We restarted school yesterday. I already had some challenges to consider, but this throws a new wrench into all of it. I mused a bit on this a while ago, before 3 days off became 6 days off before becoming 11 days off. Now the challenge is coming up with gap plans for Calculus. I was very quickly reassured by my colleagues up north that they make it happen, so it won't be a big deal.

My BC group is unique though, there's only 16 of them, a ton of them attended Summer Camp meaning I could easily contact them via Remind. Hurricane issues were extremely minimal for ours kids, so I posed a question to a few of them:

Within, I don't know, 15 minutes, I had 5 "yes, definitely" with promises to relay to others not on the message. Another 15 minutes after that I get more confirmations and a flood of "so what day/time?" and "oh good I was freaking out about being behind." Hurricane School was born.

A friend of mine has a house near school and graciously volunteered the living room. They'd plan an activity for the middle of the day and let us get some stuff done. I grabbed a few school supplies and went over to the house to plan things out. By the end of Saturday the 2nd we were go.

I scrapped my openers for the course and came up with 3 hours of stuff that I knew we could get through quickly: the concept of the derivative and all the rules (power, trig, product, quotient, chain, implicit). You might read that as a Calculus teacher and think it's a lot, but I have this theory about implicit and chain rule practices as the methodology to teach from the start that worked out super well here. Generalizing the mechanics as much as possible makes it much easier to understand how everything works together. More on this theory later.

It was great! Kids were focused. I built in pauses to let them work on short problem sets and we took a pizza break. I sat up front and directed things with my iPad and the TV.

I over planned on the chance things went quicker than I expected. I prepped a one page assignment and wrote out a script to make sure I didn't wander too far off course. Maximizing our three hours was really important here. Here's what we worked through, I skipped Part 4 and saved it for our first day back together:

I think we easily got 3 or 4 class periods worth of stuff done and the kids were willing to do more, but it wasn't my house and I wanted to respect the published ending time. It was great to have school stuff to focus on during the extended vacation and this gave me a lot of ideas to test for AB. Though logistically impossible to meet with them (75 kids), I think we can be more efficient with what was supposed to happen while we were out.

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AuthorJonathan Claydon