Can we talk content?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Aliceacc, Aug 29, 2009.

  1. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Which topics/ units of study are you most looking forward to teaching this year??

    In my Algebra class, I love when we get to the verbal problem chapter. We have fun with the problems, and it's always nice to see kids realize that they CAN do verbals.

    I haven't taught geometry in ages, but my favorite chapters are the Circle chapter-- the one with central and inscribed angles (I have a killer, 24 question circle that I love giving them. Once they catch their breath, they have a lot of fun with it.) I also love doing the apothem/ perimeter problems. Again, they look so intimidating, but are really no big deal.

    We've cut formal proofs way out of the syllabus, (they're now optional) which I think is a shame. I wouldn't be at all surprised if I have time to get to at least the more elementary ones.

    My SAT classes should be a lot of fun this year. I taught a bunch of the current Juniors when they were freshman, so that helps a lot; I already have their confidence and respect. We don't really teach topics; I give a 5 minute spiel about a particular type of problem, then the kids do a section from the review book, to be gone over before class ends. But I do enjoy the class I teach on how to use their calculators, along with all the shortcuts I show them-- I LOVE seeing their amazement at how easy some of these problems can be.

    How about you?
     
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  3. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    In both my Foods and Nutrition class I'm looking forward to my "Eat this, not that" project. I give the kids nutritional brochures from McDonald's and on a piece of butcher paper they display a healthy meal on one side and a junky meal on the other. I love how they discover how bad a typical meal is, and also that there actually are healthy choices available so if they do go to McDonalds they can have a meal that won't be ridiculously high in fat and calories.
     
  4. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    If I end up with a classroom, I'm really looking forward to doing an Olympics unit, which would be cross-curricular...

    We would talk about culture, current events, data management, all sorts of Math stuff... and reading and writing can always be related as well (I have a basket of Olympic books in my library)

    I have been waiting to do an Olympic unit for 6 long years... and the fact that they will be in Vancouver, Canada this year gets me REALLY excited!
     
  5. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    Lots of schools have cut out formal proofs from their Geometry syllabus. I also think that this is a big mistake. My daughter was in a college math class this year and I had to teach her how to do a proof because she had never even been exposed to it and her professor assumed that they had all done them before.
     
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    That sounds like so much fun! You could bring in the ancient Greeks and the start of the Olympics, the effects of politics on the Olympics (everything from Jesse Owens to the Munich Olympics).

    There's so much there!
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    This is our first year experimenting with it, and to be honest, I think it's a mistake. But we're finding that our kids are coming in without so many basic skills. If we cut this one topic, it should give us breathing room to cover the REST of geometry more fully.

    That said: my kids are seeing proofs.
     
  8. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I'm teaching Canterbury Tales for the first time! My family loves this book so much that my parents named their dog Chaucer. I have the first 16 lines of the prologue memorized from when I was a senior, but I won't make these kids do the same.
     
  9. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I am looking forward to teaching The Taming of the Shrew. It's always been one of my favorites, and I have the option to do it instead of Julius Caesar. I definitely think that the curriculum focuses too much on the tragedies and not at all on the comedies, which are more interesting to students, anyway.

    My husband teaches geometry, and he LOVES teaching proofs. He also loves teaching circles. Could the op possibly send me a copy of the big circle you mentioned?
     
  10. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sure, I'll be happy to. When you get the chance, PM me with your name and address.

    Just one tiny little glitch: I'm having surgery this week (on the first day of school as it turns out) and will be out for a week. So it will be a while before I have access to a Xerox machine.
     
  11. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    I enjoy teaching advanced math in high school...

    In Calculus I find teaching limits, derivatives and integrals to be fun. In Trigonometry I enjoy discussing any of the trig functions as well as graphing them. For whatever reason I find talking about trigonmetric equalites/inequalities and the law of sines and the law(s) of cosines to be enjoyable.

    I prefer to work with the more serious, senior honors students........ I don't teach any freshman or soph math classes.

    But most of my subbing in for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classes. It's very easy to bond with these kids..... They really need to see more men in the classrooms...

    (We math people are a strange bunch aren't we Alice?...:lol::lol:)
     
  12. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oh, Major, I miss those topics!!! When I was teaching calc, I LOVED doing related rates problems!! (And I loved doing derivatives by defintion. I loved how the algebra always cancelled everything out-- not to mention my glee at knowing the answer before the kids even started the problem!!)

    And in Trig, I love the trig proofs, and the Laws of Sines and Cosines.

    And "strange" doesn't begin to cover it!!!
     
  13. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

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    This year is going to be a blast! I have totally reorganized how my classroom runs. I am using workshop style, with the kids working on independent writing projects and reading independent and literature circle novels. I am so excited to be able to give my kids the opportunity to work on their own writing, topics that they have selected!

    While this is a unit, it is what I am excited about this year!
     
  14. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I'm most looking forward to deepening my skills in teaching reading strategies. I've only gotten a taste of this in the past. I'm looking forward to science too but it is still pending so I can't give you any specifics on that. I WAS looking forward to a new math series that approaches math in a way I find interesting but my school decided not to buy it and some here expressed reservations about it so now I have to look at the content, the pacing and match it with materials I have and do the best I can with it.

