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 [quote="Antrax"]Oh great, HH, now you've created a whole generation of kids who are going to get beat up during recess [img]/Forums/wink.gif[/img] Antrax ------------------ "Look, that's why there's rules, understand? So that you [i]think[/i] before you break 'em" - Lu-Tze, Thief of Time[/quote]
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Antrax
Posted: Fri Mar 19, 2004 10:10 am    Post subject: 1

Oh great, HH, now you've created a whole generation of kids who are going to get beat up during recess
Antrax

------------------
"Look, that's why there's rules, understand? So that you think before you break 'em" - Lu-Tze, Thief of Time
Hitchhiker
Posted: Thu Mar 18, 2004 11:55 pm    Post subject: 0

I once saw a class of fifth-graders basically discover the use of algebraic variables on their own. They were doing a word problem about pirates and coins, and they started abbreviating them to p and c. Then they said, "So we don't know what p is in this problem yet...hey! we could do a different problem about pirates and still use p, but then it would be a different number!" and they started making up more problems, and equations. And different word problems that would use the same equation: every pig has five carrots, instead of every pirate has five coins, etc.

I barely did anything -- just encouraged them as they got ideas, introduced the word "algebra," introduced the word "variable" when they asked, "Is there a word for it when you use a letter to stand for a number?" and was amazed at how quickly they absorbed new information.

This wasn't a "gifted" class, either. Just a regular class that finished their regular math worksheet and had time to spare.
Ghost Post
Posted: Thu Oct 31, 2002 11:43 pm    Post subject: -1

CHICKEN! BWAK BWAK!
Antrax
Posted: Thu Oct 31, 2002 12:30 pm    Post subject: -2

According to my current understanding of how UBB works, it would be utterly impossible to make one thread appear in two places... almost. I could write an elaborate perl script to do it, but it'll add server load and I'll probably screw it up somehow .
Antrax

------------------
"If it comes down to a choice between being unloved and being vulnerable and sensitive and emotional, then you can just keep your love." -Victor Mancini, "Choke"
mith
Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2002 11:59 pm    Post subject: -3

math (specifically, 4 geometry classes, pre-cal, and calculus)
VinnyQ
Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2002 3:29 am    Post subject: -4

Yes yes, use EI. It's feeling really neglected. Cudos to FMB for finding a good use for it.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hey mith, I didn't catch what subject you were teaching. I am guessing Math or Chemistry?

[This message has been edited by VinnyQ (edited 10-29-2002 10:30 PM).]
EEEM
Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2002 2:26 am    Post subject: -5

I wonder if it can be done...
Bicho the Inhaler
Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2002 1:43 am    Post subject: -6

post in EI...

Bummer...I thought this thread and the other one would be linked or something, like having the same thread in two different forums. That would be l33t.

[This message has been edited by Bicho the Inhaler (edited 10-29-2002 08:46 PM).]
Antrax
Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2002 12:25 am    Post subject: -7

I think I'll place a copy of this in Educator Ideas, just because it seems to fit. And it means I get to show off a l33ttrick.
Antrax

------------------
"If it comes down to a choice between being unloved and being vulnerable and sensitive and emotional, then you can just keep your love." -Victor Mancini, "Choke"
EEEM
Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2002 12:08 am    Post subject: -8

That is really weird. Is she new to the school? And is she in any other IB classes? If not, they can't put her in that class... They normally don't do any schedule changes after the first 2 weeks.
mith
Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2002 10:59 pm    Post subject: -9

Well now she's been moved again, to the IB class. It's so bizarre, I didn't think they were allowed to move students after some time period. Anyway, I won't have any trouble catching her up, I think, I just don't have copies of any of the tests they took.
firemeboy
Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2002 3:59 pm    Post subject: -10

I think it's important to note that we shouldn't lump kids into 'smart' and 'slow'. What it really means is that by the time highschool rolls around you have the kids who have figured out how to make it in the system, and those that learn in 'non-traditional' sort of ways. But we label them smart and dumb and they begin to believe it. Those that don't beleive they are dumb ususally go on to do just fine. Those that beleive it suffer. They are not dumb, they just don't learn by reading from a book. They learn from doing, or watching, or any number of other methods.

I knew a kid in school who failed miserably nearly every class he took, but he was an incredible artist. But he was labled 'dumb' or 'slow'. I think he ended up working at a factory in my home town. If the system had recognized hid 'genius', then he may have been a great painter. The system failed him, he couldn't learn in the traditional way, and he probably thinks very little of himself or his art.

