Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Teaching like a deer trapped in headlights

The 20% problem scares the living begeezins (sp?) out of me. It definitely hits him, and I was on the fortunate tail of the distribution. And yet, when I plan a lesson on...say...polynomials, for example, I feel like I have no idea how to counter tradition.  Sure, my organization and scaffolding gets better with each go round.  And my bag of tricks grows incrementally each time I check my google reader (i.e. polydoku). And each year my class goes a little faster and a whole lot deeper, but it still scares me.
I start out by giving notes, and follow it up with practice.  I show my students what a polynomial is and what it isn't. I show them standard form, leading coefficient, degree, and graphical implications.  We look at factored form and we add subtract, multiply, divide  and blah blah blah polynomials.  I'm doing the only thing I can think of to get them ready for the questions they'll see on the standardized test.  But it's all very traditional. And when they show up to Thursday morning's class with memories of Tuesday's class, almost as blurry as mine of my 1st or 21st birthdays, I know I didn't reach them. And I don't know what to do, so I do it all over again the following week.

1 comment:

Riley said...

Check out CPM.org - CA does a lot of work with them already. They'll be happy to send you a sample text book, and if you're half as impressed as I've been you won't be able to put it down.

They should get full credit for the polydoku idea! And every lesson is like that.