It’s about the strategies and stuff.

Posted on September 25, 2015

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Today I had three folks in here working on pretty much exactly the same ALEKS problems with fractions.   One of ’em has figured out that … she needs to understand the stuff to do well, and that’s going to take extra work.  She came in with the typical proclamation that the teacher had gone ‘way too fast… but with less expectation than earlier that somehow the teacher needed to change and more “so I have to figure it out now.”   And she did, with some coaching and explaining. She got the pieces of ALEKS pie done and left saying that she was NOT coming to class tomorrow — her teacher’s policy is that  if you get all the work done *and* 100% on the quiz ( 3 attempts possible) you don’t have to come to class on Friday.  She was absolutely confident that she’d be able to go home and get that 100%.

She was also right.   She has figured out how to look at the notes and the “quiz feedback” and get everything right on the second effort. (For students with a better memory for procedures, that can be a bad thing… but sometimes a “weakness” is useful…)

On the other hand, the folks looking for the magic procedure to Get It Done Fast … didn’t get it done as quickly.   I can only keep focusing on meaning, not procedure, and hope they see that by slowing down an thinking things through, Student A is… actually going home earlier, and getting better grades.

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