Common Core

I understand that they are standards.  I believe standards are a good thing.

What concerns me that as of yet no one had defined the goals of our public education system.  What do we think that every student in the United States should be able to do by the time they graduate?

Let’s take math.  Most school require at least four years of math. So are we talking about Year One is addition, Year Two is subtraction, Year Three is multiplication, and Year Four is division.  Seems like an awful long time to learn four skills.

Does everyone need algebra, trig, geometry, solid geometry, calculus, etc.?  I have justified algebra to all students by showing how it teaches logic and how I have used it in remodeling my house.  But a whole year?  And how do you justify graphing, x and y axis, and slope and slant?  I’m seventy-one years old, a college graduate and a teacher, and I have never found a practical use.

I can justify geometry for all students by showing students how to figure out how much paint they need for their room, car or bike.  But a whole year?  And how do you justify points, and lines, and tangents, and segments?I’m seventy-one years old, a college graduate and a teacher, and I have never found a practical use.

I took trig and calc and geometry and got my “A” but haven’t thought about them on a personal level other than when I have seen my students struggling.

So, my question to you is what should be our goal for every student when it comes to math?  Please share the question with everyone and share their responses.  There are a lot of frustrated students, parents and taxpayers wondering the same thing.

No Time Off For Good Behavior

school

 

 

In most, if not all, of the states in the United States education is mandatory for all children of a certain age. Generally, students between the ages of six and eighteen must be receiving education whether public, private or in the home.

They proceed year by year through the system grouped by age and having completed the previous year’s work in English, math, science and social studies. Because of the “promotion by age” process, the academic strengths and weaknesses of individuals cannot be addressed efficiently or at all. No matter how quickly a student masters the subject matter, they must complete twelve years of schooling, Ergo, twelve years with no time off for good behavior or for that matter chance of parole. No matter how hard you work in school, no matter how many extra courses you take, the bottom line for the ninety-nine percent of students is that they have to serve their twelve year sentence.

Stop sentencing our children to twelve years without the possibility of parole or even time off for good behavior.

Make education about competency not “doing their time”.

Think about all those times when you sat through a lesson that you already knew and were bored to tears.

Think about all those times when you could have used to go a little slower to get a lesson but couldn’t.

Think about all the time wasted when the teacher had to discipline fellow students who were bored and acted out.

Think about the highly motivated and talented students for whom there was no hope of advancement because they weren’t yet old enough yet to proceed to the next competency.

Think about the economic advantages.

Think about teachers teaching highly motivated students.

Think about the students who will benefit from their hard work by being able to complete school early and begin their careers.

Think about the parents who will have children who will want to go to school.

After you have thought this through, ask your board of education to justify their current method of promoting students. If they have no good justification, push for “true” competency based education; not competency based in name only.

 

The Secret to Finding Happiness

To introduce an experiment, I asked my students if anyone had found any money in the last month? Their ears perked up. They looked at me to see if they needed to call the principal because i had cracked up.

I asked again, an not a single student raised their hand.

Everyone wants happiness, but very few find it.  The reason is that they are not actively looking for happiness.  We are going to test this theory.

You assignment is to for the next week actively look for money.  Obviously, you may not steal it.  (I always point that out because for them it is not so obvious, and they would like to say that I told them to steal.)  Again I got the crazy looks.

In every class some students always find money.

Do you look for happiness?  Where do you look?  Do you look in the newspaper?  Do you look to your spouse?  Do you look to nature?  Do you look to a pet?

Where you look is not important.  What is important that you start to look and keep on looking.

GOOD LUCK!

How Were They Ever Popular?

Watched a PBS program – fifty years with Peter, Paul, & Mary.   They defintely would not have been successful in today’s music scene.

Their lyrics were intelligible.

Their lyrics had meaning.

They sang in tune.

They harmonized.

Their songs were purposeful.

They were modestly dressed. Noone pulled on his dick during a performance.

Noone’s underwear was visible.

They were not foul mouthed.

They advocated for what would better humanity.

None of their lyrics were degrading of females or gays.

None of their lyrics were racist.

They were anti-war.

How were they able to be so popular for fifty years?

What has changed?

When was the last time you heard a love song from this era in pop music?  By love I mean actual love not sex, or sexting, or hooking up, of FWB.