Friday, October 31, 2014

Don't take candy from strangers!

Those were my parting words for the day to all my students.  They didn't agree with that because "how would we trick or treat then Torres?"  I thought it was sound advice!  What mixed messages we give our students.

Today was a huge success for me in terms of how far my students in Calc have come.  Last year, I knew my students did the "easy" problems on their homework (that meant approximately the first 10--the ones that were straight computation/process) and skipped all the ones after that (i.e. any that had words, required reasoning before they could start the problem).  Of course, those were THE ONES that I really wanted them to do (THINKING REQUIRED).  This year I assign mostly those types while they are in class, for them to discuss and work out on their whiteboard.  So I had strategically chosen the "hard" ones for them to practice on today.  But here's the bad news:  turns out, those problems are easy!  So much so that one of my students said, "Why'd you give us the easy ones?"  I did a little happy dance in my head, especially when a second student said it.  I KNOW that last year students struggled with these same problems.  So today was a HUGE SUCCESS for me (and my students).  They don't fear those problems anymore, and they are able to look at them (read) and know what to do with little effort.  They can read MATH!!

In Stats, after they finished the Card problems from yesterday (still looking for the link), I gave them the left-handed, right-handed problem I found on Stats Monkey.  Homework is looking at cell phones and University Grades.  Good stuff!!

Fun part of today: I got several of my dept members to dress up as Mathletes!  We all chose different numbers. Kids loved it!

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