in rows by Monday, and I will start using the school’s discipline policy. I still feel as though I will never be a “yeller”, I don’t believe in punishing all students for the deeds of a few rowdies. (Note, I reinforced that message this past week when I tried whistling to get order. It worked but hurt some ears, which I repented of pretty quickly.)

On the technology front, I should be able to get my document cam and projector set up over the weekend, it has been hard to lecture without a little powerpoint/projection of some sort, and without ready access to a copier for the day’s materials. I have started reaching out to parents through classpager.com (for text messages) and through e-mails. I will work on a way to get to parents without e-mail next and whose primary language is Spanish. I have also started getting students into Holt McDougal’s Algebra 1 online book and supporting resources, which do absolutely no good when they don’t have internet at home!

On the pedagogy front, my lessons are all over the place in terms of transitions and timings, loose logical progressions and weak communications of expectations (rubrics, i.e. “this will be graded”).

In short, week one could have been a lot worse!

I was jazzed today (Saturday) to meet some people from the Yakama Reservation who are working to get kids involved in STEM. Met them at a Rocket-Day at Toppenish High School, which, incidentally is the home of the Top Principal of the Year.

Looking for people with some tips on cool resources available for the following books:

Holt McDougal. (2011). Algebra 1.

BSCS. (2006). Science Level 1: An Inquiry Approach.

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