Friday, April 21, 2006


I had a student come in for extra help on her math yesterday that confirmed that some of the changes that happened in class are beneficial. She said that she has always struggled in math and was never any good at it. I have been trying to tell students all semester that many of the mistakes that they make are careless math errors that do not determine whether they know the current material. She took the last test and before she turned it in to be graded, she was able to make 4-5 corrections of careless errors and improve her grade. She has come to the realization that she has a good understanding of the current math topics but struggles through the steps of the problems. We have done many things in class to try to learn how to correct careless mistakes and she is a good example of working through those problems. This has given her a skill that will help her be successful any time that she needs to get through steps to solve a problem.

Friday, April 14, 2006


I did a project with my algebra students last semester regarding math on the internet. Each student had to create a project about benefits of a math website to their current class. I was not sure how many of the students remember the project, but today I was reminded. I had a student who missed class on Wednesday so she missed new material that was on the test today. I asked her to get some help so that she could complete those problems on the test. She told me that she was going to look at her book this weekend and try to go online to get her questios answered and then come in on Monday to finish the test. I hope that she finds some useful information. I was excited that she came up with the idea to look online because that was the goal of the project from last semester.

Sunday, April 09, 2006


Questions have come up in the math office about what the best way is to handling cheating on quizzes and tests. It seems that more teachers are almost afraid to confront students about cheating because it always comes to our word against theirs and parents are increasingly supporting their children. I think that the parents are becoming more defensive because they do not want to see their kids grade dramatically affected by a case of cheating. Students are cheating because they are wooried about a grade so we take away points which will further increase their fear of getting a bad grade. Why do we eqate cheating to points and not focus on the problem of cheating. Parents will can and complain about their kid getting a zero for cheating and not even discuss the problem that their kids cheated. Is there a better way to handle cheating in the classroom and what do you think it could be?

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

4/5 - goals

Students are working with partners every day in all of my classes. I believe that they are gaining a better understanding of the materials that we cover in class because they are getting more individual questions answered. This is working better in my Advanced Algebra classes than it is with my freshman classes. I have varied the assessments in my classes to allow students to work together or use their notes. I have also given tests back for the students to make corrections on the test before it was graded and students were able to correct some careless mistakes by taking time to look back at their test. The partner tests create a lot of discussion about the problems as they are working.
I have had both students and parents comment that they have a better understanding of what is being missed on quizzes and tests because I have been grading careless mistakes different from understanding mistakes. I also allowed students to correct one of their own tests in class and the response was that they really could understand exactly what they got wrong on every problem. The participation has increased in class and I have stopped taking points each week. I think that it forced the students into participating and they are more comfortable raising their hands. I have not allowed all students to come in and make up points, but I have talked to some of the struggling students to come in for a better understanding.