“Give me an X!”

Day 3 started off with an awkward moment…while I was making coffee in the staff room, someone mentioned something to me that set me aback…I won’t go into details but it surprised me… [apologies to my readers but I am keeping it vague on purpose…].

Needless to say, it was a little challenging to start P1…nonetheless, I shook it off and got on with doing my TC (teacher candidate) thing.

Today’s W/U for MA: 1) Word scramble:  SERTCPE and 2) find the distance between two points (where’s my equation editor for text editors?)…while the students were working the W/U, my CT checked homework and took role.  This took 10 minutes which is about the same amount of time my wife says it takes her to do the same…[The word scramble answer is RESPECT.  My first thought was SCEPTER…hmmm…]

After the W/U, we distributed an algebra review worksheet that students worked on while also receiving their trigonometry textbooks.  In P2, I had the privilege of using the software & scanner with the students…it worked very well and gave me a chance to chat with students ever so briefly.  I was pleasantly pleased, amazed even, at how diligently the students worked on the problems in both P1 & P2…there was “math talk” in the air everywhere…I could not detect one off-topic conversation…quite a contrast to my earlier teacher assistant volunteer role at a local charter HS.

I also realized I need to brush up on some algebra (conic sections specifically) so I have methods for identifying vertices, foci, and directrices more top of mind…or I need to improve my native search algorithm…but I think it’s not going to get much faster without a significant upgrade…the older models run a little slower over time…can’t wait for the Dave 2.0 release!

Throughout the day, I noted a few questions, comments and approaches from my CT, one of which inspired today’s blog title; she was at the whiteboard plotting points for a function and after shouting out “Give me an X!” mentioned that she sounded like a cheerleader.  I liked that very much since I make comments like that ALL the time when I am in my zone.  She also stroked everyone’s ego by saying she did not need to go over classroom behavior / norms / rules since they all knew what was expected of them with 2-3 years at the school under their belt, but more importantly by saying that they were all “special / smart / capable / great / substitute other similar comment here” since they passed Alg2 or their other math classes (this was esp. true for the MA classes).

During P4, which is my CT’s free period, and will be our co-planning period, I observed the math chair’s MA class and my fellow TC.  Their class was arranged differently than ours, and supposedly had the “better” (interpreted to be more well-behaved based on context of the statement made last week) students.  They seemed a bit reluctant to speak when the TC went over the homework answers (and likely just very, very shy) and they just came out of a brunch break so digestion could have been working overtime…

This teacher used an online word scramble (same as in the Sunday paper) as part of her warmup which was way cool…something I might use myself…and I liked the “Name Game” they played where students mentioned their name along with a city that had the same first letter as their name (e.g. Dave is from Dallas; I’m not BTW but did live there for a year 26 years ago…Go Cowboys!)

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About Dave aka Mr. Math Teacher

Secondary math teacher teaching math intervention, algebra 1, honors precalculus, and AP Calculus AB. I spent 25 years in high tech in engineering, marketing, sales and business development roles in the satellite communications, GPS, semiconductor, and wireless industries. I am awed by the potential in our nation's youth and I hope to instill in them the passion to improve our world at local, state, national, and global levels.
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One Response to “Give me an X!”

  1. zshiner says:

    conic sections are my Achilles heel. Ironically enough, the time of Achilles was the last time I think they were really useful. Perhaps it’s my hatred of them as non-functions, or my ignorance about their properties, but aside from the cool fact that they are cross-sections of a cone at different angles, I really don’t see much of their allure. In the end, I’m in the same boat as you, Dave.

    Like

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