Today in my Algebra and Geometry classes I gave quizzes. I’m calling everything quizzes these days because I want the students to be less stressed when they take them and I am trying to encourage them to look at them as a way to see how well they are doing and to try to improve their understanding and grades by trying again. The word quiz seems much more conducive to that frame of mind than test.
My algebra students seemed to do well. I haven’t graded them yet, but I did look them over and they looked pretty good at a first glance. They all finished before the period ended, which is new for them, and this is the second quiz that they have written quite a bit and not left most of the paper blank. There are still a couple of students who are doing that, but for the most part they are putting in effort and making an attempt at completing problems and writing explanations. I love seeing them do this and feeling so confident about what they are doing. They even went back and double-checked their work today when I suggested it while waiting for a couple of students to finish.
One of my algebra students who has really been struggling this year with personal issues as well as academic was very frustrated during the quiz. He kept trying to answer problems but would get stuck part way through. He came over to me and said he just didn’t know enough to do well. He looked close to tears and I tried to encourage him and direct him the best I could without giving him answers. He has missed quite a bit of school and didn’t have all the notes or completed the classwork. I asked him to come in at lunch to work with me. He looked at me like he was going to refuse. I put out my hand and said, “Do we have an appointment?” After a few seconds he smiled and shook my hand. He showed up at lunch, we went over a couple of the lessons he missed and he felt much better about the material. He said he would come back tomorrow so we could go over more of it. This is a real victory with this young man. He has transferred schools 3 times because of behavior and poor grades. I hope he will continue to work with me.
My geometry classes just finished a short unit in similarity and I am ahead of the other geometry teachers by a couple of days so I decided to do a discovery of the geometric mean. This is a nice to know for us this year, but I really like it and find it interesting, so I’m hoping my students do also. I’ve posted the discovery I wrote on the sidebar. I’d love any feedback or suggestions any of you might have. I value the wonderful work you are all doing and the way you have caused me to determine to be the teacher I set out to be 11 years ago.