kind of a sonnet to a pig

Hey, this What Would Jeeves Do stuff really works! My kids were killin’ it today. Here’s what I did:

  1. I rearranged seating so that my kids are now in groups of three instead of five. This cut down enormously on unwanted chatter.
  2. I gave a really fun bellringer: I drew a piecewise graph with axes distance and time and the title “Sally’s Adventure” and directed the students to write the story of the graph (including speeds) within the three minutes after the bell. My favorite had Sally running from the Mafia. My second favorite had her walking her pet fish to the lake.
  3. I explained my expectations for them clearly and told them what they could expect from me.
  4. I skipped the whole-class lesson and worked with each group of three as they needed me. Their retention was waaay up, and so was my energy. I think I spent 8.5 hours at a sprint today, less the forty-five minutes of C-time. We’ll chalk the energy up to endorphins. My 3rd period commented on it, saying they’re going to see to it that the 9th graders act right from now on, since I’m so much nicer when they’ve been good.
  5. I had another mathematically literate adult in the classroom! Our math consultant is hanging with me one day a week now because Algebra is the only tested subject left. YESSSS!
  6. I came up with a badass new way of teaching the logic version of finding slope between two points.slope between two pointsThis is just a modified slope-formula, but I think it really brings home the meaning of slope and the thinking behind the formula. Instead of relying on identifying x one and x two, my kids are thinking about the change in the x coordinate from one point to the other. Sean was extremely unimpressed by my innovation, but it has allowed me to bypass big sources of confusion in my class, which is critical right now.

Freckles’ family is doing well. They’re all snuggling in a nest-box at night. The babies have no problem getting up to it, which I assume means they’re flying significant distances already. I love this zero-maintenance chicken-motherhood business. No stinky brooder to clean out, just little cuties to love on. IMG_2031

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Here’s my Pinkie sonnet from yesterday:

a chill cracked the air
and a gunpowder smell
that caught in my hair
as the massive beast fell
no silence, no still
for the great fallen hog
just the knife and the kill
and the gathering fog
in the trust in the eyes
never trembles or shakes
as the animal dies
and the heart in me breaks
though the blood’s on my hands and not on my breast
my compassion is stuck like a blade in my chest

Farming and teaching both use and abuse my compassion. I wonder whether compassion eventually runs dry or is strengthened by strain. I’m sure it withers if it is never exercised.

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