Wednesday, December 03, 2008

My Hopes Are Alive Again

I decided not to teach proofs anymore. I know, I am selling out. But, I want them to pass. The proofs are just too abstract for them to grasp. I believe they will be able to pass the regents by doing the other problems and they are so weak, I have to concentrate on what I think they might be able to do.

I started parallelograms a few days ago. Just getting them to remember the basic properties is a chore. Then, they remember the properties but have no clue as to how to use them, even after we write a sentence like "OPPOSITE SIDES OF A PARALLELOGRAM ARE CONGRUENT", they still add two sides and set them equal to 180 degrees.

Today, I decided to move ahead. I picked a bunch of problems that required them to do the dirty word, "THINK." I got the shock of my life. They thought! They got excited when they found answers. They argued about different ways of approaching the problems. They got them right. I was so happy I danced around the room. They laughed at me, which is fine.

I know my dreams of their success will probably be shattered tomorrow, but at least for today, we made some progress.


mathematicamama said...

Awesome! I am getting to the same lesson next week. I hope I have the same results. I will even use your problem for good luck.

Kim Hughey said...

I'm with you Pissed Off. When dealing with kids who have very weak math skills, focus on their strengths. It builds confidence and when their confidence goes up, sometimes you can slip in something more challenging. One year our principal was making us focus on this one objective that is notoriously the most difficult on the state test. We spent weeks on this one objective. Guess what happened when the results came out??? Our scores actually went down from the previous year.

Now we focus on their strenghts instead of their weaknesness and get much better results in the end.