Rockford Files Lessons

Posted on August 25, 2017



Remember this link:  it’s the audio and handouts from an LDA conference presentation on math and learning disabilities. She does a great job of summarizing the big ideas and the need to integrate concepts and procedures.  Alas, I still need to find the research showing how the emphasis for folks in special education is much, much stronger on procedures (and the acknowledgement that yes, this is done with full knowledge that students are not understanding what they’re doing, with that implicit bias that it’s because they can’t).

SUCCESS (at least for right now) with a student who was getting that 5 + -3 was the same as 5 – 3… so when we got to subtraction where they have to “add the opposite,” we tried going backwards.   (Lots of grounding in the meaning, too…) Now, this student has already been through the course once … but … it’s working.  Student is also *here* —   and … that wasn’t so true last semester.  You see, if something makes you feel ill to do (e.g., math), then you tend … not to do it.   This setting is a very small group, then homework… and yes, the instant feedback with skills at an appropriate level that are based on all that conceptual stuff — it works.

(Now, I fail at knowing whether a high five or a fist bump is in order.  It’s all good. Oops, that’s passe now, too, right?)

(The Rockford files reference?  A headline about somebody being an “ardent ally” of 45 made me think of the episode where the parents of a doctor Jimbo had said he was friends with pinned him to a barn wall with a pitchfork because… nobody was friends with their sociopathic son.  Just wondering what’s going to happen next.)

Ended the day on good notes w/ couple folks who are like the folks in those interviews about “what they really understand” — gee, if you *do* address the concepts… it makes sense.  Oh, and let’s practice reading the fine print.   The bullet list says “if it’s raised to an odd power it’s negative.”   You have to also read above the bullet list where it says “if the base is negative.”   Mainly, if it contradicts something else… find out why.  And to me:   be sure to say the positives.  The student in question was disgruntled about having to do 7^3 and the idea that 50 x 7 minus 7 would get him there was news.   Said he’d thought about not coming, about taking a nap, but… he was glad he came.   So other note to self:  pause more for concepts building.


(later: erm, yes, hurrican harvey and an appalling pardon were happening…)






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