Right now, I am in the process of starting summer school and I am teaching Algebra I. I like teaching Algebra I, especially to repeaters. In fact, last year ALL of my Algebra I students were repeaters.
I am hoping summer school will be easier. I got a lot of divergent type of students.
The first group are good kids who just didn't do what they were told to do. Those kids are great, don't give any problems and just crank out the work and get it done.
The next group are kids who have minor problems that are keeping them from being successful. At lot of that is attendance. They are frusterating because you know if they would just come to school everyday, they could be successful. And of course, they never make up the work.
The last group and the one that was in my face every day, were the ones that have major problems. I had a bunch of Katrina kids. They had problems BEFORE I met them. Before Katrina even. Every one of them presents a different complex set of problems that have to be dealt with.
I am thinking seriously of ripping Jimmy Buffet's Math Sucks off the CD I have here, and have it playing continously when the kids come into the classroom on Monday and Tuesday morning (I won't see all my students until Tuesday).
Right now, my classroom is split. Half of my room is overcrowded with desks, the other half of my room is overcrowded with computers. The plan is to have the students help me move the furniture so the room "works". That means bringing a tape measure so that we only have to move things once.
My dream is to move everything so that the computers are on the outer perimeter of the room, and I have desks in the center so I can teach "both" ways.
Actually I was planning on teaching 100% technology, but that kills major trees. I hadn't thought of it until my principal mentioned that I ought to wait to move the room, and leave it as it is so I could teach "both ways".
The reason that teaching 100% technology kills trees, is that a) we don't have a book and 2) I have this weird belief that the kids need to have a hard copy of what we are doing. I've done that for the first two days, but I'm going to try to change that. Other than the fact that it kills trees, it means I have to stand in front of a copies for hours and I hate that.