Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Conversation Snippets...

Geometry Class:

Conversation One:

Class: "Are you going to let us have a formula sheet on the test?"
Me: with shocked awe, "No."
Class: Stunned silence as they think I'm kidding.
Me: "Seriously? Three formulas. I know you can handle it."

Conversation Two:
Student: "Are you going to let us use calculators on the test?"
Me: Started a long-winded response on why I'd be doing them a disservice if I let them use a calculator on THIS test .....
Me: glance at the vacant look that is starting to pass over the student's face.
Me: "Do you want the long answer or the short answer?"
Student: "Short answer."
Me: "No."
Student: "Okay."

Conversation Three:

(me walking past a student who I see (or think I see....) stuck on a problem I know is hard from the packet they're working on.
Me: starting in and continuing on being very helpful with hints on how to get started.
Student: politely doing what I ask.
Me: pause.
Student: I wasn't even on that problem.
Me: ..... "did you even call me over, or did I just start helping you?"
Student: "I didn't call you over."
Me: walk on by......

Conversation Four:

(after I explained to my "on level" class how a particular 4 problems on their packet were challenging, so I'd like them to try them, but I don't want them to get stuck on them and then not move on to other problems)
Student: (pushing through and probing on how to be successful on this particular problem) .... "I want to be that student this year that pushes herself to try hard things past my comfort level and go above and beyond."
Me: bursting with pride for her and a big smile and congratulations to her for having that life attitude.

1 comment:

  1. Your first two conversations prohibiting your students to use the calculator/formula sheets resonates strongly with me as I use a similar approach as well. Here in Singapore, A level students have access to a list (commonly called the MF15), but the ironic thing is that despite having the formulas all laid out in front of their eyes on the reference sheet, many have problems identifying the appropriate one for usage. In this age where most answers to numerical computations are just a button away (ie the calculator), I have to consistently ensure my students do not lose basic mental arithmetic skills. After all, in the real world, its quite embarrassing if you can't even perform a quick calculation of accumulated grocery prices or tax percentages.