That is all. Soapbox is vacant.
Antrax
Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2002 2:33 pm    Post subject: -11

mith, if you really care you can tutor her personally. People learn much faster when it's 1 on 1, so you can probably catch up with the material in 2 or 3 sessions. If you don't care, let her catch up on her own and realise she's probably going to fail.
Antrax

------------------
"If it comes down to a choice between being unloved and being vulnerable and sensitive and emotional, then you can just keep your love." -Victor Mancini, "Choke"
Hitchhiker
Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2002 5:01 am    Post subject: -12

Count your blessings: a friend of mine who teaches high-school math recently acquired a student who has never learned the basic addition facts.
Lucky Wizard
Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2002 4:56 am    Post subject: -13

Originally posted by mith:
So, I have to figure out how I'm going to get her caught up, *and* keep the rest of the class going with their stuff.

Uh, maybe go and find a tutor to work with her during geometry classes, study halls, and (if this school uses a trimester system and there's an exam at the end of each trimester) after school? Or is the logistics of finding a tutor a problem?

Edit: Page 3!

[This message has been edited by Lucky Wizard (edited 10-28-2002 11:56 PM).]
Internet Stranger
Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2002 3:57 am    Post subject: -14

Oh and Mith isnt an asshole, I meant that.. well, he knows.

I guess I could expand on my comment too. Well, its what Bicho said. So there. Except in my personal case, I didnt start caring until I was done with school alltogether. I found I learn better on my own anyways.

But I think thats the case with most GLers.

[This message has been edited by Internet Stranger (edited 10-28-2002 11:00 PM).]
mith
Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2002 2:42 am    Post subject: -15

Quote:
Make them understand that you know the material so much better than any of them, that they will have to study years to learn it. (If this isn't true, don't try to fake it. I had one teacher who knew less than I did about math and he tried to tell me he understood math better than I did. He had none of my respect.)

No problem here. I impressed the pre-cal class today by my l33t powers of calculating 6^4 in my head.

I have an interesting new problem in one of the geometry classes (not today's, tomorrow's, for those at the school). Somehow a student got moved into my class without having had any geometry already, and it's 9 weeks into the year. So, I have to figure out how I'm going to get her caught up, *and* keep the rest of the class going with their stuff. Luckily it's the first geometry class, I don't know what I'd do if it were the other one.

Anyway, in regards to IS's comments that I managed to completely miss until they were quoted... well, yeah. It's not so much that I'm concerned that they aren't paying attention, they're old enough to learn if they want. On the other hand, I can't really send half the class to the office. They haven't been a major disruption yet, but I haven't really done serious teaching in those classes yet either. Btw, these aren't the "smart kids" (and I put in quotes because most of them are really rather bright, they just don't care). Anyway, not sure what my point is, and I guess I'll see how it goes tomorrow.
RSA
Posted: Mon Oct 28, 2002 11:33 pm    Post subject: -16

wow! mith just started teaching and they already wrote an article about him!
mikegoo
Posted: Mon Oct 28, 2002 6:13 pm    Post subject: -17

I think this has some releveance

http://www.theonion.com/onion3839/science_teacher.html

or not.
Bicho the Inhaler
Posted: Mon Oct 28, 2002 5:59 pm    Post subject: -18

And yeah, why isn't this in EI?
Bicho the Inhaler
Posted: Mon Oct 28, 2002 5:59 pm    Post subject: -19

Originally posted by Internet Stranger:
I used to be annoyed in school when assholes like Mith felt I needed to participate more. Dude, just let them fail. Focus on the ones that actually want to be there. The rest will eventually figure out what learning is about after all.
Originally posted by Antrax:
Hm, from what I was taught, a good teacher doesn't let anyone not participate.
Well, both are clearly correct. Elementary school and middle school students are immature and usually not very sensitive to the value of their educations. They don't think realistically or responsibly (I mean generally; I know there are exceptions). They need good teachers to care about them. I would intuitively expect that students who become sour on education early on are much more likely not to take education seriously later on, when it will permanently affect the range of directions they will be able to take their lives. The impressions they form here are likely to last. It would be nice if teachers teaching these students were able to retain the students' interests in their own educations. If young students are allowed to make reckless bad decisions, they won't regret them until later, and then they will regret them.

