Saturday, August 27, 2011

Math teacher?

Hmm. I'm teacher algebra II.

A student asked me what the square root symbol on an assignment was.

"that's the square root."...blank stare..."to get a square root ...its the opposite of squaring." couple studentw perk up, "look at problem 7, it asks you to graph the square root of 6, whats the square root."

"three." says one student

Pause. "no, 2 times 3 is 6,"

"I want a calculator."

"sorry we don't have the batteries yet."

"think it this way, you are not trying to find the answer, you just want an about, 1 * 1 is 1, 2 *2 is 4, 3 *3 is 9, so you know the square root of 6 is somewhere between 2 and 3."

"we don't have to know exactly?"

"can you graph decimals exactly?"

Student pauses and asks the real question, "so if we graph an about and we are close, you won't count it wrong."


Thursday, August 25, 2011

technologically behind

I need to learn how to use an Iphone. I have a blackberry which I buy minutes on, that is how much I use it.

But an Iphone. So I can do this....

"This is johnny's teacher. Johnny can't reply to your text, I have confiscated his phone this period."

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


The assignment for a class was "aside from wars, name ten important events in your lifetime."

1. 911
2. fall of the Berlin Wall
3. Moon landing
4. Oklahoma city bombing
5. Challenger explosion
6. Jonestown suicide/massacre
7.Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.
8. Assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan
9. Resignation of Richard Nixon
10. Release of "Star Wars"

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

First test

Student "do we get a word bank?"


What? this is honors 11th grade part of the test is if you can remember the words of the lab equipment. Must find lower grade level teachers and slap the snot out of them.

Geek reading

1. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien (one goal this year is to read it again)
2. The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card The original one, after that couldn't he write about something else?
The Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert did not really understand them until I became an adult, hubby has read the other series, couldn't Kevin J. Anderson write about other characters?
5. A Song Of Ice And Fire Series, by George R. R. Martin
6. 1984, by George Orwell
Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
8. The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov (you know, I guess I need to read it again, because I suspect it really wasn't all that good and I need to see)
Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
11. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman

12. The Wheel Of Time Series, by Robert Jordan
(Dear lord, no.)
13. Animal Farm, by George Orwell
14. Neuromancer, by William Gibson

15. Watchmen, by Alan Moore (Neeeaaaa, I really believe in heroes)
16. I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov
Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein
18. The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss
19. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut (I really should)
20. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
21. Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. Dick
22. The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood (uhm, if I want to read about men mistreating women I just need to get a history book)
23. The Dark Tower Series, by Stephen King (Stephen, step away from the word processor)
24. 2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke
The Stand, by Stephen King
26. Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson
27. The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury
28. Cat's Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut
The Sandman Series, by Neil Gaiman
A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess
Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein
32. Watership Down, by Richard Adams (I tried, I didn't get it)
Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey
The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein
A Canticle For Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller
36. The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells
20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, by Jules Verne
Flowers For Algernon, by Daniel Keys
The War Of The Worlds, by H.G. Wells
The Chronicles Of Amber, by Roger Zelazny
41. The Belgariad, by David Eddings
The Mists Of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley
43. The Mistborn Series, by Brandon Sanderson
44. Ringworld, by Larry Niven
The Left Hand Of Darkness, by Ursula K. LeGuin
46. The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien
47. The Once And Future King, by T.H. White
48. Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman (no, because it really was made for TV)
49. Childhood's End, by Arthur C. Clarke
50. Contact, by Carl Sagan

