Saturday, May 07, 2011

Self Teaching Segment Area

We have 4 crazy weeks left of school. Every time we blink either our schedule is shortened for (fill in the blank) assemblies, or students are missing for AP exams (but only for some classes of your prep), or students are pulled out for EOC field tests (and again only for some classes of your prep), or since there's a FAIR for the environment, so we have 40 minute classes and then a ton of prep for the fair. Weeeeee.

Anyway, lots of deep breathing going on here. Funny story. I brought some balsamic vinegar to school for my lunch salad, and I happened to leave the bottle out on my messy desk after lunch. Some time during my afternoon classes a student asked, "is that wine?!" I played along and said yes, that they were driving me to drink.

Anyway, in the spirit of needing the kids to self teach a LOT the next couple of weeks, here's what we did yesterday. I'm LOVING the answer bank concept. The answers are jumbled up, but the kids have immediate feedback on whether they did things correctly. They also are more apt to immediately go back and search for their errors if they don't see their answer. ALSO, I don't have to spend the extra time coming up with a corny joke to make up and to fashion to fit. ALSO, I can have repeat answers, and it doesn't matter because I just put both of them down.

Here it is:


  1. I've become addicted to giving the answers, too--especially for group work, so you don't have to referee when the group gets two different answers. Another thing I do (I think I stole it from Kate of f(t)), is give the answer without the last decimal place, like 123.4_. That way if there was a small rounding error somewhere in the problem and they got .46 instead of .45, they don't freak out.

    I'm debating putting the answers on the last test (surface area and volume), but then I worry that they will spent all their time fixing one wrong problem and not finish. Hmmm...maybe if I printed them up on slips of paper and gave it to them when they finished?

    PS-in honor of teacher appreciation week, I really appreciate your fabulous blog!!

  2. I can see where the rounding question may work with the leaving off of the last "place". I guess I want to get them in the habit of not rounding until the VERY END. I tell them about how if you round early and use that answer for your remaining calculations, then you have introduced error, and in some cases, you could eventually get far off from the actual answer. I tell them to store their intermediate numbers in the calculator and use that and round at the end.

    Off my soap box now :).

    I'm intrigued by your "providing answer banks" on a test, hmmmmmmm. The wheels are churning in my mind on how to make that work for my class.

    AND thanks for your nice words :). Happy (end of) "appreciation week".

  3. Yes, I'm a wee bit lazy in the "storing" issue and don't want to have to (a) figure out how to store on 6 different calculators and then (b) teach them how to store on 6 different calculators. It was hard enough trying to find the "answer" button (don't even get me started on those that save the $3 and don't get the two-line display calculator). Maybe I'll set that as a goal for next year.

    Let me know when you figure how to make the answer banks work (or I'll drop a line if I add them to my test). I mean, isn't it almost the same as a multiple choice test?

    I had a student tell me that her mother told her to appreciate her teachers "in her actions and not with gifts." I told her to try that line on her mother on Sunday. :)

  4. I appreciate your great Blog... Custom term paper

  5. Your are doing a really fine job with your students .I will also try with my students too.