I have missed a few days of writing. I just haven't felt up to it. Between the political nonsense that has become public discourse and the stress of trying sell our home while trying to find a new one, I've been a bit distracted.
I'm getting back into it!
The Pre-Algebra students took an assessment on Friday about graphing linear equations. The questions looked like:
Here's an equation. Graph it.
Is this proportional? How do you know?
What values of x make this statement true?
Some of the students did very well, while others did not.
What struck me as particularly frustrating was how several answers were either on the board or on the test itself and still came in as incorrect.
Today, I handed back the quizzes as well as blank copies for everyone. We went over each problem together while I talked about common mistakes that I saw and how they could be avoided in the future.
I also made it clear to them that if they wanted to reassess, they would need to complete the practice pages that we've worked on together, but that many students have neglected to complete.
In discussions with other teachers about what exactly happened, I've come to conclusion that we are WAY too compartmentalized.
We've been talking very heavily about Skills X, Y and Z. When I ask them about Skill T, they forget everything that we've discussed about that one and try to apply the process/vocabulary from Skills X, Y and Z. For example, on previous assessments, when discussing triangles, they often brought up parallel lines unbidden. Now, in dealing with graphing linear equations, several mentioned similar triangles.
The curriculum that we're using has a tendency (which I love) to go back and build new concepts on older ones. There is much less traditional practice and many more cognitive tasks. The kids are REALLY not used to this, even after all of this time.
I anticipate that there will be a HUGE rush for reassessments from September when we get closer to June.