Saturday, August 23, 2008

One Week Down

As I mentioned before I am started a new job this school year. The Sycamore School is a pre-school through eighh gradet gifted and talented school. I am teaching the fifth and sixth grade pre-algebra and the seventh and eighth grade Geometry classes. It was an amazing first week. I was told that the kids would constantly surprise me with what they know and the question's the ask. I must say they were entirely accurate. Here are some highlights:
  • A 7th grade Geometry student was able to prove the square root of two is irrational. I didn't learn this until graduate school and I would imagine many of you have never done it.
  • A 5th grader aced the pre-algebra pretest.
  • A great dialogue in my 7th grade Geometry class about the definition of skew lines. In general skew lines are not very interesting, but, through their questions we were able to learn a lot about the importance of rigorousness in our definitions.

Professionally it has really challenged me. In my previous teaching assignments I have been able to, how shall I say by the seat of my pants? Not always, or even most of the time, but if I chose not to spend the time preparing, I could usually come up with very effective lessons on the fly. I am not able to do this at Sycamore. I have to have all my i's dotted and t's crossed as well as spending time considering ways to deepen the discussion beyond what is usually presented in a math class. I love it and am anxious to continue to pursue this challenge.

One of the issues with my new position is it is a long commute and a considerable amount of work. This will make it more difficult to continue to web activities, but I plan on building time into my schedule to continue them as I really enjoy it.

I hope all of you have had a great start to the school year!!!!


Anonymous said...

That truly is amazing. I flunked maths!

nick said...

Linear equations: no brain required
Quadratic equations: still a bit easy. Complete the square or use quadratic formula and you’re done!
Cubic equations: a bit hard. Most people need special formulas.
quartic equations: very hard
anything beyond quartic: scream for your mom and panic