Vito Prosciutto: Teaching community college math on the road to a PhD.

Sunday, October 12, 2003

First day of Saturday teaching 

I had hoped to post this yesterday, but I ended up having home internet problems. Still do, so I'm sitting at Border's using a hotspot to get on the net (it is, however, pleasantly fast).

So after all the last-minute schedule changes and problems (the classroom that I should have had at the university was locked, so I ended up in the room next door), I managed to get things moving. The first class was trig with the 10th graders. I was unable to do demonstrations of how to do the constructions of the diagram on the overhead since none of my markers worked in that context (I really need to get one of those blackboard-style compasses), and we ended up spending more time constructing the diagram of the six trig functions than I really wanted to. Next time I teach this lesson, I'll just let them draw the lines freehand. I hope I managed to cover everything adequately for them to understand, but I'll need to get the online notes up soon.

Then it was advanced algebra/geometry for two classes of 9th graders. The first class was good, and there were some who actually knew their way around the Boolean algebra that we did already (one asked about the two-way implication, which we'll do more with next week). The second class seemed a bit of a nightmare. They were harder to keep quiet, and harder to keep interested.

I've not had a chance to review the videotape of the lessons. I'm guessing that I'll do that tomorrow afternoon or evening. My general sense, though, is that I lectured far too much and didn't have enough in-class work on the material. I fear that our curriculum is too ambitious for the time that we have.

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