Thursday, June 07, 2007

The end is near...

Like many other people, I've felt the frustration that comes along with the run-up to finals. Students who know they don't have a chance at passing have checked out; lots of students are still on the fence, but you can't manage to get them all on the greener side. Teaching new material is fun and exciting; reviewing old material again and again is, well, not. Especially to those students who seem to think you are still teaching them new topics. But I know that this is all part of the game, and I am not too discouraged. Some students will fail, but they'll have another shot over the summer or next year. Ultimately, most will be fine. And, there have been lots of success stories this year too - those students who I wasn't sure had it in them yet, and yet they found it.

My algebra 2 honors class, though, has been and continues to be the best class I've ever taught. (I haven't told them that yet - when I do, I know I'm going to get lots of "awwwwwws!") They have been working hard this past week getting ready for the final, and I haven't even had to prepare anything for them. I decided to see what would happen if I just handed out blank copies of the old unit tests and midterms and let them work and ask questions. It's worked amazingly well, and I'm pretty sure that every single kid is going to not only pass the final, but actually pass the class. If every student passes the class, it may be a first in DCP history!

To celebrate their hard work, tomorrow I will stop class a bit early so I can thank each student, say a few words about them, and present them with an award that I whipped up in photoshop:

5 comments:

e said...

it must have been really time consuming to think of a nice award title for each student. it's a beautiful gesture, and i hope you have fun while giving out the awards.

MathTeacher44 said...

I gave out awards to my senior class this year--most of them were funny. To up the ante I also chose a song to go with their award to play when they were coming up to get them. It took forever to do, but I think they really liked it. :) (For example, for the kid I gave the "Queen of Consistent Award" I played the song Like a Rock) It was a great last class and a lot of laughs.

Dan Greene said...

Thanks 2.71828..., it was fun. In the last 20 minutes of the class, I wrote "Welcome to the Algebra 2 Honors Awards Ceremony" on the board, which got their attention. Then I told them that, in all my years of teaching, this was the best class I've ever had (honestly!). I presented them their awards, and they seemed to really like it. All the awards were a bit funny and a bit serious, and they went over well. The girl who got the "exponential growth - from Numeracy to Algebra 2 Honors award" is rather short... the fact that the class recognized and appreciated the irony means I must have done something right this year :)

MT44 - that sounds awesome. But, you're right, it would have taken me all night to think of and gather all of the songs I would have needed.. just doing the certificates took a couple of hours. I bet your students had a blast, and they'll remember that more than anything else in the coming years. Maybe I can keep that in mind for next year, and gather songs as we go...

jonathan said...

The best we can do is find the right gimmick. The last couple of days it is so hard to hold their attention.

mathteacher44 said...

I'd be happy to send you a list of awards and corresponding songs at some point this summer if you'd like....some of them were quite a stretch, and I told them I only had my existing collection to work with, so it wasn't going to be SUPER current....but they seemed to know most of them. (I think the low point was when I gave out my worker bee award and played the classical song Flight of the Bumblebee) :)