But when these students reach eleventh grade, they are different. They aren't impressionable and immature. They are conscious of their own strengths and weaknesses and have much better senses about what they can do with their lives. They may not legally be adults, but they have the capacity and desire to start taking responsibility for themselves. The fact is that they aren't children and would rather not be treated as such. By this age, many students have already made decisions about what priority they place on school. Teachers should still care, but forcing every student to participate is probably counterproductive. True, there are shy students who would benefit from extra attention, but students who are genuinely indifferent should be allowed to be. If a student is expected to pursue his or her own education, he or she really should be caring about it by the time he/she is sixteen or seventeen.
Bicho the Inhaler
Posted: Mon Oct 28, 2002 5:16 pm    Post subject: -20

Now, it seems that many of you think teachers must assume extraordinary levels of responsibility and take great care in dealing with students--that they must really care about their work. Teachers do have to care. I've been in classes both with really terrific teachers and terrible teachers. Especially in the lower grades, many (most?) students will associate the class with the actual subject matter, meaning if the class is hell for them, they will learn to hate the subject as well.

But, as firemeboy put it,
Quote:
...teacher's are placed in a near impossible position. They have material that needs to be presented and 'learned' by the student, but because of the various learning styles they would have to come up with various ways to present the material. All within the alloted time. Next to impossible when class sizes are large, they are confined to a classrooms, and have limited resources.
I have heard many teachers (these are all in the United States) complain about wages. In fact, many of the best teachers I have had have told students not to be teachers because they found the compensation to be so unsatisfactory. If it's true, then the good teachers I have had were not just doing their job really well; they cared enough to bear the weight of extra effort themselves without expectation of equivalent compensation. So while ideally, we can hope for excellent teachers who work hard to reach every student and are willing to put in extra effort for those who need it, is it moral to expect teachers to do so? In a democratic capitalistic society like the U.S., how can we expect a person to do work they aren't getting paid for (parenting is entirely different)?
jeep
Posted: Mon Oct 28, 2002 11:49 am    Post subject: -21

Heh, I composed a huge response, but upon re-reading it I think it's just too much rambling. Here's the short version.

Teaching a group of widely varied skill/knowlede is DIFFICULT. To minimize boredom by the faster students and to avoid completely losing the slower students, you need to teach to the middle of the class and give extra time after class to the motivated but slower students. Public schools have too many students and not enough teachers.

As a sub, you inherit all the mistakes of the person you are taking over for, so you may have students that are already too far behind.

Here are some tips for dealing with unruly students:
Here are some of the rules I found or was told for dealing with unruly students, it's all really common sense stuff:
1. Command their respect.
• Make them understand that you know the material so much better than any of them, that they will have to study years to learn it. (If this isn't true, don't try to fake it. I had one teacher who knew less than I did about math and he tried to tell me he understood math better than I did. He had none of my respect.)
• Don't put up with any shit. Allow good natured, safe, and non-disruptive 'play,' with non-disruptive being key. This applies less to public schools than other forums.
• Always be fair. Don't fall into the trap of having a teacher's pet. I'm not saying that punishment can't increase with frequency or be milder for first offence, but know the reason.

2. Give extra attention to the people who are lost but interested and don't let the people who are way ahead speed you up.
3. Recognize when people are bored because you are going to slow and let them know that you are getting to new material. Don't let the students who are behind slow you down too much. Give them extra-curricular attention, instead.
4. Work at figuring out why you cannot reach certain students and try to grow yourself in that area. Recognize that every student can be reached/motivated.
5. Don't get obsessed with the students you can't motivate. Recognize that YOU cannot reach every student.

Now aren't you glad I didn't put the long version here? And that is just info about the original question, I cut out all the responses to tangential comments/questions.

-JEEP
Beartalon
Posted: Mon Oct 28, 2002 1:43 am    Post subject: -22

Originally posted by Antrax:
it's possible the professor failed because he just wasn't charimatic enough, or he failed to create the appropriate learning atmosphere, or failed to realise the mood in the class doesn't allow for guided discovery
Antrax, sure it's possible but I'd be more apt to believe that the teacher played a more significant role in the "failure" if the same students hadn't acted the same way in all classes with different teachers using different styles in different subjects on different days all term.

*goes away to look up synonyms for different*

[This message has been edited by Beartalon (edited 10-27-2002 08:44 PM).]
phileris
Posted: Sun Oct 27, 2002 1:15 pm    Post subject: -23

I have only tried to teach music to a ten year old in my neighbourhood.She still can't tell the difference between E and F. .But at least I kept her interested.
BraveHat
Posted: Sun Oct 27, 2002 12:18 pm    Post subject: -24

As an epilogue, I've never taught a class before, though I have been a student-mentor for incoming NYU freshman. And for what it's worth, I heard that one of those freshman became a mentor the next year because "she had a bad experience with hers". But that was a rumor.

