Archive for the ‘Remedial Math’ Category

Today was the first day back to school after holiday break. Tomorrow, my Algebra 1 class has their end of year exam to determine whether or not they are proficient enough to move on to Intermediate Algebra.

Why does our school have such a test? As math teachers, we’ve found that different teachers grade different ways, and as a result, some students aren’t as proficient as they should be as they enter the next level of mathematics. ┬áTo overcome this, the math department created a test, over a decade ago, in which all Algebra students need to pass in order to advance to higher math courses. By doing so, the math department can be sure that students in upper level math courses are proficient in their algebraic fundamentals. On the downside, students hate it because if they don’t pass, then it’s another year of Algebra for them, no matter what their grade is in Algebra.┬áCounselors and the Vice Principal in charge of scheduling hate it because it puts a huge number of students back into Algebra, instead of having them go on to their pre-scheduled class.

Why was the test scheduled on the second day after returning back from holiday break? I have no clue, but I think it has something to do with scheduling.

After meeting with my Algebra class today, one thing is certain; a majority of my class either didn’t study, or they studied a minimal amount; which is a bit disappointing, since I spent so much time creating a YouTube playlist that includes videos for each of the skills on the test.

For the last couple semesters I have incorporated a standards based grade book. For my Algebra class, I have aligned the grade book with the skills that are seen on this end-of-year test. One thing that I am going to try, that I have never attempted, is to use the degree of error to determine how accurate my grade book is compared to this test. I intend to only use the assessments portion of my grade book. I think it will be interesting to see individual student’s degree of error and also the class results.

Stay tuned for the results…

Wow, my remedial math is something else.

Today, I don’t know how we got on the topic of it, but we were talking about yawning. I mentioned to my students that if you just say the word yawn to people, they will yawn as well. After a bit of a conversation about yawning, one of my students raised her hand and she told me the exact same thing I had said only a few moments earlier.

Student: Did you know that if you say the word yawn, then it will make other people yawn as well?
{Laughter from the rest of the class}
Me: Did you know that by stating the fact that “if you say the word yawn, it will make other people yawn too”, you too can make someone else say the exact same comment?
{Even more laughter from the class}

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Today in class I decided to have a little fun with my remedial math, since we have been working it out these last few weeks with some complicated concepts. I thought it would be fun to let them play the Wizard’s Notebook and work on their logic skills. I also did it because later on we will use their scores along with some other factors to make scatter plots and graphs.

While playing, a lot of students got stuck on the level A Dog for All Seasons. To help them along, I would give hints. Here’s how my hints went:

Me: What’s the name of this level?
Student: A Dog for All Seasons
Me: And what are some seasons?
Student: Summer, Winter, Fall, Spring

After typing these words into the box, I would usually get called back over.

Student: I still can’t figure it out.
Me: What’s another word for Fall?
Student: Spring.

At this point, how could I not crack up. It happened three times in class, and every time I couldn’t keep it contained.

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My Fake Wall

Posted: June 29, 2011 in Classes, Geometry, Math, Remedial Math
Tags: , ,

Earlier this year I came across a post from the Free Technology for Teachers Blog that introduced My Fake Wall, that allows you to create a fake Facebook style profile. At first, I thought it might be kind of tough to work into a math class, but after clicking on Leonhard Euler‘s page, listed on the homepage, my ideas began to roll in. I love the idea that Euler’s page is full of true historical facts, but also that it includes crazy comments that you would expect to find on someone’s Facebook wall.

There are tons of different mathematicians throughout history, but there are also other great ideas that one could with this site. How about a page for geometric shapes, algebraic properties, trig functions, etc. There are so many possibilities!

I love the fact that my students will be able to create something related to math, but also have the ability to show their creativity, which is something that math doesn’t always allow.