Well what can I say this week? I’ve been sick in bed the last three days, so it’s going to be a short post.
Monday and Tuesday went well. I introduced algebraic modeling by introducing sentences in different languages and then I lead it into math by “translating” sentences from math to English and vice-versa. Some students seemed to respond very well to this, but I also had a few “If this is not going to be on the exam, why are we doing this?” comments. In hindsight, I would have introduced a couple of word problems first, just to show where I was going with it.
The students were mostly on task. The days can be really variable depending on what is going on in their lives and around the school, their mood, the weather, the derivative of the price of tea in China, etc. It’s the nature of middle-school teaching, I guess.
I’ve taken a tip off one of my professors and once or twice a week I start the class by asking the students if they have any good news to share. It starts the class on a positive note and gives the students a chance to talk about themselves. More importantly, some students will answer who don’t normally speak very much in class, and at the very least, it gives me an opportunity to follow up with them and at least talk to them as humans instead of as just math robots.