Year Three, Week One

So I didn't post all summer and I also didn't read any posts. I never thought I would be one of *those* teachers. But life happens. I spent the first month of summer in grad school which I wanted to post more about but didn't. So far, I'm not super impressed with grad school. I've taken three classes and not learned a whole whole lot but we did learn a lot about observation techniques, clinical supervision, and Flanders. I may post on that more in the future but don't hold your breath. I spent the next month of summer moving back into our house after the flood and FEMA and remodeling.

Anyway, I'm teaching Algebra II for the first time this year so I'm really just posting so I can share my first lesson. I spent the last few weeks of summer creating really solid pacing guides that I felt put me off to a positive start. I feel confident that I know what my kids need and I've paced it out to be able to give it to them. So yay for me.

But I'm also teaching Algebra I, Geometry, Geometry lab, Test Prep, and an advisory period. So last night when it took me two hours to create a lesson for Algebra II and it was 10:!6 before I even started for Algebra I and Geometry, I knew it was going to be a long year.

I was tired and cranky today and in tears by fourth hour. Exciting, I know. And I don't mean misty-eyed, I mean full on stuttering through my tears, red nose, voice cracking.

I'm killing myself to create bell ringers, notes, and homework every day for at least three classes. How do you use the textbook to teach? My teacher bestie thinks I am hurting the kids and that I need to put responsibility on them. I think that I am redesigning what the book does in a way that is scaffolded for students to do on their own and hopefully be better thinkers. I don't know if I'm doing harm or good.

But enough complaining before we all get a little misty-eyed.

So here's some goodies that hopefully someone else can enjoy!

Solving Linear Inequalities with Absolute Value, Homework

Foundations of Geometry PPT, Notes

Draw and Label Basic Geometry Terms


  1. Hey Elissa - welcome back!

    To respond to your question about using the textbook, I recalled short presentation we heard at PCMI about adapting text to make it more useful to students. Check it out - if you have any questions, the presenter's contact info is on the first slide, and she's awesome, and I'm sure would be more than willing to talk to you. http://mathforum.org/pcmi/hstp/sum2011/morning/4-MinuteShortMarcelle.htm

  2. Kate,
    Thank you and thanks for the link. I thought it was interesting that the presentation mentioned "a really great textbook", which is one problem in itself. I haven't found a "really great' textbook. What I like is that is affirms what I've been doing: taking parts of the book, adding scaffolding or redesigning, and then giving to the students. I hate that this has to be done since we are teachers and not textbook writers but I am hoping that I'm increasing thinking by doing it. I am interested about the unique scaffold though, and maybe I will contact her about that.

  3. My textbook is pretty crappy, but I'm going to try it with any parts that are salvageable. :) Let me know how it goes.