Attendance was light today, as always on the day before a holiday like Thanksgiving or Christmas break. My eleventh grade engineering class was close to being there in full force [of those who are normally there], which I was proud of. That group I have developed a positive relationship with, and made clear I was expecting them today, and that we would be learning/doing new things today. My tenth grade geometry class was much fewer in number. They are (relatively) new to the program/academy, and I haven’t built up as good a relationship with them yet. It is also last period – some who had come earlier in the day may have left out by then for an early Thanksgiving break.
A few students who came today said they weren’t doing anything in other classes, why am I making them do work? I wish that, like other school systems, we had today off. Or at least a half day, like other systems. But if we are here and have school, it is a normal day of lessons: we are learning new things, and the work we are doing is important. I try to emphasize that to students in my explanations, as well as show by example.
In Geometry, we completed an exploration into how to construct a circle that goes through three predetermined points. This is one of the top three skills related to circles that we learn. Those who finished early played a game of polygon capture. In the small setting, I was able to really push their thinking about why certain things were true (i.e. proofs of what/how we were constructing circles).
In CIM, we reviewed reading programs that control a robotic arm, worked on analyzing them critically, both answering questions and filling in missing parts of a program. This is a skill vital to their understanding of the work we do in the class (reading, writing, and analyzing programs of different types is probably 75% of the course material) and therefore also important to the final exam that can help them earn college credit for their engineering coursework while still in high school. After that, students added to their online portfolios.