[This message has been edited by BraveHat (edited 10-27-2002 07:20 AM).]
BraveHat
Posted: Sun Oct 27, 2002 12:15 pm    Post subject: -25

Quote:
BraveHat, you're not strong with the self-convincing, now are you?

Not sure what you mean by that. I don't know if I'm trying to convince myself of anything. I think I'm trying to apply my understanding to what you're trying to say, and I think what you're trying to say is that you recognize 3 things:

1)There is something humanly inherant in every student which gives them the capacity to learn the material.
2)A teacher can and must strive to take advantage of that thing to the greatest possible extent.
3)The teacher must understand that any attempt to avoid or relax such a striving is nothing other than a failure at his or her task.

If these are the things you are trying to say, then I find we are in agreement.

And I would suggest that rather then delegate the idea "every student can be helped" to a rational falsehood, it might find a better place as a rational uncertainty. That the phrase might not be "It's not true you can reach any student; but you have to pretend it is to always give the maximum of yourself" but rather "It's not guaranteed you can reach any student; but you have to have faith that you can to always give the maximum of yourself." I know it sounds like I'm in dire need of an ass-rod removal operation, but I just don't think someone needs to feel like their deluding themselves in order be effective teachers.
Antrax
Posted: Sun Oct 27, 2002 11:42 am    Post subject: -26

BraveHat, you're not strong with the self-convincing, now are you? I know logically that it's possible that students exist that won't give a damn about me, and will be resistant to all my teacher tricks and will dedicate their lives to nothing but failing to understand what I try to teach. As a rational person, I can't claim with 100% certainty there's no such thing. But as a romatic idealist, I wholeheartedly believe I can teach anyone. Unless I believed that, I'd excuse my own failures by attributing them to unteachable students. If I take every failure as my own, the most harm it can do me is if I blame myself unfairly from time to time; if I don't, I'll be a bad teacher.
Beartalon, it's possible the professor failed because he just wasn't charimatic enough, or he failed to create the appropriate learning atmosphere, or failed to realise the mood in the class doesn't allow for guided discovery (I wonder how you deal with it in the university; I don't suppose you could take the students out for a little physical exercise, could you? ). In any case, it was his failure, unless it was a class-wide prank meant to ruin his life or something
Antrax

------------------
"If it comes down to a choice between being unloved and being vulnerable and sensitive and emotional, then you can just keep your love." -Victor Mancini, "Choke"
Squee
Posted: Sun Oct 27, 2002 5:49 am    Post subject: -27

*G*
BraveHat
Posted: Sun Oct 27, 2002 5:17 am    Post subject: -28

Quote:
It's not true you can reach any student; but you have to pretend it is to always give the maximum of yourself

Quote:
So nobody is beyond your reach. Believe that, and you'll be good.

Now I'm confused, Antrax....

Do you or don't you believe that a teacher can reach any student?

You just spent a whole post convincing me that you were able to teach the material to even the minimally-interested students, even students who wanted to fail, but you also talk about "having to pretend" you can reach them in order to do that. What is there to pretend? Why must you "pretend" you can reach them first? How is it "pretending", when, as you've just already shown, IT CAN BE DONE!!

EEEM
Posted: Sun Oct 27, 2002 5:07 am    Post subject: -29

Mith, try not to get them started, you may regret it.
mith
Posted: Sun Oct 27, 2002 3:05 am    Post subject: -30

Burglym, you three were *really* quiet. I was tempted to tell you to talk more, it was worrying me.
Beartalon
Posted: Sun Oct 27, 2002 2:41 am    Post subject: -31

Antrax, I failed to point out that my professors in college were breaking the problems down into small sub-steps. We were doing programming, so those sub-steps were the building blocks of programming statements.

Here's an example of a question I answered one day, after one professor had stopped asking other students:
"We have to store a person's age in whole numbers and do mathematical calcuations to decide when they will retire. What data type should we use?

The answer was integer - the only whole number mathmatical data type in the language we were studying. That question came up in third semester, and we'd already been exposed to datatypes in several programming languages and developed many applications. I admit that was simply a bad, bad day for everyone for whatever reasons. It didn't matter if the question was complex or simple, few would answer. "Guided discovery" won't work if no-one will even talk!

