Friday, January 11, 2013

Just Post Something Already

I have so many things running through my mind right now that I simply have no idea where to start. So I am making a list of all the things I really need to get out there and come back.

1. My grading. While I am absolutely loving the way my grading is set up, my kids are absolutely hating it. My grades are low (not that I care). A lot of kids really don't believe that I will not fudge a little and bring them up. The good news about this is that, in general, parents are very supportive once the whole idea is explained. This shift from percentages to not is a lot bigger than I would have expected, and PowerSchool doesn't help matters in that I can't get it to not report each target as a percent. Since there are only two points, it is either an A or F that shows up. This is, of course, what everyone zooms in on.

2. Chemistry Capstones. We are getting there. I came in with a pretty vague idea of what I wanted kids to do, and so as a result, I am getting some pretty vague attempts. I can't really be upset about this, but I really want this to go better. I am debating about the three. Maybe make it one, but make it more involved?

3. My third hour. My goodness, you would think they had never seen a variable before. I have spent the last three days reviewing how to "solve for x" and they still don't seem to have any recognition of algebra. Normally, I would think they are just messing around, but they seem to be legitimately lost.

4. QuarkNet. I am a bit nervous about this for a couple reasons. First and foremost, particle physics seems to overload my brain. And then there is the time it will take to do the activities. I am worried.

5. Online Physics. I have been hired by a nearby community college to develop an online physics class with a lab component. Why I thought I could do this is a little beyond me at this point. It has been ages since I have taught physics, so I am doing quite a bit of brushing up as I go along. I also have no idea how to set up an online class. This is the polar opposite of how I normally teach, so I am really struggling with how to make it more interactive. The lab component is what is really throwing me off. Do you know how hard it is to find a good lab that does not use some type of computer sensor? The students are required to buy a lab kit, but I am trying to keep the cost down. I think I am going to have to break down and have them purchase a motion detector. We are still working out the kinks on that one.

6. Along those same lines...what is a good program to record lectures to upload?

7. 180. My poor blog has been so neglected. My goal is to begin again on Monday, mostly because I have had a lot of people tell me they miss it :) Along these lines...I desperately miss the Global Physics Department....

Oh, and my husband decided to build a house, so my "spare time" has been eaten up by painting and deciding and packing and moving.

Whew. Well, those seem to be the big issues I am dealing with at the moment. I actually feel lighter now that I have it down in black and white. They are all things that need more reflection and I will definitely do that here in the next couple weeks. But, I am going to go home. Take a deep breath. Bake some cookies. And for goodness sake, get the Christmas tree put away.

Have a good weekend!

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