Saturday, January 06, 2007

Radical Butterflies from Hell

We used to have our fall finals at the end of December, right before the students went on break. In the past couple of years, we have moved them to after break in order to keep the same schedule as the rest of the schools in our district. This has both positive and negative effects, the latter obviously being that two weeks of vacation tends to sap the content knowledge out of even the most diligent students' brains. Most teachers spend the first week back reviewing everything, since finals happen Tuesday through Thursday of the second week (this coming Tuesday is my Algebra 2 final).

To make it a little more fun for my class, I decided to hold the First Annual DCP Algebra 2 Honors Fall Final Review Math Olympics, and I told them that the ceremony for the bronze, silver, and gold winners will be nationally televised (I'm still tring to come up with the prizes. I wonder, if I take them off campus for lunch, is that a prize or a punishment? Please leave a comment if you can think of any good prizes that 10th graders might enjoy!). The students are in teams of three and needed to come up with a team name using a type of number, along with a place to represent in the games. We have, for example, the Imaginary Mathematicians from New York City, the Radical Mexicans from Michoacan, and the Radical Butterflies from Hell; the Real X-tremes from Hawaii are currently in the lead. Each day this week, there was a series of events to review key concepts, and each homework was a set of multiple choice STAR-type problems that counted as additional events.

Today (Saturday), we had a terrific review session. I told students I would be at school at 10:30, and many were there by 10:15. I had most of the class show up (only about 5 or 6 didn't), and they stayed until after 2:00, ordering pizza for lunch. We pushed the tables together into one big conference table, and they all sat around it, going over old tests, doing their homework, working together, and asking me questions. I really need to recognize the whole class at our next school assembly for such high quality effort, work, and behavior. I'm proud of how they're coming together as a class; I hope (now more than ever) that they all pass the final.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Maybe like a $5 iTunes gift card?? I know my 10th graders would like that. :)