    I'm not as thrilled about our flag unit but I don't mind the community one. I was looking forward to learning a different specific culture like they do in first on up but that's not the focus for Kinder here. I am going to infuse a 2-3 week unit on deaf culture and some light history and then take them to a deaf history museum.

    Sorry Alice, I can't give you specific areas because I'm still learning how to read the way our district sets it up and as frustrating as it was, most of it did not come online until this past Thursday. I was NOT thrilled with that. I was piecing things together all week and in the end it turned into a 3 inch binder. I still don't have everything. Things are not as organized as I would like them to be.

    My big focus for this week was actually to learn how they expect the program to be set up. When kids change what they are doing every 10 minutes, it is a lot to consider. It was hard just coming up with a schedule while considering who else has a schedule with them as well.

    I need another week!
     
  15. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Volcanoes!

    I like all of it though. I love rocks and minerals but I'm pretty sure the kids will mostly hate it (they usually do--even at the college major level). People who like mineralogy are a rarer bunch. I'm working on some schemes to make it interesting.

    I think I am going to use rock or mineral names to divide my classes into groups that I will use for various things throughout the semester.
     
  16. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    I teach 2nd, so it is a bit different. I feel like I do a good job in teaching most areas. My students had a over a 90% average in our city-wide assessments (the city-wide average was a 70%) -- but I have always felt frustrated teaching word problems. It seems like the students don't want to think -- they just want me to tell them how to do it. Some of them seem to have no concept if a question is addition or subtraction and that always baffled me. When those are the only two choices, they've learned to just guess, and if they get it wrong, go back and do it "the other way." That isn't developing any "thinking skills." Asking them to draw a picture didn't help -- they'd draw a picture, but then still not be able to relate it math. (Mind you, this was just a few students -- but it still frustrated me.)

    So this summer I took a 12-week course in Singapore Math's Model Drawing, and I am really looking forward to using it this year. I am so hopeful that I can make problem solving more concrete for my young students.
     
  17. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    In my class, I am looking forward to soooo many things. Math is my Fav subject and I love seeing it click with the rates and proportions, fractions and percents, and geometry. I also really like doing the social studies units on ancient Greece and Egypt. We do a ton of fun stuff.
     
  18. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    Well, let's see....In my social studies class I really like the unit on government. Last year we ran a mock election that the students really liked.

    In French, I think I've finally found a way to make the grammar unit a little less dry, so I'm excited to see how that works out. Also, I've decided to fulfill the listening components of the curriculum by doing a film study, so that should be fun as well.

    I'm teaching a Grade 10 general science class and I think the chemistry unit will be my favourite. I taught these kids science last year (when they were in Grade 9) and the chemistry unit was their favourite then. One girl called it potions class. :)

    I'll be teaching math for the first time this year. Circles have been added to the curriculum, so hopefully I'll enjoy it as much as you do, Alice!!!
     
  19. greengables

    greengables Rookie

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    Man, you math teachers ARE a strange bunch. I'll be keeping an eye out for you!
     
  20. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    Good--I wish more teachers felt like you. It is so easy to dismiss harder portions of a course but these are usually the areas that teach the best critical thinking skills.
     
  21. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    I think it is great for them to see men in the classroom. I did not realize how it made a difference until my son began attending an all boy's school and most of the teachers are men. He has always wanted to be a teacher and seeing men in his classroom has been a positive influence.
     
  22. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nice thread, Alice!
    I love teaching so many units across the curriculum.
    In writing, I particularly love teaching poetry. 2nd graders naturally look at the world in a quirky, poetic way and what they write amazes me,
    I love reading workshop-conferring with students, helping the strugglers discover new ways to 'solve' tricky words, pushing thinking for deeper comprehension.
    Math- I use a lot of Marilyn Burns type activities in my classroom- hands on exploration of concepts, going deep with thinking about ONE problem, playing math games...
    Science- we start off the year with a habitat study of the meadow and the woods- both habitats are adjacent to our school property so we are actually exploring 'in the field'.
    OK- just writing this got me jazzed about starting up!!:wub:
     
  23. krysmorgsu

    krysmorgsu Cohort

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    I always loved Much Ado About Nothing, myself!If you're teaching "The Taming of the Shrew", will you show "10 Things I Hate About You" as a modern adaptation??
     
  24. krysmorgsu

    krysmorgsu Cohort

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    My units are not the same as others, but I love teaching the mythology portions of my textbook. The kids really enjoy it, and I've always loved it. Otherwise, I'm really looking forward to just beginning my new level Is. I feel more comfortable this year, and I'm really looking forward to starting them off well and incorporating more of the speaking sections of our text this year. Last year I skipped most of them, but I'm hoping to pace myself better this year and be able to use them.
     
  25. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Myths
     
  26. deedee

    deedee Connoisseur

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    I am really cant wait to get into the ancient civilizations - Egypt, and Rome ! I already have an idea of the projects I want to do! I am also thinking of having an end of the year economics project to cover those standards after testing is completed.

