Westward Movement

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I'll take your vote.

Life is very busy these days. It's been hard to find the time to write regularly, though there have been numerous stories to share.

A is a student in my math class. He doesn't like to do homework, and gets little support at home. Bedtime is long past midnight and motivation lacks. After too many missed assignments, we had a little talk about goals and the future. A will go on to middle school next year. I don't want to see him spending every afternoon in detention. I don't want to see him in a class composed of kids who are barely able to work with basic facts. He's a good kid, with good skills and, I believe, a desire to have success.

I asked him to write me a letter, along with his regular math homework, explaining himself a bit. This is the letter content:

Dear Ms. Stern,

I like doing math. It's just that I have difficulties with it. I ask for help at home but everybody is doing something. I want and will do my homework for math. I will try to get good grades for math. Like that I don't get detention in middle school, or also go to a class where students don't know their addition and subtraction. If they have to vote for best teacher for math I would vote for you.


Letting kids know you care, that you are watching, holds more weight than we'll ever know. A's letter gives me a bit more information I'll use to help him. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Taking care of ALL our needs!

My friend Lisa is in the classroom next door to mine. She has provided several experiences in her classroom that have made it to my blog.

This week, Lisa had her students create "maps" of buildings in a colony they are building. We both laughed aloud when we saw this student's interpretation of what he deems an excellent living situation. Notice the "area" next to the bar. Just in case you are not completely comprehending ... cooking area was the intention. Now it's dual purpose.