Shiver me timbers. Did you know it was national talk like a pirate day? Either talk like a pirate or walk the plank ye land lubbers.
The fact that they spent valuable news time on that this morning makes me uneasy.
Anyway, Algebra is magic could have been the other title for the post. Sydney got a difficult extra credit problem in Algebra class yesterday. And, I helped her work it. No, I didn’t work it for her. I started by drawing a chart and asking her if she could come up with a math problem that would explain the chart. She did that on her own. Then, I walked her through how to work the math problem, explaining how algebra works, as we went. Lots and lots of explaining.
At first, she didn’t want to participate and just kept telling me that “you can’t do that”. And, then I made her spit out her gum and made her pay attention and within a few minutes, she had it. And, when she got the answer, I saw the light in her eyes. And, I said “Algebra is magic.”
I asked this morning if she could work the problem on the blackboard without her piece of paper and she said no. But, when I asked her questions about each component of how we worked the problem, she was able to do that.
I wanted her to get the overall concept and I feel good that she understands the concept. And, now, we’ll practice. I can come up with lots of problems for her to work through, focusing on different parts of algebra.
But, I have to go slow. Too much and she shuts down. But, if I give it to her in short little repetitive bursts, she’ll catch it and remember it. And, that’s what it’s all about.
High school is different than middle school. In middle school, they covered the same thing over and over until the kids memorized it. In high school, they cover it once and expect you to take good notes that you can use to study the concept and learn it outside of class. I am that outside of class for her. And, I regularly make her add important details to her notes. I don’t find the details. I just explain that what she has written isn’t enough. And, then make her pick out the important facts that she needs to include.
Every day. Day in and day out, we go through that binder, reading the notes. Making sure she can tell the difference between what is important and what is just fluff.
Okay, everyone, have a great Wednesday. I am off to work. Hi-ho, hi-ho and all that rot.
Be well. Lane