The year is over and students have 96 days of freedom (most of us teachers keep working throughout the summer!).
Looking at the end results from second semester, I am simultaneously ecstatic and disheartened. I tried all semester to convince the freshmen of Algebra I to do their homework, but collectively, one in four students said "why should I?" on a daily basis. The natural consequence of that attitude was a brutal grade distribution, many students barely passing the class. They will probably perform a little higher in Geometry, as it is a completely different branch of mathematics, but I worry for their prospects when taking Algebra II. I have been told this was an unfortunate side-effect of having three years in a middle-school policy of full credit for late assignments and the ability to redo anything. With no accountability, these students, unlike any other class, learned that homework doesn't matter. Hopefully with administrative and policy changes in the middle school, no other class will face this obstacle.
Algebra II, on the other hand, surpassed my wildest expectations. I haven't seen a group of kids this hard-working and attentive to detail in years. They crushed the final, had a record number of A's, and are the first class to ever earn three sets of brownies off me! Congratulations and well-deserved!
My Alternative Algebra also did very well. For students who absolutely hate math, and academics in general, they stuck in there and earned every inch. Two trays of brownies and an end-of year party to the hard-fought victors!
Rest up, enjoy the summer. I'll see you guys in the fall!
"The worst thing about the zombie apocalypse will be pretending that I'm not excited."