51. The Hyperion Cantos, by Dan Simmons
52. Stardust, by Neil Gaiman
53. Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson
World War Z, by Max Brooks
55. The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle
56. The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman
57. Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett
58. The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever, by Stephen R. Donaldson (
59. The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold
60. Going Postal, by Terry Pratchett
61. The Mote In God's Eye, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
62. The Sword Of Truth, by Terry Goodkind
63. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy
64. Jonathan Strange, Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke (tried couldn't get past the first 5 chapters)
65. I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson
66. The Riftwar Saga, by Raymond E. Feist
67. The Shannara Trilogy, by Terry Brooks
The Conan The Barbarian Series, by R.E. Howard (and after watching the new movie, I will probably re read them)
69. The Farseer Trilogy, by Robin Hobb
70. The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
71. The Way Of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson
72. A Journey To The Center Of The Earth, by Jules Verne
73. The Legend Of Drizzt Series, by R.A. Salvatore
74. Old Man's War, by John Scalzi
75. The Diamond Age, by Neil Stephenson
76. Rendezvous With Rama, by Arthur C. Clarke
77. The Kushiel's Legacy Series, by Jacqueline Carey
The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. LeGuin
79. Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury
Wicked, by Gregory Maguire
81. The Malazan Book Of The Fallen Series, by Steven Erikson
82. The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde
83. The Culture Series, by Iain M. Banks
84. The Crystal Cave, by Mary Stewart
85. Anathem, by Neal Stephenson
86. The Codex Alera Series, by Jim Butcher
87. The Book Of The New Sun, by Gene Wolfe
88. The Thrawn Trilogy, by Timothy Zahn (Would've been nice if he'd've bothered to see the movies first.)
89. The Outlander Series, by Diana Gabaldan
90. The Elric Saga, by Michael Moorcock (Blood and souls for my -- Oh, just whatever.)
91. The Illustrated Man, by Ray Bradbury
92. Sunshine, by Robin McKinley
93. A Fire Upon The Deep, by Vernor Vinge
94. The Caves Of Steel, by Isaac Asimov
95. The Mars Trilogy, by Kim Stanley Robinson
96. Lucifer's Hammer, by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle
97. Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis
98. Perdido Street Station, by China Mieville
99. The Xanth Series, by Piers Anthony
The Space Trilogy, by C.S. Lewis

Thursday, August 18, 2011


A fellow teacher just told me that a student was locked out of his house by his mother. Seems the mom of the year boyfriend and kid do not get along.

I do not envey our counselor.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

"what fresh hell is this?"

Since I managed to change policy so students in honors may opt out of my Physics class and take AP Biology instead, I have only one Physics class instead of 3.

First thing they did in office. We changed our math schedule, more students are taking Algebra II. I am math certified so I get one class of Alg II.

Normally I have 30 plus students for chemistry. Now I have 66. There will be some attrition, but that is still a lot of students.

Still have an open class in my schedule. I'm perfectly willing to have an extra conference period. Or make it another chemistry class. I already went to the principal once and complained about the load in on chemistry class. I'm already overloading the chem lab stations which means double up off/on, half the class does the lab, half seat work; next day we switch. But one class was too many for me to even do that.

Then I look at the list of students...Jessica?...she has some kind of family issue and a teacher relative comes and sticks her nose into things. Then the kid lies to her mother about what teachers do to her.

Mary? this kid has severe aspergers. She's slapped kids! Granted the little darlings deserved it. She will go on rampages. I'll talk to her mother, maybe she'll sit out of labs and do them with just me during my conference.

Mark? oh heck he's in ALE, who decided he should be in chemistry?

But I still have an open slot. First idea was "any classes you can teach?" Not any out of the approved state list, and either we teach them or they just don't fit into out school. "how about a 'high school skills' class?" "you mean a 'how to be a real human' class?...sure life skills, how to do interviews?" This would work, we even had a job training class that was cut that did the very same thing. I could talk to that teacher and get the stuff.

Now its "your going to teach a Biology lab." "you mean like last year I did math tutoring, now you want me to do Biology? You do know I'm not Biology certified?"

"sure but you don't have to be, just teach them test taking skills for the Biology EOC." Oh Great Bog if I hear test taking skills once more, howabout we teach them the stuff they are supposed to know, like reading, writing and how to talk to a person without a "you know" every other sentence.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

From Staghounds if the Norwegian students had any training on how to deal with shooters they might have not had so many losses.

After the horrible Columbine shootings, I told my children "I do not want to hear that you died hiding. Get with your buddies and charge him, he might take you out, but if you all act he can't take you all out."

Another question from my students when once during a practice lock down. "what would we do if it were a real shooting.?"

"Guys I have an entire chem lab at my disposal." (and yes I have given thought to McGyvering a few handy items, acids on flesh are nasty things.)