Lazy Lines: I want them to be straight!

I am trying to identify things that annoy me this year so I can fix them.

Lots of things annoy me: the copy machine breaking down in my desperate need for five more copies, the kid who decides he should sharpen his pencil right as I am summarize the most important idea of the day, the wi-fi network being fickle, etc. I’ll spare you all of my troubles.

One thing that students do (or more like not do) is drawing lines. Anytime we have to graph a line I get really annoyed when they are jagged, look more like a curve, or bent in some odd shape that makes me ponder if students are just completely screwing with me.

Here is my fix: Give students a ruler. Not just for the classroom but ALL THE TIME. No more crummy homework either. No excuses. So, I went to amazon and bought a bunch of little rulers that are pretty inexpensive and plastic so they are less likely to break being shoved into a binder, pencil case, or the bottom of a backpack (anybody have one of those students?)

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All 8 designs

The first time we need to graph something we pull these out. I let students pick whichever one they like. They get to keep them. I have pirates and animals so everyone can be happy right?

Now I do not have to be annoyed…..or at least not by line drawings anymore. Those other things I mentioned earlier still annoy me.


#MTBOS Sunday Summary – 1st Challenge Of The School Year

MTBOSChallenge_3So I am jumping in on the #mtboschallenge so that I can keep up good blogging habits throughout the school year.

Since it is Sunday, I will be doing the 3-2-1 summary today.

3 Things I Am Excited For

  1. I have not started school yet but I will be another week. I am excited to see my students as I have my first couple of days all planned out!
  2. Organization: I have cleaned out all of my drawers in my desk at school and recycled any papers I did not need. As I go through the year, I have a plan to keep myself organized and I feel as though I might actually stick to unlike others I have tried in the past. I am hopeful!
  3. Teaching regular geometry again this year. I taught it 2 years ago and looking back at a lot of my stuff, I don’t think I did that class justice and did way too many “notes”. It was kind of dull. My goal is to think about how I can structure the class better so it is more of them doing stuff and less of me just talking at them.

2 Things I Am Nervous About

  1. I will be starting grad school in just a couple of weeks to get a masters degree in math education. I know it will be fine but it will be a challenge to balance going to grad school with everything else in my life. It will be good for me though and lots of people have survived so I should be fine….right?
  2. My school is moving to AB block scheduling this year. With Common Core, we beefed up our classes with more stuff but now I am losing time due to block. Not seeing my students every day is what scares me the most but we shall see how it works. I hope I can keep them entertained for 90 minutes!

1 Thing On My Mind

  1. Now that I am involved with twitter and going to try blogging more, I think this is the year I will have lots of awesome professional development! Whether it is great twitter conversations, reading other peoples blogs involved in the challenges, or attending conference like ICTM in October or Friday night MMC Meetings once a month; I will be learning a lot! I need to make sure I keep track of all the awesome stuff I come across and force myself to write it down otherwise I will never remember!

Can’t wait to keep blogging and read everyone’s posts!


Organizing My Filing Cabinents For The Upcoming Year

I recently cleaned out all the old quizzes/tests that I had stored in my file cabinets at school and realized that it was completely disorganized. I am sure that if a student came in and wanted to look at a certain quiz, it would have taken me forever to find it. Especially when students take it late due to absences, I just tend to shove it in the filing cabinet and pretending to organize it later.

I think to prevent this next year I will create a folder for every student. This way, I can just file the quiz for the appropriate student and then have an easy way to find it. This will take a little effort after I am done grading a large stack and the students have seen it, but I feel like this could keep me organized. I needed to write this down so I don’t forget to do this. If I am really smart, maybe I can just assign all my students a number and then next year, I can just reuse the folders and just renumber the students. I can probably think of a smart way to number students since the gradebook automatically numbers all the students in each section. I could even have different colored folders for each section and then number from there. Sometimes I just need to blog for myself and writing it out seemed to help me get my idea down.

Hey Future John, this is a good idea and you should be more organized! Good luck…you will need it!

~ Past John