Friday, November 21, 2008

I Can't Do This

I give up. I thought I could do it, but I can't. I don't have a clue as to how to get most of the geometry across to the kids I am teaching.

I gave the same questions over and over. I drill. I made them flash cards. I hooked them up with individual tutors. I stopped dong proofs. I can't get them to understand.

I asked them to name parallel segments, they gave me angles.

I asked them to fill in _____ lines form right angles. They wrote parallel lines.

They don't bring calculators and subtract incorrectly.

They solve the equation 2x + 4 = 10 by writing 6x = 10.

I have never taught a class where anyone who was working failed the regents. In fact, every regents class I have taught in the last few years has had almost 100% passing. There will be many failures this time.

I should have retired last year. I should have quit while I was ahead.


MsMalarkey said...

I feel your pain. My kids do grammar/spelling/punctuation exercises every day, yet still hand in essays with no capital letters, no periods. I don't even want to talk about the actual writing. I go over things till I turn blue, and many of them still don't get it.

It's not us.

Kim Hughey said...

Yesterday after working on systems of equations for 3 weeks in my remedial class, we took our untit test. Here is one of the questions and one of the interesting answers:

solve x = -4y + 8
2x - 5y = 20

Answer student gave: Yes

I also had an assortment of question marks, IDK's, No Solution and Infinite solutions in the answer blank.

Whomp, Whomp is the sound of Mrs. H banging her head against the wall.

Ms. Tsouris said...

Like terms? Unlike terms? What difference does it make? With my students, anything more than 2 steps and they fall off the cliff. With them, 2X + 7Y = 9 and that's just how it is....frustrating as hell for us.

Anonymous said...

I can tell you that 4th and 5th graders learn basic geometry. They can identify and measure angles. The can identify segments.
If you give them a triangle and the measurement of 2 angles, they find the 3rd angle.

If you can get a hold of an elementary text book, it may help jog their memory.


Anonymous said...

Things are getting worse, and will keep getting worse unless people realize that not all students are created equal. Some can do, some can't. I could never be a nuclear physicist--is that my former physic teacher's fault? WAKE UP AMERICA!!!!!

Anonymous said...

What happens to students who fail the REGENTS? WWhere do they go to college? They need lots of remedial classes.

JUSTICE not "just us" said...

As one of the posters commented, things are going to get worse.
You will just have to be patient and continue to do what you are doing and that is looking for new ways to present the material. Don't expect the kids to bring in anything they are suppose to. You are going to have to provide them with calculators, pen, pencil and paper. They are in the class because they have failed many times and will continue to to fail until the adults "get it" that they need to learn other skills that they will need in adult life.

Retiring just leaves your school with one less experienced and dedicated teacher to the detriment of the school and the children who attend the it no matter what those thug adminstrators say!

Anonymous said...

Your students sound like the majority of students in my school.
I would imagine that they have some very serious literacy issues. Do you know what their reading levels are - how they tested in 8th grade?
This would interfere with everything-comprehension, memory, reasoning.
So much for those great improvements Klein boasts of!

Anonymous said...

The problem is also retention. I cannot get over how many students forget from day to day, let alone year to year.


MsMalarkey said...

Schoolgirl- retention is a huge problem. I have twice done three-year cycles with kids- sixth through eighth, so I KNOW what I taught them. I'd say, "We did this last year. Do you remember?" If I was lucky ONE kid would raise her hand (my genius).

nbosch said...

My co-teacher has taught kids as young as 2nd grade Introductory Algebra using Hands-On Equations

Might be worth a look-see. Sounds like it might be a good grant proposal.

Anonymous said...

Are there any strong kids in the class?

If not, and if they are not watching too closely, why not forget about the Regents, which will likely be challenging for strong students, and water down. What can these kids learn? There is something between everything and nothing...


Pissedoffteacher said...

I have a few good kids. Actually, about half are passing but to me that is too low. I usually can get close to 100% passing.

I have been watering down the course. I looked at the sample regents and I am sure they will be able to pass without the proofs.

My AP usually insists on 100% correlation between grades and regents exams. He said he won't with the geometry, but who knows. I trust no one!