Wish I could do this

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I’ve done this before. Kids enjoy this end for a lesson. I learn what interests my students. They get to search out new math websites that appeal to them. I currently have two problems that keep this activity in the “hope to do someday” pile.

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1) With the internet down, they could not go bopping around the web even if we somehow carved out the time.

2) We are lurching along the math road in a group, shackled to one another, and obliged to work on the same topics at the same time. My groups are bilingual students and we need extra time to work on vocabulary. We are going fast, much `too fast in my opinion. We are managing to hit the topics but, without more reinforcement time, I don’t expect a great deal of what we are doing to enter long-term memory except in wisps and traces. Specifically, my kids needed more than 5 days to master first and third interquartile ranges, box and whisker plots, mean absolute deviation, stem and leaf plots, and line plots. Fortunately, most students had done stem and leaf and line plots before, so those two topics were refreshers for many. The “quiz” was today.

Eduhonesty: A “quiz” that takes more than 80 minutes to do is not a quiz. It’s a test. Today, I handed my students a test that is multiple years above their overall learning levels. A few kids at the top managed credible efforts. The others did alright too, thanks to abundant clues provided by me and permission to use notes. No one came close to finishing the quiz and I gave them the whole block.

It was a stupid test and it stole my whole block period. When I have to guide the class question by question, we are not ready for the test. My students should have had at least another week, and in some cases two weeks, before they saw that test.