Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Day 96: Talking

One pre-algebra student did their homework.

In three sections of pre-algebra, a single student did their homework.



Ninety-nine fewer than one hundred.


I didn't yell and I didn't scream.

I expressed disappointment at the lack of effort.  I received several "I wasn't here" and "I didn't know what to do."

I did the homework.  I did all of it.  I did all five problems that were on the homework.

I did them in painstaking detail, verbally explaining my thinking and reasoning for every step that I took.  I went through the process of what I do when I don't know how to solve a problem.  I flipped back through my book to the previous exercise where we had gone over just this material.  I drew diagrams for the fractions and used the scale balance to solve equations.  I skipped no steps and even explored some methods that didn't work.

I modeled the behavior that I wanted to see from them.  I modeled the tactics and strategies that I wanted to see.

Most of them watched and wrote down what I was doing.  A few asked clarifying questions, which I happily answered, but I made it clear that I wasn't looking for input from them on process or procedure.  This is what working out a problem looks like.

Their process may be different, but it must exist.

At the end of class, they gathered their things, said goodbye and left.

Perhaps we will have to have a few days of "just watch."

Doing work shouldn't be a punishment, but maybe having to watch me do work should be.

1 comment:

  1. What kind of completion rate do you usually see on such homework assignments? I know that for my own students, who seem similar to your own in many ways, that the completion rate starts off the beginning of the year at about 75% on any given assignment and by April (now) the rate has dropped to about 35%.

    I am not of the school of thought that students should be "punished" by pop-quizzes based upon the previous homework assignment. I did over the last 2 units identify that 90% + of all students who completed at least 90% of their homework had a B or better overall on the unit assessments (quizzes and tests). ALL students who completed less than 33.3% of the homework overall had a failing grade on the unit assessments. I shared this information with parents whose children fell in the latter group at conferences a week ago. I also shared this information with students (graphically).

    Just reading back through your blog and wanted to offer some feedback. (I always like getting it myself, though I probably should finish and not leave my posts as drafts...lol)


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