- This week is California Standards Testing and my 8th graders have the joy of being tested in English, math, science, and history (ancient civilizations, medieval Europe, early U.S. history). The year isn’t over — we haven’t studied everything there is to study for this year — so I feel it unfair that the state mandates these exams a month before the school year ends. Rushed curriculum, awkward last month of school, inaccurate test scores, too many problems. Not that we don’t have anything to teach after the exams, but the students tend to check out after the exams.
- I think basic computer science should be a required course at elementary school level. We shouldn’t be wasting our time teaching 6th graders how to save their Word document, how to adjust margins, how to insert headers/footers and page numbers. We live in the 21st century; kids should be born with this knowledge, if not, be taught in the 1st grade. Their future depends on computers.
- Today a student asked if there was a country in Antarctica. I said, “No, of course not.” And then I doubted myself, thinking, “Or is there???!”
- No, there isn’t. “Although myths and speculation about a Terra Australis (“Southern Land”) date back to antiquity, the first confirmed sighting of the continent is commonly accepted to have occurred in 1820 by the Russian expedition of Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev. The continent, however, remained largely neglected for the rest of the 19th century because of its hostile environment, lack of resources, and isolation. The Antarctic Treaty was signed in 1959 by 12 countries; to date, 46 countries have signed the treaty. The treaty prohibits military activities and mineral mining, supports scientific research, and protects the continent’s ecozone. Ongoing experiments are conducted by more than 4,000 scientists of many nationalities and with various research interests.” (Wikipedia).
- I have a brilliant idea for next year: (purpose: to foster curiosity/interest): I’ll create codes for students to decipher, whether it be convoluted sentences with advanced vocabulary, or actual riddles that are related to the day’s lesson. I think it’ll be fun.
- I sent out many progress reports this past week warning parents that their child was in danger of failing. I received one very angry email and I replied with one very long response, which, in summary, “simply” stated how the student was not doing what she was capable of doing. No excuses!
- Take that; ha-ya!
- It’s funny — I can retaliate in writing, but I can’t in person.