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Struggles

Ever since christmas break, I’ve been off of my stride.

The week before spring break, I finally felt like I wasn’t tripping all over myself in every single class.

And I think most of the struggle had to do with me so deeply integrating the fourfold way into my lessons – every two variable equation represents an infinite number of ordered pairs which in turn may be drawn on a graph as a line, or later other curves. (The fourth way is via written explanation).

Somewhere over christmas break, my kids lost their line drawing skills. They got all the different forms confused, and I never managed to get them back on. This haunted them during the whole systems of equations problems, because they kept having that “what the hell am I to do with this” response.

I tried to provide them with a map instead of a set of directions.

They didn’t know how to read a map, and without directions they became completely lost.

In some ways I strongly believe in the discovery method of learning – of making my students learn by solving their own struggles, instead of them blindly following a teacher around.

But they’d completely unfamiliar with the concept, and I’m not sure how to teach them that, the content I’m supposed to teach, and remediate several years worth of missing skills all at the same time.

The good news is that I’ve had a few successes lately, and I’ve been having the urge to write them down.

{ 2 } Comments

  1. belinda | April 30, 2009 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    Hi, I’ve read your blog several times, and I get the feeling you want your students to understand what they’re doing. Can I ask what it is you want them to understand about the lines they are drawing?

  2. H. | May 3, 2009 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    I’m just really looking forward to those entries you’re talking about :)