    I think getting the kids used to having Social Studies everyday and turning in their notebooks has been the most frustrating part.. most are understanding and connecting the content so Im happy :) but its still early!!
     
  27. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

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    I teach an entire course on just Ancient History (3 periods of it even), so I love my content... the ancient civilizations are great. But I am most looking forward to Greece and Rome. It's fun, and with so many foundational elements of Western Civilization among those two civilizations, the kids seem to connect to Greece and Rome better than to any other unit.
     
  28. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    I like so much of what I teach ... but something new this year ... when we go through The Crucible, we are collaborating with a school in PA (we are in KS).
     
  29. ancientcivteach

    ancientcivteach Habitué

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    Oh, DeeDee and Ron, I miss that! In my old curriculum I would say ancient Rome was probably my favorite, followed closely by the European Middle Ages.

    This year I'm teaching American History and I'm starting from scratch, but I believe the World Wars and the Great Depression will be my favorite units.

    Right now I'm getting a crash course in working with 5th graders ;)
     
  30. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    I never thought I'd say this, but my favorite content area this year is turning out to be... PE!?! I've got my student running first thing in the morning-I get to her place, change, and we're off to a path that goes along the local river. It's beautiful and we are totaling smashing all of our goals. We started out running/walking the path on Monday, and by Friday we had run the entire 2 miles without stopping. We have set new goals for this coming week, and I can see there will be no stopping us this year. We're going to be examining our eating through food journals, researching anatomy and muscle growth (ties in with our study on human body), etc. I'm so jazzed.

    I really thought history would be my strong suit this year, with the colonization/Revolutionary Ware unit, etc. But I need a curriculum to follow-it's too overwhelming to create on my own. I'm hoping our homeschool library has a copy of History Alive for me to check out... then I think I will be rockin' that area as well.
     
  31. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Jem, if you're looking for books, there's this new website out now... you should check it out! I hear they're pretty good!

    Here's the link for you.
     
  32. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Oh, Rain- you do so much better than a 'good job'!

    Big Kudos on those test results!!
     
  33. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Awww, thanks Czacza. This will be my 8th year with my district. Teaching in an urban district can be tough, but it feels good when you can get the students excited about learning.
     
  34. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Reading everyone's excitement about core content area teaching reinforces my passion for what we do as professional educators.
     
  35. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jem, why not start with the state standards in history? Does the homeschool curricululm you're following in all the other subjects allign in history? If not, there's got to be a homeschool community in your state-- contact them and find a curriculum that alligns. Or, better yet, print up the state standards today, hit the internet and get one ordered.

    But get to it ASAP!!!! By the time you order it and it arrives, you're going to lose valualble teaching time. As I understand it, you started school a while ago, so you're going to have to make up lost time in history already.

    Or, probably faster, find out what textbook the local schools use, and get a copy of that. Write your own curriculum with the state standards at your side, using the textbook as a jumping off point.
     
  36. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    We've already starts history, with explorers. I have our pacing guide laid out by standards, so I know what to teach, when. I can do it by myself, but I'd love a curriculum. We're visiting the charter school next week that we are 'certified' through, and they have an entire library of textbook series. I'm hoping they have History Alive (they aren't open yet, so I can't call). If not, I'll see what they do have. We'll be fine either way, but I am hoping I can get a copy. We're currently using the Usborne book of Explorers and making a 3-D timeline to study exploration, bringing in multi-media from United Streaming and Discovery.

    I normally hate textbooks, but History Alive is a different story...
     
  37. ancientcivteach

    ancientcivteach Habitué

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    Jem, you might also want to consider certain volumes of A History of US, by Joy Hakim. Very readable and full of interesting stories. They also make a teaching guide. If your charter school doesn't have it, you could probably check the book out from the library. Each volume is about 20 bucks.
     
  38. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    My sons junior year in High School he had 6 male teachers and 1 female spanish teacher. He loved that year. He had some great teachers (well minus his AP Biology teacher). I think that year was pivotal in his choice to go into teaching History. Who knows maybe his dad had something to do with it too :)
     
  39. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Its so hard for me to chose...I guess I'll chose my favorite topics within each class:

    US History I: The Constitution and the Civil War.
    US History II: World War II and the Great Depression
    Western Civ.: The Reformation/Couter Reformation and the High Middle Ages.

    I would really love to teach Civics again. I miss having debates about government's role controling its citizens.
     
  40. LMath85

    LMath85 Companion

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    In my Algebra class, I LOVE teaching factoring. I don't know why, its always been my favorite. I also love graphing.

    I am teaching Geometry first time this year. Not looking forward to proofs, but I love the circles unit as well! Coordinate Geometry proofs too!
     
  41. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    I'm really looking forward to writing with my bunch of third graders--I really think they will get into it!

    With almost all boys, we should have some fun with our simple machines unit in science.

    I will be doing an Olympics unit this winter--can't wait! I had one all planned for the Beijing games, but our school was struck by lightning and we had no computers those 2 weeks. Just about everything I had planned wasn't feasible, because I couldn't even get info to print out for them. This year, I'm hoping to tie in a lot of our math and social studies standards, as well as some reading and writing, of course!
     

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