Category Archives: School

Where?s the towel when you need it?

Aghh, I am ready to throw in the towel in a lot of ways. Frustrations galore in life right now. Why me? I just want to be basic and normal. Why do I care? What must it be like to be really apathetic? To not know and not care?

In just a few days my daily grind will change. Unfortunately I don?t know what those days will be filled with yet. That in itself is pretty unsettling. I want to trust in God to take care of us, but this vulnerability is unbearable.

Just hang in there for 1.5 days and then what? Hold my breath?

I?ll just get to grading these last tests so I can get the senior?s grades ready for tomorrow (Thursday) noon.

Can I Do A “Media Fast”?

In an email from Youth Worker Journal there is a challenge to do  media fast.

Some stats from the Media-Fast website:jan09

  • Americans aged 13 – 18 spend more than 72 hours per week using electronic media?defined as the Internet, cell phones, television, music, and video games. Because teens are known for multitasking, their usage of devices often overlaps.
  • Virgin Mobile USA reports that more than half of their customers aged 15 to 20 sends or receives at least eleven text messages a day, while nearly a fifth text 21 times a day or more.
  • An estimated 75 percent of teens spend two or three hours a day downloading or listening to music online.
  • TV, movies, video games, and Internet use can have serious consequences for children’s health. From obesity and social isolation to early sexual initiation and aggressive and violent behavior, 15 new studies link exposure to media images with a broad range of negative health, behavioral, and lifestyle issues in children and teens.
  • Sixty-nine percent of kids ages six to 14 have TVs in their bedrooms.
  • Fifty-five percent of all online American teens use social networks and have posted a profile online. Forty-three percent say they have been contacted by a stranger online.
  • A multi-university study found that 10- to 19-year olds who played video games spent about 30 percent less time reading and 34 percent less time doing homework than non-players.
  • Fifty-five percent of teens say that electronic gadgets make a statement about who they are.
  • The most frequently cited reason that teens text message is to hang out with friends and relieve boredom. The most common topics are friends and gossip.
  • One study found that teens who used cell phones the most were more likely to be anxious and depressed.
  • By first grade, most children have spent the equivalent of three school years in front of the television.
    Am I ready to try it?

Teaching Math

I know now that some students get it. The other day a student told the rest of the school in chapel that he ?thinks Mr. Paul wants his students to question what they are doing, not just get some mechanical algorithm that is ?done? to a problem.?.

A few years ago I wrote this in a place that I am reminded to look and read it again and again. It is part of a teaching math philosophy that I am always developing. It might need some more refinement but here is a snippet:

I want to lay out a feast (of math) for the students to take, chew, ingest and digest.

I cannot teach them concepts.

I can give them information. They must turn the information into concepts.

I can show them information through modeling and they need to process that information.

Here is something else along that line that I wrote near the end of last school term.

How do I get students to think through and really study examples, whether they are in a text book or on the board? It is easy to ?walk? a student, especially freshmen, through a problem. Later in their schooling it becomes nigh impossible to get them to think and reason.

I?d love to hear what helped you in school, and what really didn?t work for you, as a student  or as a teacher.

Technology humor

I?m doing some reading about open source and getting a linux server running with two open source projects; SchoolTool and UniTime, and I came across this joke. Enjoy.

As much as I love the Y2K compliant Office App…
0) Geeks will argue which pen and which paper is the best.
1) The Gentoo crowd will make their own paper from pulp.
2) Where’s the ^H on Pen?
3) There are some serious latency issues
4) Sometimes the output is so horrible that others can’t read the file.
5) Sometimes the output is so horrible that I can’t read my own file.
6) You can backspace on a word processor. You can shake an etch-a-sketch. If you mess up on paper, you need new hardware.