So, personal stuff aside, I've had some things brewing that I wanted to address.
1. I offered my precalc kids extra credit to write their own trig identities - had quite a few take me up on it! (Shocking.) Some really went for it, some basically wrote down an identity and thought it would suffice. Definitely something I need to include as an actual assignment next year! I was also thinking about doing a gallery-type walk with identities... you write a step to simplify then move on to the next one. Still pondering that one. (Here are the identities! Take 'em as you will.)
2. Algebra 2 is a major bore right now... and I'm definitely the culprit. We're finally hitting some of what I would consider the "real" stuff and I feel like the kids are in major resistance mode. My plan is to throw in a little project (probably this one that I like to do in precalc) but the class has taken on a whole new tone. It used to be fun and lighthearted. Now it's quiet and BORING. Heck, even I'm bored! But I so want them to get the basics down - we're just talking about graphing polynomials (which includes factoring & finding zeros).
One of my problems in that class is that I have 5 new students that I'm still trying to figure out. There are 3 in particular that have posed some challenges.
1. A move-in from Florida who has passed Alg2 and is auditing this semester because she obviously has no idea. She's very cute and likes to talk and flirt. Awesome. We had a little chat yesterday when I informed her that if she doesn't keep a passing grade and complete all of her assignments I can get her removed from our class. She was shocked.
2. A transfer from the other high school in my district. He seems like a nice, hard-working kid, but his teacher over there was in chapter 3... and I'm in chapter 6. (Don't ask what they've been doing all year, because I don't know.) He told me that he knows how to factor but doesn't know how to solve quadratics. Hopefully we can fix this before it gets too overwhelming - he admitted that what we've been doing in class has been a jumble of numbers.
3. A transfer from our local vocational school. She seems very sweet and hard-working but has a lot of personal issues going on and is only in school for 2 classes a day. After solving some polys today I stopped by her to check how she was doing and she started crying. Says she has no idea what's going on. When I started offering help and suggestions she totally shut down and said "I don't want to talk about it." I tried again, she repeated. Ouch. I stopped by the counselor's office to let him know; he's planning an informal chat tomorrow with her - I'm hoping that she'll be more receptive then.
So these 3 + boring me + hard stuff = a tough going.
Just gotta keep trying to make things better!