Monday, January 28, 2008


I'm sick so had to skip out on most of the buyback day today, but will be in class tomorrow! Tylenol rocks...

Finishing up Quadrilaterals this week for Geometry; point-slope form for Algebra. Triathlon Meeting on Friday and some swimming stuff during the week.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

on teacher-student relationships

It's cool how we work and work and work and -- somewhere along the way are often able to become more than just math teachers to our students!

Today I was working out with some students - just three guys today... but one new guy to the Triathlon Team which is great, a kid from a different high school who I'm starting to get to know through Winter Water Polo as well, and another kid that started out as just a cross country kid and was also in my student teaching class - 3 school years ago! So it was a good group.

We biked about 5 miles then ran probably only about a mile and a half or so, but it was all hills and stuff so it was hard! Sprint up the hill, do 5 jumping jacks, back down, 5 pushups, and we did that four times! I was sweating for sure when we finished! Afterward we went to Riteaid to get some water and such... good times.

Anyway, I mention all that to talk about the subject line. As I've gotten to know about a dozen students really, really well over the past few years, I'm amazed at how much they in turn know about me even though I don't really talk about myself that much. I mean, some of them even know what radio station presets the Suburban has; ask me when the last time I got it oil changed, etc. And there is a growing list of stories and inside jokes ("We left Sovann @ the gas station... check for carrots...). I was talking with some students today and noted that I am simpily enabling them to "do their thing" in regards to sports. Sure, I set the tone, the rules, and provide the means - but this is THEIR triathlon club. It is the students who last year succeeded in being the first organized high school triathlon club in the Central Valley - and one of a handful in the US, if not the world. Can't wait to see what will happen in 2008!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Good second week

Twas a good second week! Had a nice meeting with my BTSA provider this morning as we assessed student work based on projections (some kids I thought would do well didn't; likewise some students I thought wouldn't do well did great!)

I gave them two point (-4,-5) and (4,5) and they had to completely put it into slope-intercept form without any notes. this week we went from reviewing slope on Monday to point-slope on Tuesday and Wednesday, and yesterday practiced this. Most did very well and I was pretty proud of them! These are my second-year algebra students...

Gotta go get some Carl's Jr. for lunch today! I'm hungry. Last night dinner was a frito boat because I went from coaching winter water polo (4-6pm) to dropping kids off from that to working the basketball game to sell license plate frames for Turning Points Academy, the learning community I'm in. ( Got hoem from that and i Was tired!

This weekend will be busy as well! Tonight goin out to dinner with the girlfriend Meagan and some colleagues from school, tomorrow morning working out on the bike, afternoon doing a nice workout again (should have more kids and volunteers tomorrow!), and Monday doing a service project with some volunteers from Fresno Pacific University and my students. Sunday will be spent planning the week's lesson and finishing up grading today's quiz.

Today my geometry students will have to draw and completely label a parallelogram such as a rhombus, square or rectangle. probably rectangle cuz we did those yesterday... i'm off to get food and caffeine!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Good Bike/Run Workout

Today went running and biking with some (mostly new) Triathlon kids. Thanks to Kristina for coming to volunteer... (last time she came with us she fell and had to go to the hospital for stitches and a concussion! :-( )

It was a good time! I ran 4 miles and biked just two, some kids biked as much as 8 miles on a somewhat hilly course and combinations in between. Very positive kids and it was really fun to hear and see friendships between the kids start to develop (no one knew more than one other kid before today's 4 hour outing)... including getting free donuts from one of the kids brothers on the way home!)

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

3 new websites

I made three new websites over the break: (for all information regarding McLane Water Polo) (for the Fresno PAL Triathlon Team - the regular Fresno PAL website is out of commission currently) (I'm proud of this one! It will be an actual website for my students! Not perfect - the images on the practice quiz don't work, for example - but it really can send me their results as they test themselves throughout the unit! And they for sure have internet access this semester because we're out @ Fresno State!)

Today I spent an hour or so working on documents for BTSA (Beginning Teacher Support and Assistance or something like that. just like being an intern but without classes).

Monday, January 7, 2008

First day

Ahh, the first day of the semester at Fresno State! Always a good time... watching the kids get used to being on the big bad campus and all that.

Seriously, I was reflecting that last year I saw teaching as an adventure - each time I had to do something new, like give a District test, the State Graduation test, fill out a CPS report, etc. was new and kind of exciting. Not so much anymore! I want to regain that sense of wonder this semester.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Snow Trip

Today I took some triathlon kids (7) to the snow and we had a good time. Tiring though too! It's only 8:45 and I may go to bed soon... actually no, I'll probably go to the gym for a bit! Might as well... doing a duathlon this weekend I'm not ready for!

Extra trips like this are the core of what I do. It's all about building community for the kids and letting them know there is a group of people they can and should share experiences with. Regardless of whether or not I end up helping create a successful aquatics program at my school, these are the kinds of trips and memories that high school is created for.

Also got a chance while dropping kids off to talk with parents - including a new one of a kid that hadn't been on a triathlon trip before and he seemed to have a great time today which was gratifying. He's also one of my students.

School starts next Monday; tomorrow I guess I'll be doing some prep time and going to school too for room cleanup and getting ready for some new projects we'll be kicking off in January. fun stuff...