Friday, September 27, 2013

Equalization, equality and life.

Equalization kicked in this week.
Like everything else in education it isn't anything like it sounds. What it means is students get their programs switched around so that class sizes are supposed to be equal.

What it means to me is that new people show up in the Resource Room at the exact moment I think I've gotten through initial assessments.

Monday Simon showed up.
Me:  What year are you in?
Simon:  Sophomore year.
Nina:  Weren't  you a junior last year?
Simon:  I mean senior, I'm a senior.

And I think no one ever pays attention to my questions.

But I assure the group that it is okay to count backwards sometimes.   I , myself, have that plan for birthdays I tell them.  I will subtract a year at each birthday until I reach 39.  Then I add, I wonder who will make it to 39 first, them or me.

Nina:  How old are you?
Me:  Its not polite to ask a woman her age, but we should reach 39 about the same time.
Simon:  Then you're 61.

Now why is "What year are you in?" a difficult question, but when it comes to calculating my age he can do it with lightening speed?

Fourth period I teach geometry to a  self contained class. The theory is we give the same  "rigorous, college preparatory,"  curriculum to all classes.  Even the ones that by definitions are composed of students testing way below grade level.

And I am told a  highly effective teacher closes that achievement gap.

I am not sure exactly how to digest this information but thanks to such wonderful blogs like,Math= Love and i is a Number I've have a few new tricks up my sleeve.. This week we did the line segment addition postulate.  I had students cut out rulers, paste them in their notebook and paste various line segments underneath to illustrate the postulate.


When I taught early childhood special education, we did almost the exact same activity with Cuisenaire rods.

After we finished I sat with Efraim and worked these problems.

Efraim told me he had no idea how to do them.  Unlike the my  blog writers mentors (who just to continue the algebraic  age  puzzle)  are probably about the following age:

Mentor blog writer = My age
I was not having a lot of success.

Maybe I should have gotten out the Cusinaire Rods

Meanwhile Kenneth was  sitting behind us calling out the correct answers to the more complicated equations , and insinuating that this was  "f*******" kindergarten.

So what equations can I use to describe this situation?

None at all.
Forget equalization.
There is nothing equal about any of this.

You can equalize class sizes- maybe

But you can't equalize brain cells.

Efraim and I will work more on the equations.
I will speak with Kenneth about appropriate language, and give him something harder to keep him busy.
I will make sure Nina and Simon apply the same speedy calculations to their current math classes as they do to figuring out my age.

That's just what special education teachers do.

But it won't be equal.
Life just isn't that fair.

PS:  I'm not quite 61, yet- I said  about  the same amount time - not exactly.


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