On the Word Wall

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“Obtuse angel,” she wrote. She decorated her blue construction paper with flowers. At the end, she caught her mistake and started over, writing about angles instead.

But I kept the original. It’s a bit of a private joke for one thing. All of these students are years behind grade level — as much as six years — and there’s a lot of truth on that blue construction paper. A number of obtuse angels were wafting around my classroom creating words for the word wall that day.

Maybe the word obtuse isn’t exactly fair. This class has kids who struggle with mathematics. It also has kids who simply missed the math bus. The rural village in Guatemala did not have a math teacher. Mom has moved six times in the last five years, not always into the same district. The district bought books that are difficult or impossible to read.

We need a real system of remediation for these kids — desperately.