How do you get to Carnegie Hall?
Practice, practice, practice.They seemed more confident on the opener (pdf), even though questions 3 and 4 were something they just had last night in the video that was for homework. Now, that doesn’t mean they all understood how to do it, but enough of them did that it makes me think we might be on the right track. Then, as the students worked them out on the smart board and I then went back over them, I saw several more light bulbs go on for students. (And, later in the day, I had a student come in for help for the first time unprompted. I’ve had students come in before, but always prompted directly by me.)
We then attacked a series of problems (lesson, pdf), divided into distributive property (they did well on) and solving equations with variables on both sides (mixed results, but definite progress). I had hoped we would get through the third section (graphing on a coordinate plane), which would’ve just left review problems for homework, but no such luck. Still, they only had those two sections for homework, as well as completing their online pre-assessment for solving equations with variables on both sides.
I had this day planned well in advance but, in retrospect, it would’ve been better if I’d done this yesterday. I think the students would’ve been much less stressed, and I know I would’ve felt better about things. If I’m still in the classroom next year, this post will help remind me what to do differently.
If you’re kinda sorta following along with this blog, take a look at Jason’s thoughtful comment on flow on yesterday’s post. He makes some great points, and in my reply comments to him I try to explain why I’ve made some of the choices I’ve made. I appreciate the comments folks are submitting, as it’s helping me re-examine what I’m doing from another perspective and sometimes make changes (and sometimes re-justify to myself why I’m sticking with something).