Wednesday, December 07, 2005

More Baker's Choice..

Today was Day 2 of the Baker's Choice unit. It went terrible , or mostly terrible with my first section. In general, they are less focussed, less interested and less responsible than my second section. I wrote many things on the board (doing a lot more chalk-and-talk type teaching than I should be), and most of them, even after I said "You should write this down", chose not to. My teaching was also less organized than it could have been. The kids were just not engaging in the task.

Second section went a little better. Lately I've been cracking down on both sections of this class for not doing sufficient work outside of class. Some of them choose to do nothing at all outside of class; others merely go through the motions. A previous assignment that I had given them was a group of graphs (scatterplots) that they were to do using linear equations. After we learned how to do scatterplots, they were to write the equation of the "best fit" line, find the slope, etc. We went over in class how to do it, they had a quiz on how to write the equations....and the vast majority still chose not to do it for homework, even though that was the assignment. I gave them a very very stern lecture last week, explained that I would not answer any questions on it in class until they showed me the work they had done, and gave them the rest of the class to finish what they should have done for homework. Furthermore, they now had to answer the extension questions on their own, instead of as a class.

Altogether, it was a major, 30 point assignment. Extension questions were to be answered in complete sentences, all work was to be neatly shown in an organized manner, graphs were to be complete and include axes labels, appropriate scales, etc. It was due on Monday.

Well, most of them turned something in on Monday, but it was obvious they had pretty much just scribbled down whatever looked good during homeroom or on the bus. Some students left 3/4 of the packet entirely blank. So, today, they got another assignment. They need to do it again, it is now worth half a test (50 points), etc. I gave them an example of exactly what I consider A+ work. Now it must be typed...all in all, both of my sections got a another very stern lecture,and I let them know that most of them were now earning F's in my class. Needless to say, after this, my second section was very subdued, but hopefully it results in the students working hard outside of class as well as in class.

Anywho, back to Baker's Choice....second section was more organized on my part and in general the kids are usually more engaged. We accomplished getting all of the constraints written down as inequalities, and most if not all seemed to really make the connection between the symbolic representation and the actual situation. We didn't make the charts to post, but I am going to have them do that next class as a review of what we did today. We also didn't get to the homework 2 or 3, but I think I will just skip them - they are still working on the POW and now they are also redoing the Activities packet.

As an aside, I am feeling extrememly bad that I am VERY strict about getting work in on time with my kids, and yet I have stacks of papers to record and/or grade that go back weeks. I did work yesterday on the sticky note idea, but am still putting it together. Once I catch up, it will hopefully be easier to keep caught up (everything- back- within- a- week plan)


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