Sunday, September 26, 2010

Are the math standards too high?

I just got off the phone with a reporter from a local newspaper. He's preparing an article about No Child Left Behind and the fact that the schools in our district did not make AYP in the area of mathematics.

He asked me this question: "Is the bar too high for math?"

Emphatically no, I replied.

Why do I believe that? As I have watched my own kids come up through elementary school, I observed the heavy, heavy emphasis (dare I say bias?) placed on literacy. The school work kids were bringing home was reading and writing. Homework? Reading and writing. Enrichment? Reading and writing.

I have a degree in English, so believe me, I value literacy. I just can't help but wonder, though, what would happen if we placed the same emphasis on math as we do on literacy, what would happen to our math scores?

I drove by a lot of schools this summer. Wanna know the most common reader board message? "Have a safe summer. READ!"

What if we were broadcasting messages about math?

What if we made it easy to practice math on a daily basis?

I truly believe math achievement is a function of time. We need to spend more time practicing math!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Weekend

We've somehow managed to make it to the weekend -- three weeks of school are under our belt. We sent 100 kids to camp for a week, our HS Band is performing in it's first field show of the year (UPDATE: They placed 3rd), and we had film director Tom Shadyac at our school on Friday to show his new movie, "I AM". It's amazing how many cool things are happening.

But partially because of all those cool things, I find my weekends more often than not devoted to recovery. I just awoke from a nap on the couch. I put on exercise clothes this morning, and am still wearing them in hopes I'll find the motivation to work out -- I need it for many reasons.

I can't help but wonder why I work so hard during the week but find it terribly difficult to be motivated to do anything on the weekend. Totally exhausted. There has to be more balance to life than this.

What do others do to keep that balance between work, home, and health? I'm going to get on the exercise wagon now...