Wednesday, September 3, 2014
This is not "hard core math"
Best quote of the day: "That was pretty easy. I thought it was going to be harder. It's not really hard core math. I can do this."
Let me explain what this student was doing so you can be the judge. Her English teacher thought it was (hard core math) when she stopped in after school and saw what this student was working on (across 3 whiteboards). The problem involved using the definition derivative to find the slope of the tangent line at a specific point, and then write the equation of that tangent line. Here is the student's work:
Here is the best part of this! This student has limited confidence in her abilities, so this was a huge breakthrough! I have to admit that I was so excited at her own realization that she was definitely capable and that Calculus is not so scary. I hope there are more student breakthroughs like this to follow!
"Do we have to draw a bell?"
Wish I had a quarter for every time I heard that question today. I'd be able to pay for the school lunch! Getting them to be experts on finding z-scores and areas under the normal curve requires a lot of concentrated repetition. I tell them "this is like teaching you your times tables, but statistics version. You have to do a bunch of problems all the same way so that I know you are really good at it because later, that will be a 'simple skill' to use in a larger problem." They grumble but know what I expect for their work on their next quiz. Tomorrow they will get to put these new skills to "the test" and see if I find their work up to par. Here is some of their work today: