Monthly Archives: April 2013

Homework stamping

My homework process:

  1. Students do homework in spiral notebook, Cornell Notes formatted, right-hand pages only.
  2. I check and stamp homework each morning, usually at the very beginning of class. A stamp goes on the homework and the homework log. (See link.)
  3. I record homework each Friday.

At each desk, I’m looking for both the log (colored paper) and the homework to be visible as I arrive at the desk. I glance at the homework for apparent content, including assignment, name/date/period, Cornell questions and summary, boxed answers. Each visit generally takes less than 10 seconds, especially with an assistant operating the stamp.

Homework log



Supplies (non-digital)

What do you want?

I want:

  • Paper, including colored paper
  • Protractors, compasses, rulers
  • Cheap scientific calculators
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Other cleaning supplies
  • EXPO markers
  • Wire baskets for papers
  • Cubby/pigeonholes for paper distribution
  • Bookshelf
  • Three-ring binders
  • Laser pointer
  • Laser printer
  • Whiteboard geometry supplies, including compass and protractor
  • Origami paper
  • Patty paper
  • Colored pencils
  • Glue Sticks
  • Post-Its
  • Stapler and staples
  • Paperclips
  • Tape dispenser and tape
  • Three-hole punch
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Easel and sheets of easel-size paper
  • Paper trimmer
  • Clipboard

Department services

Can we commit to services the department as a whole will provide?

  • CAHSEE prep in all math & science classrooms throughout the year (five minutes a week or a day).
  • CAHSEE bootcamp in the beginning of second semester.
  • MDTP during the first week, to identify at-risk math students, resulting in remediation.
  • A posted tutoring schedule for all math teachers (and all math students).

Department guidelines

Some things to think about, for guidelines or expectations: what do we expect from all the RMHS math students?

  • In final answers, fractions are simplified.
  • Rounding, when implied or specified, is the last step.
  • Units are always included.
  • To solve equations, work down one equation at a time, with equal signs vertically stacked. Do not mix arithmetic into this sequence. (E.g., putting long division right in the middle of the series of equivalent equations.)
  • Use equal signs to show that two expressions are equivalent, not to mean “and here comes my next step.”

What tools could we tell them to bring?

  • Two sharp pencils.
  • One dark-ink pen.
  • Lined paper.

What skills?

  • Multiplication facts (up to 12×12).
  • Addition and subtraction facts.
  • Memorize perfect squares up to 202.
  • Memorize perfect cubes up to 103.
  • Know how to multiply and divide by powers of ten.

Algebra 1 paths

I notice in the course offerings two important items:

  • We are not offering Integrated Math.
  • We are offering an Algebra 1 Strategic class.

The Strategic class requires concurrent enrollment in Algebra 1 and is determined by low CST results. Is this then only for repeaters? (In other words, it’s not for freshman Algebra 1 students who did bad in 8th grade.)

Do we have a plan for the students who marginally pass Algebra 1 as freshmen? It looks as if they go into Geometry, followed by Algebra 1. So we’ll have students in Algebra II CP have gotten a D- in Algebra 1 and another D- in Geometry.

Any alternatives to this? Is this an individual decision, made in the Counseling office?

Course Catalog

Assigning higher-level classes

We’ll be adding Calculus, Pre-Calculus, and Statistics over the next couple years. Who will get those? Will they go to us, the first crew? Or will we keep our current assignments, and we’ll bring in new hires to pick up the higher-level classes?

Will the department get an opportunity to contribute our thoughts to this process?

When will Chris and Ken create this year’s master schedule?

All iPads, all the time!

Very excited about this iPad idea. Is it official? This year?

How does it work? Do the kids carry them around? For the kids who don’t have access at home, is the textbook stored on the iPad, so it’s completely accessible?

Do we tell ETIS what we want on our iPads and on our students’ iPads? Can the students then install and upgrade their own apps? Who maintains our iPads? (It’s been a real hassle for the teachers at PSHS who have access to the iPad cart to keep them maintained. We check them out all day, and then run upgrades on all the individual iPads during our down moments that day.)

What if they drop or lose it? Yes, I understand there is insurance. (Is there also a contract and replacement fee?) How soon is a lost or broken iPad replaced? Do we have a set in the classroom for borrowing in class? How do they do homework then?

Will the students sign up for BYOD? Will a student’s own smart phone or tablet serve as a backup device?