Also, I admit that my skills were much higher than other people's and I tried my best to help people along outside class and in group work, but I didn't pay the gross amounts of tuition to sit in class and WAIT. I finally started skipping classes and studying at my own pace.
pikachamp
Posted: Sun Oct 27, 2002 2:26 am    Post subject: -32

Originally posted by Lepton:

The subs that I *did* couldn't comprehend Monty Hall. Bah!

my regular math teacher in 6th grade didn't believe it until i gave him proof
Lucresia
Posted: Sat Oct 26, 2002 8:16 pm    Post subject: -33

*breaks through conversation to say she wishes Mith were her sub!*
Antrax
Posted: Sat Oct 26, 2002 8:08 pm    Post subject: -34

Quote:
In some classes my professors finally got frustrated trying to get a response of ANY kind from everyone else and asked me or the other keener students directly.

Teaching 101: What not to do. Few things are worse than giving up if you can't get an answer right away, or take the easy way out by asking the strong students. A much preferable method is what is known as "guided discovery", in which the teacher breaks the difficult question to many small, sub-step questions, and gets various students to answer them, until the answer to the big problem is revealed. This method improves the weaker students' self-confidence, and encourages them to participate in the future, while making the material as understandable as usual.
Antrax

------------------
"If it comes down to a choice between being unloved and being vulnerable and sensitive and emotional, then you can just keep your love." -Victor Mancini, "Choke"
Burglyrm
Posted: Sat Oct 26, 2002 7:44 pm    Post subject: -35

heh he's lucky... they split our classes up, so its just Tony, Squee, and I... On the other hand, had it been Squee, Tony, Tim, Fu, me, Audrey, etc...

------------------
The killer in me is the killer in you.
Beartalon
Posted: Sat Oct 26, 2002 7:11 pm    Post subject: -36

Teenagers and young adults have two main problems - they don't want to look stupid and they don't want to be wrong (Sometimes being stupid and/or wrong and dealing well with it is the best cure for self-confidence issues). This is partially why they don't ask or answer questions in class about material they don't understand well. Like Lepton, I eventually gave up answering questions. In some classes my professors finally got frustrated trying to get a response of ANY kind from everyone else and asked me or the other keener students directly.
Beartalon
Posted: Sat Oct 26, 2002 7:03 pm    Post subject: -37

I like Antrax's suggestion about apportioning the questions best.

I have experience on both sides of the teacher's desk. On one side, if you count Sunday School, and tutoring maths, English and sciences, I've tried to help many kids learn, usually in very small groups and often on one to one mentoring. I've also been a student, both in regular school, university and again as a mature student in college.

As a teacher, my experience with kids that don't listen has been varied. Some had ADD or ADHD, so they required a lot of direct attention and appealing to things they are interested in, otherwise their attention is diverted. Some have misdiagnosed or undiagnosed learning disabilities and their defense is to act the clown or just misbehave, from mild to wild disruption in the class. Unless the parent(s) or school were able to diagnose, I was at a loss. Some were undergoing familial changes, dysfunction or stress. Again, all I could do was suggest a counsellor.

As a substitute teacher only there for a short time, mith, being able to figure out what's happening and why would be incredibly difficult.

The parental involvement during school years must be there or the teacher can hit his head on a brick wall. I ensure that the student I am trying to tutor has not been bullied by his parents into being tutored and that the parents are involved in the tutoring. If I get lack of interest from either side, I don't tutor.

As a tutor for people beyond high school, I found that many people asking for me help did not want help to understand, they wanted me to do the work for them, which I refused to do. The ones that I did help had to first prove to me that they had tried well.

As the college student, I watched my class dwindle from over 150 down to only 33 graduates in the last semester. 22 of those students were co-operative education students, who had to maintain a B average (75%) in order to achieve both the diploma for the program and the co-op diploma. That took a lot of work. The other 11 didn't take the co-op option and weren't required to get the B average, but to progress, you had to maintain at least a B to ensure you could pass the higher level concepts.

The students who didn't care failed. They were allowed to fail. In college, it was their own responsibility to come to class, study and pass. The parental involvement was next to nothing.

Some kids just don't care or don't appear to care because they can't or refuse to see the real-life application. Other than capturing their interest, I don't know of any other good way of being able to reach everyone at all levels in the same class at one time.
Aarondalf
Posted: Sat Oct 26, 2002 5:00 pm    Post subject: -38

You are my hero Antrax...

(And I thought *I* had tickets on myself. Sheesh.)