Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Teach 180: You Know You are Winning When...(Day 100)

At the beginning of the school year, you quickly identify those students who you think will struggle.  They often have weak backgrounds in a previous math class and have a low self-esteem relative to mathematics.  (At my school, the students often cite "Hot Pencils", a timed math facts activity, as a pivotal moment that changed their view of mathematics.)  Sometimes these students will even leave questions blank on a test or quiz rather than risk putting something down that they think is wrong and in their minds, makes them look stupid. 

At the beginning of the year, I identified a few students like this in my PreCalculus class.  Today, I knew I had reached some of them when two of these students, independent of each other, asked me, "Why did log(-4) on my calculator give me an error message?"  It was at the end of class and it was totally unsolicited.  It's a question I had planned to ask my class that day, but we ran short on time.  The bell had rung and these two students stayed after the bell to ask me their question.  The fact that they had the curiosity to ask that question and not dart like Pavlov's dog at the sound of the passing bell means that I have won.  It means that they, too, are now winning.

No comments:

Post a Comment