Until today, I have put most of my energy into getting involved in and then taking the lead in the two algebra 1 classes I have. This morning, my CT asked me if I would be willing to take the lead in the Algebra 2 honors classes. She said she knew it was short notice, but in exchange she offered to take both algebra 1 classes. I said sure, but probably looked a little uncertain. After all, I haven’t done anything to prepare. Although I had looked at the task the day before, and felt comfortable with the material (factoring quadratics), I didn’t have any idea what the homework covered. So first period (one of our algebra 1 classes), I got out the book and did the homework from the night before. Then I got the task key out and went over that more closely.

I was really grateful that I did the homework, instead of trying to wing it, for a couple of reasons. For one, during our homework checks our students tend to ask a *lot* of questions. Often, it is not enough for them to be shown that something works. They want to know why. Having the math worked out ahead of time at least insured that I could demonstrate how to do the factoring without making any errors, which let me focus on thinking about why things worked the way they did. Second, during task work I actually wound up carrying the worked out homework around with me, and used it to demonstrate some principles to the students. I even got compliments on how nice my work looked.

Leading the class actually turned out to be easier than I thought. I sometimes struggle with knowing the right pace with my algebra 1 students, but I feel like my natural pace is just about right for the alg 2 honors kids. And because most of these students actually like math and want to learn, I wind up getting in to a lot of great mathematical conversations. I also worry less that challenging them to think will cause them to stop, rather than work harder (my intended response).

Late in the morning, my CT explained why she wanted me to take the lead in Algebra 2 Honors. She thought she might need to miss work two days next week, and wanted to make sure I got a chance to get up in front of all of the classes before that happened. So although we’ll have a sub who, in theory, can lead the class, I’ll be teaching all day Monday and Friday. And yes, that’s Friday, the last day before the break. But I am excited – I feel like I have a good rapport with all of my students. I know what to do in every class individually… this will be a chance to see what it’s like to have a whole day.

## Robin said,

December 10, 2010 at 1:34 pm

You have to do something FUN on the last day before break.

## Sarah Woolley said,

December 10, 2010 at 2:26 pm

Oh we are… we’re playing a strategy game. Far too many of our students are really lacking in that skill.