Friday, February 17, 2006

Calculus Cubed

I have a crazy suspicion that I'm becoming one of those annoying people that has to insert a particular word/experience/fill-in-the-blank into several conversations every day. My word is "calculus". I think I may be getting tired of listening to myself. Note to self: you may not utter the "c" word all weekend. ... I guess I'm just obsessing about it because it's new and is giving my brain a great workout and is a nice challenge. (okay, weekend starts NOW, ..(calculus)... no NOW!)

I had one student come for help after school and another to make up a quiz. The one who had to make up the quiz is in my 1st period class, and she's hit or miss on whether she makes it to class every day. Well. It turns out that she's responsible for getting her brother up and out of the house, and he's super sleepy, and so some days she misses the bus and has to walk the 30 minutes to school and doesn't make it in time. Ackh. The things these kiddies have to go through.

The other student was coming for help with vectors, which we're studying in precal_ _ _ _ _. She had a breakthrough in her comprehension. And then she started talking about how they had "learned" this in physics earlier on in the year and how she was having a hard time then, so she was a little worried when we started covering it.

I loved what she said ... and I want to keep it fresh in my mind so that I can be mindful in my classes. She said that in her physics class there are these "geniuses", so every time the teacher would ask a question, they would quickly blurt out the answer, and then (her impression) the teacher would think that the whole class must have understood, so he would move on.

I try to have different ways of kids answering questions:
"think to yourself about the answer"
"let others think about it"
"wait 15 seconds before you answer"
"quietly tell your neighbor the answer so that spies from other groups can't hear you"
"let me see a show of thumbs, up for yes, down for no ..."

Hopefully, I don't fall into the same trap (too often??) as who she was talking about.

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