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


ga447 said...

My granddaughter did great in Language in Middle School (they could re-take the test until their grade went up) but HS it is a different story.

Seraphinalina said...

Aye me matey, I was not aware that talk like a pirate day had at last appeared on the horizon.

Recently there was a lot of news about animals at a nearby marine park possibly not being cared for well enough. Someone I work with asked our thoughts about it, I'm waiting to hear the final outcome from the SPCA etc because they did mention many of the animals are aging in the initial news reports. Even people getting the best care in the last stages of Alzheimers look awful, so I'd like to hear more details before forming a firm opinion. My coworker said Canada is a wonderful country. This seemed unrealated until he said that it is wonderful that we have so few issues we worry about a handful of beluga whales, dolphins, etc because in Columbia, that is not newsworthy.

I feel the same way about Talk Like a Pirate Day being in the news. Maybe it's a good thing that they have a minute to talk about something frivolous. And like Sydney, we sometimes shut down if we hear too much at one time. Adding in a little humour keeps people listening for when it really is important.

qltmom9 said...

Bravo, to you for helping her picture it. It sounds like you have a good grasp of her learning style. Teach HER how to use that, how to teach herself.


Samantha said...

Aye matey! We been talkin' like a pirate all the live long day.

Cap'n Anchovie (my Pirate puppet that hubby got me for our anniversary a few years back... (don't ask!) ) has even been struttin' around as it is his day today. ;)

Also.. even though I am very good at math when I learn a new concept, I hate math! I think it's great that you take the time to help her 'get it'.

The only good math is quilting geometry! LOL!

Anonymous said...

You brought back memories of my Algebra I class. The teacher was a stickler for memorerizing the 'rules'. She was a meanie of a teacher. If she caught you looking at the clock, she'd say "Time will pass, will you?" Thanks for sharing. Keep up the good work.

MelissaSue said...

Lane, I'm so glad you posted this. My DS who is in 5th grade is doing so much better this year but still struggles with school. I try to do the same thing you are doing; a little bit each day. I never learned how to take good notes or really how to study, so I want to make sure my kids do, since it haunts me daily in college. Take care!!