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Thursday, March 02, 2006

Shot down, in a blaze of fire

I am so glad that tomorrow is Friday. My carpal tunnel syndrome has really been aggravating me. For the past two days, I have been wearing one of those wrist braces – you know, the kind that makes it looks like I’m going on the professional bowling tour. Of course, the kids keep asking me, “Mister Teacher, what happened to your hand?” I just told them, “I’m just trying to be more like a super hero!” Now I am Mister Iron Fist. Well, I guess I’m really more like Mister Rigid Plastic and Polymer Blend (with Delicate Weave!) Right now, I am trying out one of those voice-recognition software systems. 52 were pretty well, oil fingers car city. (That was supposed to be, “It seems to be working pretty well, all things considered.) And hey, it’s only taken me 30 minutes to compose this paragraph!
Today, we practiced elapsed temperature problems in class. That’s right, ELAPSED temperature problems. When I was in school, I’m pretty sure we never did anything like this, certainly not in the third grade. In fact, I don’t even think I heard the word elapsed until after I had my master’s degree in engineering! But anyway, it’s on the curriculum, so it must be taught. The problems are all of this sort:

This morning, the temperature outside was 74ºF. By the afternoon, it had risen to 88ºF. What was the change in temperature?

After seeing this on the test my very first year teaching, and realizing what difficulty my kids were having with it, I’ve started practicing the skill with them much earlier in the year. So most of them have gotten pretty good at it, but a few of them always want to add the numbers, regardless of how high they are or what they mean. Yes, B, the temperature went up 162 degrees today! Let’s not stop to consider whether or not that makes any sense, let’s just add numbers, because adding is fun! Whenever I see a kid who has chosen such an answer, I always ask them, “Do you realize how hot that is? If it ever got that hot, we would all die! There would be fires! Earthquakes!! Dogs and cats living together!!! MASS HYSTERIA!!!!”
Sadly, they never seem to take the hint. We’ll just see how they do on the test tomorrow, and see who still thinks we’re living inside a furnace.


Anonymous said...

Hey Mister ...
Wide Ruled here from AW. I haven't quite put my finger on why I relate to your sense of humor so well, but your blog is a fun read. I'm your biggest fan ... hehehe (hoping that comes off a bit like Kathy Bates in Misery). Not to worry tho, I doubt we will have any blizzards in our neck of the woods. I'll stop in occasionally on the blog front. Keep up the good work.

Moo Cows of Death said...

This is quite a funny blog, I particularly like the post on temperature fluctuation.

I am working on my blog as we speak, so go check it out...or I will squirt poison milk in your eyes (Yes, Moo Cows of Death can do that kind of thing).

And, please...don't tell me I am utterly ridiculous!

Moo Cows of Death said...

I have pirated the Batsketball photo.

It will mysteriously show up at your wedding reception when you have long forgotten about it.



Mister Teacher said...

Wouldn't that be "udderly" ridiculous?

Moo Cows of Death said...

Damn you and your teacheresque knack for fixing my grammar!


Speaking of teacheresque...that could be the week-word, or just a weak-word. You be the judge.

teacheresque - to have cat-like reflexes, a knack for witty banter and a magnifying glass for correction.
E.G. Batman can get away with posing with a basketball because he is so teacheresque.

Anonymous said...

Ah, Mr. Teacher, elapsed temperature is nothing compared to elapsed time. And then, there is counting change. Write it off to lack of readiness.

Hope you survived the test. I am "sitting" with students next week while they take their state reading tests. They are hoping that teacher aura
that I still exude provides high motivation, I guess. I wonder how long it takes to wear off after retirement? I know that the crevices between my eyebrows are relaxing and my eyes are not nearly as squinty as last June.

Love your blog.

Mister Teacher said...

Yes, we covered elapsed time this week as well, with the expected results. If you start something at 3:30, and it takes you 30 minutesm what time do you finish? 3:00? I don't think so, but the kids do.