Saturday, December 7, 2013

Week 14 reflections - time to refocus

I've been busy this week with the changes I've been making in my CCSS Integrated Course 1 class (see posts here and here), but we are still continuing on in Math Analysis Honors.

I got to spend the late morning/early afternoon at the eLearning Strategies Symposium in Costa Mesa and meet up with several of my #flipclass buddies and have lunch chatting with Jon Bergmann (he did the closing keynote at the conference; definitely check out his most recent posts at  It's just such a refreshing time talking with passionate, like-minded educators.  Gives a little boost after the craziness of the everyday life of a teacher.

We have been getting to much tougher material and some of the students are thriving but many more are starting to really struggle.  It doesn't help that we are two weeks away from a 3 week Winter Break and many of my students are already in break mode.  I'm struggling with balancing between really pushing and helping those students who are trying (no matter if they are thriving or struggling) and not wanting to let any student slip through the cracks even if they are giving little to no effort in or out of class.  At some point, the desire and motivation has to come from within, and no amount of parent phone calls, meetings, or reminders is going to make a difference.
I also struggle with balancing between "I want you to master everything so you need to keep re-assessing until you get it" and "Let's just move on to something new" (when it doesn't directly correlate to anything in the future).  I don't want them to just give up on a concept but at the same time, pushing them and then seeing repeated failure is not encouraging for anyone.

We had a good week overall - Unit K is about sequences and series and we have five formulas to use... and of course I have a song for each of the formulas.  So, that has been a lot of fun pushing some of the students out of their comfort zones and really connecting with others.  However, the baseline factor is that you have to know the formula to use it, and I do require that my students memorize the formulas.  So, if they don't make the effort to commit the formulas to memory, they are a little bit stuck.

I know this is a short one but it's one of those weeks where I'm committing to blogging even though I don't have much to say and I'm exhausted.

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