As usual it just seems to zip by. Last period of the last day of last week - antsy chomping-at-the-bit squirmy students. I jokingly told them they'd drive me to drink, and then in my mind I was thinking about the glass of wine I'd have later.
I also had a student leave class and not come back 30 minutes into our 1.5 hour block. Oh my was I furious. I debated referrals, calls home, e-mail to the kid. I ended up calling his mom and describing the incident and venting. She said she'd talk to him. I see now that I have an e-mail from him on my school account titled "apologies", but I'm not ready to read it yet.
He's a funny, good-natured kid who's struggling with the math, and his way of dealing with it is to not come in for help, and to turn in work late and to apologize after the fact and swear up and down that he'll change his ways, and then continue on in his fashion. Let's see if a miracle occurs, and he figures things out next semester.
On a positive note, we started our optimization unit in calculus, and I created an activity that I think will aid them in their understanding. I cut up colored paper/cards with 6 problem statements. Then in a different color I cut up pictures related to the problems. In a 3rd color I cut up main equations and "helper" equations. They were to match up all scenarios, then write them down on a prepared sheet. The last part was to use the "helper" equation to reduce the main equation down to 1 variable, and then to finally graph the main equation with their calculator and draw a good sketch of it on the sheet. No solving yet. They worked in groups and eventually (we didn't finish), I think we'll have a good discussion about the domain of the variable and then the "solving" will be work they've done before. We'll see after break.