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

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Very Negligent Indeed 

Courtesy of not having my notebook back until yesterday, I’ve fallen very far behind on keeping up my journal. Some more notes:

I’m in my last week. We’ve been doing trig all this past week and had the big quiz at the end of the trig unit today. I’m a bit disappointed in how much difficulty many of the students have been having with this material. Some are getting it, but too many aren’t. I’m afraid that I needed to put more on the board for the inverse trig functions, because that seemed to cause a bit of confusion with the review homework assignment that I gave last night. Even more disappointing to me was the extra credit that I put on the quiz because there isn’t time to do a retest before the end of the quarter: Four of the questions were straight off the last test and I even told them that I would ask questions like those and I’m seeing atrocious performance on those quizzes that I’ve graded.

Advanced Algebra.
We had the chapter test for quadratics last week. I’ve got a bimodal distribution. A couple As and the rest are Fs. This apparently has been the situation all semester. We started trig this week with them and they seem to be getting the material, but I think I’ll need to do a "homework quiz" tomorrow to check on whether they’re really understanding this or just not asking for help when they need it.

I’ve got some mixed results here as well. But it’s more positive than negative in the mix at least. It is upsetting to see how many blank stares I get when I ask them to factor relatively simple quadratics factoring x2-9 seems to be an insurmountable challenge to many of the students.

Is one of my Geometry students. She’s remarkably bright. But she’s also frequently absent so that works against her. She’s going to be moving out of state with her mom at the end of the week, so that should help her homelife situation a bit (she’s currently in a shelter), but of all my students, she’s one that I’d be most interested to find out what happens with her. On the other hand, she does seem more than willing to abuse the kindness of others and I suspect that it’s not a coincindence that she wasn’t here on a test day.

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