I knew I had forgotten to do a Q3 midterm update on here, but man... I missed end-of-semester and welcome-to-semester-two posts! I apologize for the lack of communication, but these has been a lot on the mind. In addition to the 60-80 hour grind of the school year (no, that is not an exaggeration), I had to complete a pair of classes for license renewal and have been sweating about the impending sequel to BabyBear. It's only going to get worse towards the end of the year, as we are due for baby #2 at the end of April.
Enough of my excuses, on to the main event:
PreCalc is rumbling along in much better shape than first semester was. Rather than a slough of kids down in the "D" range, refusing to ask for help outside of class, this crew is fairly engaged and much heavier in the high-C area. It is important to note that kids can get help before and after school, during my lunch, prep and Spartan Time. I am also available any time I'm conscious via Remind. Students can ask questions, submit pictures of their work that I can scribble on and send back, or even receive YouTube tutorials. This is especially relevant as we enter the completely new material of trig functions, matrices, conic sections. My number one question for kids and parents is we grind through the middle of our content is, "Are you using your resources?"
Applied Math is doing very well, with several students rocking the highest math grades they have ever had. This crew has come a long way in terms of confidence with the concepts they need for an Accuplacer or College Algebra, plus has a work completion rate nearly double that of last year's class. I'm very proud of these kids!
Algebra is stumbling though familiar territory: the inexperience of underclassmen. This class is a mix of freshmen and sophomores that struggle with math, so enter this permission-only version of Algebra I. Being underclassmen, there's often a good chunk of them that haven't quite taken to hear Mr Morford's simple keys to success in high school: come to class, do your work and ask for help. The attendance and homework (despite being very limited) continues to hold some kids back, since math scaffolds and simply needs to be practiced. While we have no failing grades, there have been some close calls.
Game Club is going strong with our daily Magic: The Gathering matches, leagues and tournaments at lunch, plus weekly meetings on Thursdays. We play a variety of card, board, strategy, co-op and role-playing games. There was a "How to play Magic" event in which our HS kids invaded the MS Makerspace, plus a free 6-hour MTG tournament in February in which all players got to keep cards donated by local nerds. We have been very fortunate to put together a solid program with a core group of kids that keep bringing in fresh blood.
We keep a regular log of happenings and share local gaming opportunities on our Facebook page, too, at facebook.com/shsgames. There are simply too many things to keep flooding my classroom site with Game Club stuff, so we moved that into the evil world of social media.
Legendary Human Advisor
+1/+1 to all Nerds