Archive for October, 2016

My Brain is Fried

Posted: October 3, 2016 in Uncategorized

img_0098I’m home from a day of teaching.

I’ve written emails,┬ásome responding to parents and some just giving parents information about what’s coming up in class.

Now I sit here with a pile of projects that students turned in last week to grade.

But my brain is fried.

You know that feeling when you’re just exhausted and you don’t want to focus on your work? That’s where I’m at.

You know that feeling when you’ve given so much during the day and you just can’t give anymore? That’s where I’m at.

Why am I writing this?

Well . . .

If your students are giving all they have in every single class during the day, then some go to sports practice or a game and give all the have . . .  This is where they would be at.

However, how many teachers gave homework today because they give homework every single day.

Where are your students at?

How many teachers are sitting at home watching tv because they are “off the clock”, but gave their students homework, because they should have it.

Where are your students at?

When I think about how tired I am and how I just can’t give anymore, I think about my students. That’s one reason why I don’t assign homework every night. My students have 25 questions to complete over 7 days (some of which we do together in class) and a project they have to do over a month.

But I rarely say, “Go home and do these questions to be graded tomorrow.”

Wait, I never do that.

Where are your students at? Did you expect them to give their ALL in class today and think they were expected to give their ALL in every other class they had today? Did you think about that?

If they gave their all, they’re exhausted like me.img_0045

If they gave their all, they just can’t give anymore. Some of these kids are now at home taking care of their younger siblings as their parents are at work. They are still giving. Should they be expected to do their homework after giving their ALL today?

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t give homework, I’m saying that you need to think about your students . . . . I am kids. They are kids. They should be kids.

My brain is fried. Are your students with me?

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This past week we had quite the debate in my PLC (Professional Learning Community). We gave students the problem

What is the difference between -15 and -9?

Not a big deal, right? Well, we had two main answers from students. -6 and 6.

So which is it?

Well, when I place the problem on a number line, I see that the two numbers are 6 spaces apart. Also, when I subtract, I start with the larger number and subtract the smaller number. That means -9 – (-15), giving me an answer of 6.

Other teachers in my PLC saw this as a problem in which we are teaching students to subtract the numbers in order, meaning -15 – (-9), which has an answer of -6.

It was quite the discussion. I even looked up some other thoughts to see what was said.

In a math forum with “Dr. Math” we can read the following:

Elementary algebra books tend to twist the English language a bit here, to make things easier for the students. In real life, the difference between a and b is |a-b| (or |b-a|, which is the same); differences are always positive. But that would lead to ugly equations that students would struggle to solve; so they pretend that when we say “the difference of a and b” we mean just a-b–in that order, even though if b were greater than a, the “difference” would be negative.

You can also find another explanation here.

I understand that we teach 7th grade, so it should be interpreted to be the first number subtract the second number. However, if I’m confused, maybe we should rewrite the question.