Too busy to blog.

Posted on August 29, 2015


Yup, I’ve had students for help pretty much from just after 8 to 5:00 this end of the week.    It’s the usual diverse bunch of individuals that would make a *great* milieu sitcom/drama (but no thank you, reality tv, let’s just not).   Yes, a fair number of professional self-deprecators with classic fixed mindset who might not make it past three weeks if they keep up with the “no, this doesn’t make sense and I will never use it and I didn’t want to go back to school” self-talk.  I wonder if an online network would help — alas, these folks almost certainly weren’t smart enough to sign up for our “First year experience” course (I really should suggest a name change…)  — the one that got several folks last year forming really strong friendships and had ’em proud to be “nerds” determined to learn stuff and really learn it.   (They were saying today that they used to be “SueHogs” but now they were out of the baby pool and swimming in the deep water…)

Lots of good things happening — “quizzes” in 060 are set up in ALEKS so they get three shots at it.  So if they take good notes the first time, then get help on the ones they didn’t get (and the report shows them), they can come in today utterly ecstatic because they got a 100 on a quiz.   I infer that this was truly considered a rare and awesome occurrence.  And “I got a hundred because I”m getting it~ today I love Math!”   (No, sadly, my other ladies weren’t there to hear it — the ones who would find some way not to be happy about it…)

I’m also reaping the long-term benefits of the whole “parts and wholes” framework.   At least 3 times I’ve successfully referred to it and seen students make the connection in the percent problems they’re doing in Math Literacy.

Then there was the fellow who had eked through Transition; works a *ton* harder at looking earnest and hardworking so that he wouldn’t actually have to think and work… so yes, he was doing Pre-Algebra’s single digit integer problems  with the calculator.    I gave him the “this is the one thing that will have you crying at midterm if you sneak and use the calculator” speech, and got his earnest-repentance-role response — but it turns out that … when he had to do it… he actually *had* learned that -3 + 2 is -1.  I can tell you *that* doesn’t happen often.   Made me sad that the “I need the shortcut” habit is *so* ingrained, though.

Also gave teh “when suddenly it’s clear to you, that does *not* mean you were stupid not to see it — math is just like that” talk to several folks.  It suddenly seems obvious because that’s how your brain works (not everybody’s brain works like that, I know…)   — not because you are so stupid!   It’s because you’re so smart!

Yes, I have half a dozen who have big peaks and valleys in their processing — where if it’s a story, click!… or the fellow who’s learned to just sketch a number line to see subtracting integers…

… but NOTHIGN done in the Camtasia or Java realm.   Hoping I can think of all the honest teachers out there who go home even more tired than I am (I get an *hour* at lunch)  and… plan and grade … and get home and get some of that stuff done.

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