Marine Studies Spring 2014 starts on the 27th. I am not ready. We are not ready. We are insane. Three of us will be teaching a two block class. In two consecutive blocks, students need to learn content for Ecology, for ½ of their grade level language arts (the writing half), math, and marine industry standards. I am in charge of math for 16 students whose levels range from pre-algebra to post-algebra 2 and share responsibility for writing standards for four grade levels.
We have promised project based learning, which I have never done before this year. We have promised standards based grading (whew, I tried that last year, so it’s not completely new.) We have the first project planned, sort of. Last summer we talked about other projects, but it is feeling very nebulous at this point. We have weekly meetings, but otherwise only talk when we catch each other in the hallway. There is a facilitator to help, thank god, but we just haven’t put enough time in.
I have my algebra 1 standards. Kids at pre-algebra will get supplements to catch them up. I have my algebra 2 standards. Kids who might have taken geometry will get algebra 2. Geometry can come next year. But I don’t know what to do for my one post-algebra 2 kid. It looks like stats. Stats would be a good fit, since every project we do will involve looking at data. But I don’t have a scope and sequence for stats; and my text is not core aligned; and I have never taught stats. Twitterverse, I hope you respond to the plea I posted.
I have until the 27th to wrap my head around the stats and generate a list of standards for the student (and me). Or maybe the 28th, since the first class is a planned field day. I really don’t want to have to make it up as I go along, but I can’t just follow the text either. Not in a project based setting. Did I say we were insane?
I hope to document this semester of insanity. I’m afraid the load is going to be too heavy to allow time for reflection, but I think the reflection is going to be critical to keeping the course moving forward. At the least, I will be able to look back and say hey, remember when we tried that crazy course?