Thursday, September 25, 2008

What An Example He Sets

I love the grammar in this memo. I've picked a few key points from Mr. AP's last memo to share.

Our sophomores and juniors will take the PSAT on October 15, 2008. I have a book you can use. You can even spend a period to go over the PSAT if you are teaching sophomores or juniors.

If you are teaching ME41, ME43 and MG21D/R/J, it is our mission to slow down enough so that the majority of the students can master enough materials to get at least a grade of 65.

By now, you should know who is having trouble in your class. It might be a good idea to either pair them up with someone who is doing well so that the good student can help the failing student or put the students who are having trouble together so that you can help them during the time when everyone is working on the application problems. “Survival of the fittest” should not be the motto or model in any math class. If how good a government is judged by how it treats the poor, how good a math teacher should be judged by how effective s/he is in helping the needy. There are times when moving a student to a lower level class is not the solution, particularly it is because you do not want to work with a student who is having trouble. The majority of the struggling students are very nice and they really never had a good math teacher until now. If you consider yourself to be a good teacher, then you should be able to find a way to reach the struggling students.

I am not surprised that some students still can not solve linear equations or factor trinomials. I checked with them only to realize that their math teachers last year did not teach them the way I suggested. It is very important that each and every student should be able to solve a linear equation by transposing terms and that they should be able to find the product of two binomial without using FOIL and be able to factor trinomials. If you insist on doing it your way, I will ask you to come to my office and explain to me why some of your students still could not solve linear equations and/or not being able to factor a trinomial. You are right – I expect you to do your job right and I expect all your students to be able to learn from you.

More comments on his words to follow. The grammatical errors were just too funny not to print.


Profesora de español said...

Last week, I received an email from an AP about a student's performance. It was all in lower case, and there were a slew of typos. I couldn't believe that she would send something like that to teachers.

Profesora de español said...

Also, I don't ask for students to be removed from my class because I do not want to work with him/her. However, if I have a student in my Spanish 4 class that has absolutely no skills, you better believe I'd have him/her removed and placed into a lower level. I don't doubt that there are teachers who have students removed because the students are difficult to work with, but if that's the case, AP should stop being so passive-aggressive and directly address the people he's referring to in his memo. I don't see how you can go on working under those crazy people!

Jennifer said...

What atrocious grammar! He should be ashamed of himself. (But I'm guessing he isn't even aware...and wouldn't be ashamed even if he were.)

Grammar aside, what exactly did he mean "they should be able to find the product of two binomial without using FOIL". I'm confused...that's how I was always taught.

Anonymous said...

You've got me worried. I am with him on transposition and against pendant addition. I am with him against FOIL.

On the other hand, I dole out free advice on a blog, not orders in a memo.

And on the other hand (good to have unlimited hands), the grammatical errors really are embarrassing.


Anonymous said...

Double Distribution (I teach)
3x(9x+11y) -y(9x+11y)
27x^2 +33xy -9xy -11y^2
30x^2 +24xy -11y^2

Long Multiplication (I often use)
. . . . 3x - y
. . . . 9x + 11y
. . . 33xy - 11y^2
27x^2 -9xy
30x^2 +24xy -11y^2

There's also an area method that I like as a demo, but not for kids to use, and it's too hard for me to organize here.

There's also the weird lattice multiplication, that some strange programs teach kids for multi-digit multiplication. It's no better, no worse with polynomial multiplication. Here's a picture, and a link. I don't care for it.


Pissedoffteacher said...

I teach weak kids to multiply binomials using a 2 by two box. They find the area of each square and add the pieces together. It works very well.

I also like your method.

My AP has some wierd way of doing it that is confusing. It also does not help with factoring when the lead coefficent is not one.

My AP also does not realize that the problem is not knowing how to factor but knowing when to use each method.

Anonymous said...

What does this guy have against the FOIL method? I was taught this way, and hey, I use this method when teaching Dihybrid Crosses for our Genetics unit. The kids that aleady know this method, find it easier for our science problems!

Anonymous said...

Actually, you are probably using the method that PoT describes. And if not, you should. It comes much closer to your Punnet squares.