Closing out the year

The last series of state tests are tomorrow.

For the last month of the year, I always give a comprehensive test every Friday, which assures me the students’ complete attention. Students with poor grades can raise them, students with good grades can lose it all.

As for the rest of the days, I haven’t decided entirely what to do. For the weaker geometry students, I’m going to go back to the basics and throw in still more algebra. The stronger ones, on the other hand, I’d like to get more complex problems—something I just haven’t had time for them to do all year. I’ve got a great exercise, Babylonian Taxes, that I think most of my students will be able to do. And I still need to do a bit on circles.

Algebra II will be tougher, because my seniors have mostly checked out. I won’t really be able to individualize their work, because half of them will sit and do nothing if I’m not riding them the entire time. Then, when they flunk the Friday tests and realize they might not pass, they’ll come wailing to me. So no self-directed learning. My current thinking:

  • Counting and probability
  • Exponential and logarithmic equations–applications only
  • One more try at parent graphs and transformations, although the last two attempts have been less than successful.

I’ve had good results in previous years keeping kids focused and productive in the last month, but there’s always one class that just tilts over to unproductive. (Third period, I’m looking at you.) I’m determined to keep on top of that this May.

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