Monday, June 17, 2013

Summer Preparation

So, I did it! I got a teaching position in my hometown. Instead of driving an hour away to teach at my last high school, I now only need to drive 10 minutes. Not only is that saving time, but money too. Now for the preparation to teach at the new high school. I'm coming from a Title 1 school to a Magnet school in Sacramento area. The biggest difference I see so far other than the population is the curriculum. At my previous school I taught remedial math classes (Pre-Algebra and Algebra I in two years) and an occasional AP Calculus class. Yeah I know, quite the juxtaposition. At the new school I will be teaching Geometry and Algebra II with the CPM curriculum. I have experience with CPM and attended the Asilomar conference back in December of 2012 where I took a class with a CPM instructor. Great experience! My work with CPM was during my student teaching with an Algebra I class. Algebra tile madness! So far I like how the CPM curriculum introduces topics and asks students really good questions. The lesson is pretty much set forth in the teacher edition for me to edit if necessary. I'm lovin it! Of course, very few of my summer ideas come to fruition throughout the school year. I guess they are not as practical as they once seemed during the summer months and that may be the effect of too much heat. I don't know. In addition to the new curriculum I am trying to plan a grading system for my new classes. Too keep it short, I have been reading a lot on homework grading policies. Many say to collect and grade homework is to punish your students for practicing. However, many agree that without collecting and grading homework many students aren't mature enough to do it for the sake of learning and not for the sake of points. They really do love those points regardless of the fact that I have a weighted grading system. As of right now my plan is to have students write hw questions on the board at the beginning of class and when I post solutions for a 5 minuted period at the beginning of class. I will offer extra credit to students who can present a solution to a posted question to the class. I will also answer questions if need be, but time will be limited. As for collecting homework, I won't. If I feel that homework is not being done I will give a one problem quickie hw quiz to keep students on their toes. Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated!