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Keeping the Motivation Flame Bright through November - Page 9

post #161 of 305

Yeah. You know what, why the heck not?! 

 

Sparkle, check your email.

 

It's one of those Sundays when I have to figure out how to be in two opposite places at once. Gonna be interesting. 

 

RR: 10 easy with my favorite running partner, Mike. He took me on a conservation lands trail I didn't even know about in my town, but across the highway. We had a pretty brisk pace but it didn't feel too bad.

post #162 of 305
Thread Starter 
Nic - pm-ing you

Jo - The charter school we are looking at is an IB school (that school is also really interesting pedagogically Nic winky.gif), so I'd be interested to hear more about that as well ...
post #163 of 305

Gah! I just realized that I never copied over the race list and results from October?! Sorry! I will keep it updated over there and copy it to the first page of December. I must have been snoozing.

 

I don't have any personal experience with IB, but my nephews go to an excellent IB high school, ranked really high for the nation. They love the school, the faculty (mostly) and the curriculum, and feel that their kids are getting a great education. As for AP, my DD has taken several and currently has 4 AP classes in her senior year. I know most of what she has taken would transfer over to her first choice college, but frankly, that's not why she is taking it. I assume she will attend undergraduate school for 4 years anyway and so I don't really see AP as a way to cut the cost of college. She wants to be in the best and most challenging courses the school offers, whether that earns her college credit or not.

 

JG: check the trees! Our cat that was up in a tree for 3 nights before he finally came down of his own accord. I hope he turns up!!

 

Lofty :hug I also wish your life could have more of that comforting stuff.

 

RR: nada.

post #164 of 305
Thread Starter 
Mel38 - I was interested in AP not for cutting college short, as I explained to him, but so that my kids could take more of what they want in college rather than a series of requirements before getting to what they want. I did not take AP classes, and had to take many classes that I wouldnt have or didnt feel that I needed (English 1A/B ehem) I would rather have double majored in 4 years, ya know

nic - did you send it to the email I use on the yahoo group. I posted there this am if you want to check...
post #165 of 305

Sparkle: Ah, yes, that's a great reason to get those classes out of the way.

 

Another way to look at it, though, is that every oh-so-introductory class in college may be that professor who really speaks to you, that class in your freshmen year where you sit next to your future best friend, or just some repeated material that that gives your schedule some room for another class that requires extra time. All just my very unprofessional, non-academic (and probably more than a little sentimental) view of things. I feel like kids are pushed to get things done earlier these days, but doesn't maturity play into it a little bit? Will a literature class at 16 replace a literature class at 19? I know I changed quite a lot at that age and found the classroom discussions to be so much more enlightening in college than in HS. But then again, I certainly was in no danger of double-majoring in anything back in those days :o:lol

 

Gaye - my mood these days is what-the-hell, have the turkey dinner! They are going to :throb you, how could they not!? And as for DS, maybe a little extra-special treat for extra-good behavior? That's right, I'm not above bribery. bag.gif

post #166 of 305
Thread Starter 
Mel38 - yeah, totally agree. and I tend to micro-manage and overthink. must. stop. redface.gif
post #167 of 305
kerc~Really? Hooray! Hopefully we can squeeze in a visit...that will be right in between an olympic triathlon that weekend before and the Courage Classic bike ride the weekend after, so I'll probably have to be working most of the time between...

jaygee~Hope your dad continues to improve and your cat reappears!

nic~Seriously, you should look into it! I would totally road trip down to NM for a dingo meet-up, if I can!


It is now noon on Sunday, and while my house is slightly cleaner, that's about it. No Christmas decorations yet. The turkey has not gone in the oven. I am still sitting on the couch in my sweaty running clothes, nagging DS to get his book report done so we can start doing the Christmas decorations. Sigh. Of course, I had to work Friday night, so I got a whopping 3 1/2 hours of sleep yesterday morning, got up to get the turkey brining, do a quick cleaning job on the bathrooms, and then headed out to a watch party for the IM Kona telecast. C and I went to a hockey game (without DS, ahh...) last night, so that about did it for yesterday. This morning I did a group run (where I got to finally meet my new coach in person) and now it's really time to get motivated and cooking and decorating.

rr~6 miles with the group this morning. Kind of...there were ridiculously fast people today, nobody really even close to my pace, especially my post-marathon-tired-legs pace. There was one girl who was really nice (and self-confessed overly social orngtongue.gif) who hung back to run with me, so I had company. I really had no plan for how far I was going to go, and there was a crazy headwind on the way out, so 6 miles seemed like plenty. Now I really want a nap, but alas...no time for that...
post #168 of 305

As for APs.....yes, well, I teach them.

 

And I am sorry that I do, in some ways. On the one hand, my school offers them because it wants to seem competitive, and offer the most 'rigorous' academic course work. I don't necessarily agree that an AP = most rigorous, so to speak, but I do get that in the competition of private/religious high schools vs. good public ones (like the one near where I teach), parents will want to see APs as a 'measure' of 'academic intensity.'

 

As for teaching them, I am of two (only two? maybe more) minds about it. On the one hand, it gives me an opportunity to teach at an accelerated, almost-college pace to a self-selected group of motivated kids who are interested in the material and can handle critical thinking and stretching their brains. I like this. They *chose* to be in the class, they *want* to be in the class. I love the way I see their brains develop and rise to meet the challenges I pose.

 

I don't like, however, teaching to a test. Therefore I don't, not really. I make sure they cover the 'material' in reading, and we work a LOT on writing skills, thematic analysis, historiography, etc. I try to teach 'past' the test. But there is, on May 14th, a test. And so I do spend more time than I'd like teaching how to play the multiple choice strategy game, etc. 

 

I also don't like knowing that for some of them, this is a way to exempt out of a course they might otherwise take in university and really like. But for others, it's a taste of what they can experience in college and it induces them to take a history or political science class when they otherwise might not. So I think that is a wash, truth be told. Most schools don't give college credit anymore for APs but many do exempt you out of a prerequisite if you make a 4 or 5 on the AP. I don't have a problem with that; it frees time to go to a more intensive, subject-specific course (rather than an intro survey) and get right into the 'meat' of the discipline. 

 

I like the IB structure, actually and I wish we had it. We are simply too small to offer that kind of comprehensive, longitudinal curriculum. It's too bad.

post #169 of 305
On my phone: don't discount the value of teaching how to take the test. That skill is useful!
post #170 of 305

I deal with a similar issue with nursing students- we're preparing them for nursing practice and for a licensing exam. A lot of our exams are multiple choice to "get used to" the kinds of exam questions they'll encounter. I spend time dissecting questions and talking about test strategies to help with testing skills, but it's a small component of being a good nurse.

 

One of our local high schools offers IB courses. As with AP, there is a lot of focus on the test in the local IB program, though I'm not sure how different this is from the focus on Provincial exams in regular/honours high school academic courses. We're a bit less test-intensive in Canada in general, though (no SATs, GRE is pretty rare, etc.)

 

Last night's dance was terrific, and my youngest stayed on stage with all of the fiddlers despite only knowing two of the songs. I even worked up a bit of a sweat dancing.

Today we went rock climbing and to an art opening (the second art opening of the weekend!) and are having a mellow evening at home with my husband away in Victoria overnight to see his rheumatologist in the morning. Tonight's plan is edits and final draft of my term paper and getting ready to move on with end of semester work/study.

post #171 of 305
Yes, on the nursing exam. It really has nothing whatsoever to do with one's ability to be a good nurse, sadly. rolleyes.gif

Well, my house is not clean, nor is it decorated for Christmas. The stockings are up, as is the wreath and the mini tree that sits by the front door. Alas, when I put up the tree, the very top part decided that it wasn't going to light up this year. irked.gif After a fruitless search for a loose or missing bulb, I gave up. C took a look at it when he came over and thinks he can fix it, so the tree is up, but not decorated. I've pretty much decided that if it can't be fixed, we'll just decorate it the way it is (it's only the top foot or so that isn't lighting up) and get a new tree for next year. But, futzing with it took up way too much time, so between that and cooking, I didn't get any of the other decorations up. Oh well. Our semi-minimalist thanksgiving dinner (turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, and cornbread muffins from a mix) was delicious, even if it did take me way longer than expected and made a giant mess. I packed up a ton of the leftovers for C to take home to his parents, since apparently they were disappointed that he didn't invite them over since they won't get thanksgiving dinner while they're in Cozumel. lol.gif It really was a good decision not to invite them, it was way too much of a mess and stress for a first meeting, but that really kind of cracked me up when he told me that. And, I did in fact end up meeting them today, after all since C ended up finishing his bike ride at my house since dinner was almost ready. So, I gave him a ride home and met them. It was short and sweet and I think it went well. And I had DS with me, and he pretty much behaved himself. orngtongue.gif
post #172 of 305
tjsmama--glad meeting the parents went well!!

1jooj--I've heard all good things about IB. I don't know all the specifics, but everyone seems to agree that those are excellent programs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kerc View Post

And also Gaye and Real: family reunion in Breckenridge July 15-19.  See you guys 2 x in one year! 

Woohoo! Breck is close (enough) to Denver or our little trailer in the mountains, so I'll be there one way or the other. That's a perfect area for a family reunion too. My family stayed in that area on vacation for several summers and the hiking and and biking and all is great. There are several paved trails that are reasonable in the area.

AP: I like AP classes a great deal. Some of this is because they do fill a need in teaching the students who've mastered the high school level of a subject and need more of a challenge. In the three AP courses I took, there was no teaching to the test or discussions of test strategy. At some point in the spring, our teachers handed out a practice test so we could be more familiar with it. In my music theory class, he mumbled something about there also being ear training on it...we hadn't studied that at all. Thankfully I had been doing that kind of work with my piano teacher and I managed to score a 4. That got me out of the first semester of music theory. I can say with a great deal of assurance that skipping that semester was not a loss in any way. I'd spent plenty of hours being bored in school. Why start out college only to be bored again? I got 4s on the English and history tests too, but then I got into the honors college and we had an 8-credit interdisciplinary block of English/history/theology/random stuff--but I still got AP credit and that translated into senior standing by junior year which made my roommate and I eligible for first-floor rooms which had their own private bathroom. Do not underestimate the importance of a private bathroom at a university that required students to live in campus dorms until they were 21. Best. thing. ever.
lol.gif

Also yes, I was also a double major with a minor who still had too much time on her hands and decided that editing the student newspaper would be a good use of time when she could otherwise be sleeping, so there's that. We could take overloads without paying extra, so I felt like I ought to get my money's worth. I even took overloads while editing the newspaper. That was probably insane but I'm still here to tell the tale with no regrets.

It may be that too many students take AP classes despite the fact that they're not really ready for it, and that's a concern. We shouldn't be pushing students into those. But the crowd that's trying to discredit the AP tests reminds me of the people who think GT services shouldn't be offered or that GT kids aren't really GT, or that only the .0001% of the most brilliant kids in the nation should be GT and the rest should suck it up in a regular classroom and hope for differentiation. Maybe in theory class sizes would be small enough and teachers would have enough resources that we could meet each student where they are, no matter how extreme they might be on a spectrum, but it's not realistic. So the students to self-select to take AP courses are either qualified to be there, do well on the test and don't suffer from missing out on an intro-level class, or they aren't quite ready but still benefited from what they learned and are more prepared than their colleagues who didn't when they sit in that intro-level class the next year.
post #173 of 305
Real - so I see this "no sleep" thing has been going on for a while lol.gif!

AP classes - I took AP English and AP Biology in High school and also took the exams (although I have no recollection how I did, and Colby didn't accept AP exams anyway). My AP Bio was, hands down, the BEST class I have ever taken, college, grad school, or otherwise. Honestly, WAY better than the giant intro to Bio lecture I took my freshman year. I don't remember any "teaching to the test", but of course, this was 1985-1986, so things might have changed a bit since then.

tjsmama - glad your mini-Thanksgiving dinner was good and that you got the chance to meet C's parents anyway.

MelW - I can just picture your little one, fiddling away at the dance!

NRR - the sickness continues. DD2 went to bed last night with a fever of 102.2, so she'll be home from school again today. I feel a little better, but still not perfect. Jake the Cat is still MIA greensad.gif. My Dad's infection is still a mystery. Expecting a lot of auction baskets to be delivered today, since it's the deadline. I am really not loving my life right now. At least my eating is on target. Otherwise, I'd be a total mess.
post #174 of 305

fly by post:

 

RR: treadmill is calling my name today.  Also have been doing squats and lunges.  Today I'm in the planning stages.  My RP caught up with me at church yesterday and told me she is thinking about another marathon!!  LOL!!  So cool!

 

NRR: getting meal plans together, tired of the eat crap/feel like crap that I've been living lately.

post #175 of 305
Thread Starter 
AP: yeah, I think what he was saying is that the time students spend on AP curriculum comes as a trade off for other, more meaningful advanced work, like deep projects. He described it as a narrower but deeper focus vs. thin coverage of a lot of subjects. I can see the up and down sides of both, but I like the idea of high school students getting to do 'real' college level work and not just study for a test that shows the college that they are ready for real college work, if that makes sense. He said that the colleges he talks to about his students tell him that they are very prepared for advanced college work, and that if the students want to place out of intro. courses, many colleges will work with them to find the best 'placement'. Also, some of the kids at this private school have presented the research they've done for their senior thesis at conferences where they are the only high school students.

As for GT, AP, teacher resources, class size, and tracking vs. not tracking, I dont think we will ever have a 'solution'. This conversation has been at the forefront of ed. theory and policy since forever, and I dont know if we're any closer to an equitable, substantive solution greensad.gif
post #176 of 305
Dropped off my "baby" at school for the first time ever. Sniff. Not caring at all about AP for now. lol.gif He got the class he wanted that had the friend from football and baseball. There were 11 kids in his class. He makes 12. I hovered as long as I could until the principal came along and spent 15 minutes with me talking about how she still hovers over her son who is a sophomore in college. That made me feel better. They've already recruited him for the Chess team. Sniff.

JG, you have a lot going on. Glad you're eating well b/c I know that helps. Hope kitty shows up and your dad is better soon!

RM, eat well. You, also, have too much going on! orngbiggrin.gif

RR: No exercise today. My stomach is in knots bc I have so much stress in my life right now. I just want to curl up with my stack of books, my cat and a dark chocolate bar. Grateful my 13yo is on auto-pilot and happy.
post #177 of 305
Quote:
Originally Posted by loftmama View Post

Dropped off my "baby" at school for the first time ever. Sniff. Not caring at all about AP for now. lol.gif He got the class he wanted that had the friend from football and baseball. There were 11 kids in his class. He makes 12. I hovered as long as I could until the principal came along and spent 15 minutes with me talking about how she still hovers over her son who is a sophomore in college. That made me feel better. They've already recruited him for the Chess team. Sniff.

JG, you have a lot going on. Glad you're eating well b/c I know that helps. Hope kitty shows up and your dad is better soon!

RM, eat well. You, also, have too much going on! orngbiggrin.gif

RR: No exercise today. My stomach is in knots bc I have so much stress in my life right now. I just want to curl up with my stack of books, my cat and a dark chocolate bar. Grateful my 13yo is on auto-pilot and happy.


((Dana))

Go for a walk. Move the body.  At least keep the chocolate bar across the room so you have to get up off your rear and go collect your chocolate bar.

post #178 of 305
lol.gif Good idea, Kerc. It's almost 1/2 a mile to the mailbox. I'll get off my butt, take a walk, eat some healthy lunch and see if that choc bar is still calling my name. thumb.gif
post #179 of 305

:Hug Lofty. I hope it's good.

 

Craziness in this house. Busy dh with travel ahead. I think I got my visa today (maybe? but kids didn't so the drive yesterday is still justified). Cleaned house today after the dust storm, tutor comes tomorrow, book club Wednesday (and we are still reading), Thursday another tutoring day...and rain is forecast for Friday!? Tomorrow afternoon should happen on a beach, I think.

post #180 of 305

I hope Dane had a great first day.  12 kids in a class sounds like an excellent introduction into schooling.

 

More on AP later... Not surprisingly, I have opinions.  I'm impossibly behind in work after a 90 hour week last week (unheard of from me, and hopefully not repeated for a good, long, time!)

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