Arduous efforts

Posted on August 25, 2016


It’s neat when people are working hard… and getting stuff done.   (Wish:  that the stuff were better designed so that I didn’t need to help with navigation, and we could focus on the math.)   There was much “productive struggle” happening.

The analogy of the day:   “Tricks” such as arbitrary memorized “scaffolds” and strategies like scanning for key words are like teaching students to hold their noses while they swim.   Yes, they’ll survive and even get somewhere, but they’re wasting the use of the arm and exhausting themselves holding their breaths and gasping.

Hmmm… that one might be a keeper with a little refining.   It doesn’t apply to, say, using the calculator for basic integer addition and subtraction — that’s like pulling on the rope.  Yea, you’ll **ZOOM** down the pool but if I take the rope away, you will DROWN (in your tears at midterm because of the huge part of the test that’s “no calculator”).



The last ALEKS lesson for the very first week of pre-Algebra is that horrible set of paired questions wherein one is an addition problem, the other subtraction.   For both of them you have to do the opposite sign to solve it.   You also have to remember that “higher than” and “lower than” questions will always be answered with a positive number.  IMNSHO  you don’t spring that kind of mess on students week 1.   At the Sue Geonz School for Cosmic Enlightenment and Good Grammar, it won’t be necessary.

Posted in: math