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

Monday, February 02, 2004


So today I began my Algebra teaching assignment. Now it's two preps for real every day. It's interesting to note the difference in how my two mentors work with me. My geometry mentor is very hands-off. She'll give me some quick pointers at the end of the period, and check in with me before school, but after the first week or so was over, she really has let me sink or swim on my own. My Algebra mentor is a bit more hands-on, at least right now. Perhaps it's just the contrast and my Geometry mentor was like this two weeks ago, it's hard to say.

We began with factoring monomials out of polynomials (e.g., 3x2+6x=3x(x+2)), with a worksheet to be completed in class and a second to be completed as homework. I feel like I made more progress with the students one on one as they worked on the worksheets than I did in the lecture section. One comment my mentor made (and that was also made in the geometry classes) was that I should write more on the board. I made that change in second period and more students seemed to get it, but 2nd period is also a faster group of kids in general, so I'm not sure I can take full credit for that.

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