Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Day 15: Assessment Incoming

This Friday, I will be assessing skill in all of my classes. I've given the Geometry classes about 3 days notice and about 2 days to the Algebra 2 classes.  We have spent that time working on practice and taking the opportunity to ask questions and clear up misconceptions.

My worry about their performance is the same as it always is.  I am concerned that they won't read directions or show their work. I am concerned that they will make simple calculation errors that will make the problems MUCH more difficult, increasing their frustration and causing the reinforcement that they are bad at math.

The truth is that they are NOT bad at math.  Their logical processes and thought structures are very good. What they lack is the language to express their thinking.

For the last two days, the Geometry classes have been defining the vocabulary that we've been using and will be using going forward. I made the point to them that I didn't want text-book definitions for the terms, but rather an accurate explanation in their own words, to help them to better understand the concepts.

A "segment" is a part of a line with defined end points.  "Perpendicular lines" are two lines that cross at right angles.

There is an argument to be made about semantics and technical definitions, but as I stated in my post about notation, I would rather they be able to express their understanding than to get bogged down by memorizing definitions.

With each definition, we also draw a picture, looked at notation and gave examples.  There were distinctions that we drew, such as between supplementary angles and a linear pair.

I was hoping to play Headbands with them tomorrow to review quickly before the quiz, but I also want to make sure that we have time to answer any last minute questions they may have.
"You are good at deductive reasoning and what you get when you put more than one angle together!"

40 minutes is not enough time.

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