|I told them they are no longer allowed to use "pi" in their answers.|
The Fractal Gourmet
3 Squared Meals
Cooking with FOIL
After all of the excitement of yesterday, as well as lack of solid sleep last night, I am very tired today. I was planning to finish up the guided notes for chapter 3 in geometry and start a practice test in pre-algebra. Both of those things happened but, as usual, geometry went WAY off topic.
It started with me telling them about the announcement that a company is working on developing a car powered by thorium lasers.
|Perfect for a baby seat!|
It went from there to a discussion of radiation, and, somehow, into why we use money instead of barter. The entire class was engaged, as usual, but I still feel like I should be on topic. One of two things needs to happen. Either I need to stop getting sidetracked as often, or I need to simply accept that I will and relish how interested my students are in learning such a diverse group of topics.
Old me would have gone with the first option. He would tell me that I needed to buckle down and cover the material so these kids can pass the state tests.
New me is telling me not to worry about it. We are moving through the curriculum at a good pace, we aren't weeks behind and I'm doing something important: I'm fostering curiosity. I'm also encouraging good questions and the willingness to ask them.
Finding a balance between tangents and topics is difficult. While I'm not super comfortable with the balance that I've struck, I don't think I'm going to change it.
In pre-algebra, the students were working on groups on a chapter practice-test. Banter back and forth between the groups started with teasing about hair and clothes and escalated into arguing about who was smarter. I watched the interaction silently as it evolved into one girl putting math problems on a whiteboard and two other students racing to the answer. The problems they were working on were much more basic than I would have liked, but I let it go for two reasons.
First, they were doing math and taking pride in getting the answers right. I know that if I had suggested this game, they would have refused to participate, but since they were doing it because they wanted to, they were actually having fun with it.
Second, even though the problems were basic, they were practicing and improving their numeracy and comfort with numbers in general. If I had to identify the one skill that they were lacking above all others, it would be numeracy.
They took a break to go to the bathroom, then came right back and started challenging each other again. I'm proud of them and fascinated.
Tomorrow, I'll be visiting Mrs. Reilly in the morning and then returning to school for parent conferences. Should be a fun (and very long) day!