I thought it would be a pitiful shame if my 9th-12th grade students graduated from H.S. and could not add, subtract, multiply, and divide fractions without a calculator. For this reason, I made up a fraction song and we practiced, and before the end of this last 6 weeks of grading, they have to get 100% on a fraction quiz ... or keep retaking it until they do ..... even one smidgeon of a problem wrong or if they do not reduce properly, they get a 0% and they need to make it up. ..... Well, the first round of quizzed were graded, and I have to say I'm pleased. Most all of them knew what to do, and the majority of mistakes were not concept ones, but careless ones .... hopefully, they'll get it eventually.
Also, I think my goal for my last period class of the day (9th and 10th graders) is teaching them good manners. We've started already with the "sit up straight" and "don't sass" awareness talks. Let's see how that goes.
On another note. Sheesh. These kids can't for the life of them follow directions. It was fascinating last Friday to watch. I wouldn't have thought it. I had this tesselation activity for them to do. It was a rotational tesselation that they had to create. The instructions were all layed out on the sheet, and they simply had to read it. Some of them just started in doing what they thought they should do without verifying it with the instructions, so of course that didn't work. Some tried to read one sentence or so of the instructions, and then gave up and did what the first group did (above). Others just immediately raised their hands and wanted me to hand hold them through everything. Blach. I haven't processed yet how to teach this "following instructions" thingie, but I think that's next on my agenda.