By the Numbers

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Feb 27 2009

Day 107: “I did my work.”

I discovered a quick fix for one of my big problems in second period: I sat next to him the entire period while he worked on his review. He was really mad about it, but it kept him marginally on task (he still got up a couple times to hit someone with his gym shirt). It’s not feasible for me to sit next to one student when anywhere from 11 to 16 (depending on the day) other students are in the room with him. As always he clung to the “I did my work,” excuse that he is almost conditioned to say. He definitely has promise in that regard, which is probably why I try so hard to keep in the class. My mild success today was completely erased later in the day when he told the Spanish teacher what she could do to herself in unfriendly terms.

Honors took the circles test yesterday. It was not good. I tried to incorporate a fair amount of algebra in instruction and in the test. However, taking the idea from concept to application is very difficult for some students. I need to hit that balance before those students drop off the wagon. I have noticed a dip in attendance for that group, maybe it needs to be addressed before we moved forward.

Both journalism classes wrote an ACT essay to use as a checkpoint toward progress. From the looks of it, a lot of students are getting something out of the writing instruction. I would love for that class to be “journalism,” but this is probably going to help the students who care a lot more than continuing on the journalism path for three months.

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    Teaching Math on the West Side of Chicago

    High School

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