Thursday, July 12, 2007

math dorks have more fun

While in my graduate studies the math-teachers-to-be are busy proving that math class is WAY more fun than science class, in my own teacher preparations I am busy trying to decipher the Louisiana Comprehensive Curriculum for 6th grad science and math. Time in class has been spent playing with manipulatives: pattern blocks, paper folding, fraction pies, and other fun things that can be used to build bigger and better towers or used as projectiles to harass one's neighbors. My personal favorite is using said manipulatives as projectiles to destroy one's neighbor's tower. We've also been dissecting, measuring, weighing, and comparing a variety of oreos. This is, of course, great fun to discuss loudly enough so that the science class next door will know that what the math teachers are doing is far more interesting and more fun than anything the science teachers are being made to do. Tomorrow, I have to teach part of a lesson to my peers which will involve a game of SKUNK which I am sure will get our sarcastic and critical bunch riled up enough to annoy those stuffy science folks next door.

This morning our teacher also brought in some students from the high school that he usually teaches for and we did assessment interviews for them. This had everybody a bit anxious, but after I got settled in with my interviewee, N, I had a blast. I have to admit that I am a dork for algebra. Interviews were supposed to be about 20 minutes or so but apparently mine went longer. After N stopped being so shy and 'I suck at math' he was asking me questions and proving that he's way smarter than he gives himself credit for. After talking about fractions and algebraic expressions for more than half and hour, I came out of it totally psyched for getting my own students. I'm feeling more confident that I made a good decision to go this route.

Other excitingness: I got my hands on the teacher's edition of my math text book. This is gonna take some deciphering and I'm not sure how much I actually like having all the answers. I think that might make me lazy or pay less attention. I don't want to be that teacher who does everything exactly by the book. But there is also an element of 'being in the cool kids club' by having all the secrets in my book that no one else gets to see. That said, this book is flipping complicated.

No comments: