Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Pre-Cal, World History & Chemistry, Oh My!


Monday night was Curriculum Night at my son's high school.
It's an opportunity for parents to follow their child's class schedule and spend 10 minutes in each class, meeting the teachers and hearing about the curriculum for each class.

I forgot how much walking one does in a big school. 

Up and down the stairs, down different long hallways, all in the 3-minute passing period.
Did I mention they don't have lockers

Every student has to carry everything in a backpack.
The school mascot is a bulldog

so every single room had a bulldog poster or photo or figurine. 
It became a game to find the token bulldog in each room throughout the night.

Here are the main thoughts I came away with for each class:

Football - I didn't make it to the school in time for my son's first class, which is football. But, that's okay, because I made the beginning of the year football talks from all the coaches. He has football first thing in the morning ... and for over 2 hours after school each day. However, with his multiple knee surgeries and healing time, he's missed a lot of football. 

Pre-AP GT Pre-Calculus - This is one of my son's favorite classes, because he loves math. And I was seriously blown away by the fact that this teacher records her daily class lessons (audio and whiteboard) and uploads them to her teacher website daily, so if a student misses class or needs to review the lesson while doing homework, it's right there!!  Seriously cool.

Spanish III - My son will be eating well in this class, because they will be making all varieties of Spanish-speaking countries' cultural dishes. The teacher is from Mexico, and she speaks pretty much only Spanish to them during class. She was peppy and hilarious. Also, their entire textbook and workbook are online! (although the actual textbooks are also in hard copy in the classroom) No excuses for not getting work done. Love it. I was ready to sign up for this class by the time we left! Hablo un pequito espanol.

Pre-AP Chemistry - I didn't like chemistry when I was a sophomore...but now, I think I might find it a lot more interesting. Atoms and Electrons, chemical reactions, moles and acids and bases. They have labs once a week! If you show up to a lab in open-toed shoes, you have to change into socks and spare shoes she keeps in a cabinet. She's serious about safety!

AP World History - They are going to cover 10,000 years in 33 weeks, and this teacher is going to push those kids to their limits. It's a college-level course, and the teacher said the kids are going to hate him, and he's going to make them cry.  I can tell this will be my son's most challenging class. And he likes history. Part of me was totally challenged by the teacher's intensity ... and the other part of me wanted to run out of the room crying.

Art I - The perfect class to have AFTER World History. It looks much more relaxing and a conduit for flowing creativity. The teacher shared his Twitter handle and shared his "primitive art" philosophy. He burned dead tree branches to make charcoal sticks for the class to draw with, and he's growing indigo at home for blue dye. He's going to use rust to make a yellow ocher color and get those red dye bugs for the students to mash to create red. He bought a ton of old books that the library was getting rid of, and gave one to each student to decorate and make their own ... and these will be there sketchbooks throughout the year. Also, I want to take this class.

Pre-AP English - Over the summer they read Into The Wild and had to write an essay on it. Before school even started.  hehe They are currently reading Lord of the Flies. The teacher has a wonderful southern accent. They are going to read Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities, Shakespeare's Julius Cesaer and East of Eden by John Steinbeck. I want to read all those with them. 

I liked having the chance to meet my son's teachers and see his classes. 

I made him show me where he sat in each room. 
I got his opinion about each teacher and each class while we were in each class.

We had to make a pit stop at the vending machines to get my younger son a snack 
(or he was going to die of starvation, clearly), 
and I saw this machine: 

It's a Snapple Machine, but it's full of Yoohoo.

Every single option was Yoohoo.

Also, are asymetrical skirts and dresses in fashion right now? 
Because I saw lots of mothers and daughters wearing them ..

What was your favorite class in high school?
I loved English and Latin and Photography!


1 comment:

Holly Meehleis said...

THREE-minute passing periods, are you kidding me?? It must because they don't have to stop at their lockers. (Again--no lockers?--are you kidding me??) It sounds like a fairly intense semester! My favorite classes in high school were pottery, choir, theater and AP Psychology.