kitchen table math, the sequel: my poll

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

my poll

Here's my suggestion for the next Teach Effectively poll: Most overused edu-term that used to be a normal word.

Susan S picks "authentic," but around here it's either "enhance" or "assist."

"Enhance," "assist," or "implement."

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm looking for the posts by Matt Goff on teaching community college math.

I tried to implement the Gambill Method with my classes, but I'm not supposed to "assess" homework because then kids won't like math. Of course, when they fail the tests, that won't be the reason they don't like math...they really should take responsibility for their own learning.....frustrated in teaching....

Anonymous said...

I tried to implement the Gambill Method with my classes, but I'm not supposed to "assess" homework because then kids won't like math.

That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Is this for a community college?

Susan

Anonymous said...

No. It's high school. I can only "grade" homework as an "effort" grade.

So, why bother? Kids won't try if they don't have to. These are 15-16 year old kids who spend most of the day texting on the their cellphones in class.

palisadesk said...

We're not supposed to grade homework either (elementary/middle). Things like work habits, homework completion etc. are to be evaluated separately but not contribute to subject grades. Technically we are not supposed to grade "project" work done at home either but this is difficult to enforce.

Actually this last does make some sense (a previous administrator was a real stickler about it). If it was done at home you don't know who did the work. Completing projects in school is an equitable way to deal with the issue in some circumstances at least.

Of course that presumes you are teaching the needed skills in the first place;-)

John Wills Lloyd said...

Catherine, good idea! I'll work on a poll about bogus language.

Meanwhile, what's with these comments that appear to be, at best, associated with other posts?

Grins,

JohnL

Anonymous said...

If it was done at home you don't know who did the work.

Well, one look will usually tell you. That's why a big reliance on home projects is a joke for a variety of reason.

Once my son hit middle school math, his teachers would have him correct every wrong answer in a notebook. Some kids would try to get around this by pretending to have done it, but she would randomly collect and check the corrections and they're notebooks. Their grade was about notebook management and actually doing and correcting their work.

I wish someone had done that when I was in school. Every teacher that didn't collect homework was a signal to me that it wasn't important. Then, when a teacher would collect it, I had no habits in place and no understanding of how critical homework (practice) was in learning math and moving to the next level.

Another problem is when teachers don't look at homework they really don't know what's going on in their class. It's a built-in assessment tool.

A couple of years ago when I decided to "parallel" teach my special ed son using Saxon, I really learned what he could do, and what concepts and topics he needed more time with.

I was also amazed at the wildly inappropriate homework assignments that would come home, never to be checked except by the classroom aide on occasion. If they were checked, no one taught him why he made a mistake. They just went to the next topic.

As an example, one sheet came home with a pi problem. No one had been taught pi in his classroom and no one was instructed to ignore the problem. Because I had taught him earlier, he was able to solve it easily. Then, no one noticed that he actually solved a pi problem.

This was a weekly event, if not daily, with these kinds of homework assignments. It became laughable, but it opened my eyes that if I didn't teach him math myself, he wouldn't know any when he went to high school.

SusanS.

Catherine Johnson said...

Hi John -

The off-topic comments are probably from long-time readers who are looking for Matt.

I'll pull one of them up front.

(I'm not sure I have Matt's email, but I'll look for that, too.)

Matt teaches at a college in Alaska, as I recall, and had been planning to use Gambill's method (which is easily found by using the search engine on this blog).

Anonymous said...

Sorry about being off-topic...

I'm looking for Matt's entry on KTM 1 and I couldn't find it.

Where should I put the off-topic questions?

Thanks,

Frustrated Teacher

Catherine Johnson said...

Off-topic is fine!

I like off-topic!

Let me see if I can find what he wrote...

Catherine Johnson said...

Matt Goff on teaching algebra

Is that the post you're looking for?

I need to re-read it myself.

Catherine Johnson said...

Good grief; I just saw this:

tried to implement the Gambill Method with my classes, but I'm not supposed to "assess" homework because then kids won't like math. Of course, when they fail the tests, that won't be the reason they don't like math...they really should take responsibility for their own learning.....frustrated in teaching....

yes, well, I have a post coming up on that very subject...

Catherine Johnson said...

Once my son hit middle school math, his teachers would have him correct every wrong answer in a notebook. Some kids would try to get around this by pretending to have done it, but she would randomly collect and check the corrections and they're notebooks.

wow!

You had a middle school teacher actually do this???

Anonymous said...

All of the middle school algebra teachers do it, but the funny thing is that he's had all of them in their last year. This one is retiring this year, too. The three algebra teachers my son has had were all Boomers.

I've heard from different parents that the high school math teachers seem to know who came from these teachers. They say it as a compliment.

Unfortunately, that will probably change after this last one goes.

SusanS.

Anonymous said...

Catherine can keep several off-topic conversations going on any one thread. It's her fault we're like this. We can't help it, we're victims.

I still use my Wiki name. That's her fault, too.

SusanS

Catherine Johnson said...

off-topic is one of my favorite topics, I fear