Friday, January 27, 2006


I gave my Advanced Algebra classes a 5 question pop quiz today that covered what we have been talking about all week. They took most of the hour to do the 5 problems and some did now get finished. They were working with partners the whole time and asking a lot of questions. I talked with them at the end of the hour to discuss why they are asking more questions when they know it is a quiz and not on their homework. I asked them to change their focus onto learning each day instead of knowing for a test. I asked them to be more effective each day in class in exchange for me not collecting their quiz for a grade. All of the students got questions answered during class and I hope that my point came across that their learning is more important than their grade. We will see.

Monday, January 23, 2006


I talked with my advanced algebra classes on Friday about the way the class is structured. They all seemed to enjoy the fact that they were working with partners each day to answer homework questions. They were able to get more individual questions answered in that time and they were not wasting there time going over the same question as a class. I wonder why I did not try this before. Too much control. I like the students taking control of their own learning and they seem to as well. I hope this continues to work.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


I have seen that most of the students have taken advantage of the time at the beginning of class to get their questions answered by their classmates. I talked with my students about their first quiz to see how well this is working. Many of the students then felt a sense of urgency to ask more questions. Why do they ask more questions when they know there is an assessment the next day? How can I get those few students that are doing this to focus more on questioning every day? I think I will talk with my students on Friday to see what they think.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


I talked with the students about their expectations and most of them came up with ideas that I have done in class before. I am giving them a lot more opportunity to help each other through problems during class. I have all the students pair up with different partners eaach day and they work with these partners all class period. I find that most of the students are asking each other good questions and they are leaving that time with a good understanding of the material. I am spending less time on the board answering questions and more time working with students individually. It has even helped with students who miss class. They are about to work with another student at the start of class to explain what they missed. They work with the same student for the entire hour so they have someone to ask questions to as they come up during the lesson. So far so good.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


I spent the first day of class asking students how they would like to see the class work for them this semester. I am going to try to have the students pair up each day so they can work together to sovle problems. The grade for the week is going to be based on homework and participation. I also had them write a paper on why colleges are requiring Advanced Algebra now. This helped them to think about the fact that math helps with problem solving skills. They also brought up that society is more competative and colleges are increasing their requirements to get the best students they can.