2 Learning Algebra is just like learning any sport I teach you how to do somethingI show you how to do somethingYou do repetitions immediatelyYou receive immediately feedbackYou consciously correct your mistakesYou practice the steps over and over again paying attention to what you are doing.
3 Reasons why math is difficult Kids and parents tell themselves things like1. “I was never good at math – it’s in our genes”or2. “I’ll never be able to learn this stuff because I’m not a math person”
4 Doing a math is like driving to like driving to my parent’s house in Seattle: I can’t tell you the names of the streets I turn on and I can’t tell you which way to turn……But I can get there because I’ve done it so many times I recognize the turns and one turn leads me to the next.But if I miss a turn or a step, I get lost…If kids focus on learning the steps instead of focusing on the numbers, the steps will lead them to the answer…Don’t worry about the answer, focus on what step to do next…
5 Normal Class Day Read Answers to last night’s homework Answer Questions from last night’s homework,Teach next lessonHave students see the homework and then answer any questions they may have regarding the problems that scare themGive the students time in class to do as much of the work in front of me as they canIf they go home without practicing what they just learned, they probably won’t remember how to do it.
6 Learned HelplessnessSome kids don’t think they can learn math so they don’t even tryThere probably was a time where they did try, and for whatever reason, they didn’t get itNo one has showed them how to learn mathNo one has showed them how to study for a math examNo one has taught them how to view the problems so they can do them “step by step” rather than looking at the problem and giving up before they try.
7 Prep for examsThe first day we start a new chapter, a “Pre-exam” goes up on-lineSometimes it will have an answer key depending on the difficulty of the examTwo nights before the exam, the kids will print out a fresh copy of the Pre-exam and complete it in order to see what they don’t knowThe day before the exam, I will put the Pre-exam up on the Smart Board and we will go over all the problemsThe night before the exam, they will take the Pre-exam again making sure they have all the correct answers
8 Day of the ExamThey will turn in their Pre-exams and should earn full credit because I showed them how to do each and every problem the day beforeThey will take the exam and are not allowed to ask questions because when they take the ACT / SAT/California Exit Exam, they will not be allowed to ask questionsIf possible, I will correct the exams while they are turning them in so they know that day what grade they earned.
9 Day after ExamWe will put the Exam up on the Smart Board and I will answer questions and go over each and every problem.They will know their grade that day 100% of the time unless something unforeseen happens.The kids are allowed to keep their exams because I write new exams every year.The Final Exam will come from the Exams they took over the semester.
10 Grades Grades are updated at least one a week on Fridays. Grades are updated after every quiz or major weekend assignmentBoth kids and parents have access to their current grade at any time by accessing them on AeriesI also have them posted in the classroom so they always know if they are missing assignments.The cannot come up to me week(s) later and say “I turned that in” because they need to stay on top of their grades during the week.
11 Homework / Class WorkThe homework assignments are always online and available the day of the assignment.Parents will know exactly what we are doing in any given day of class.I try to give the kids as much time as I can so they can do most of their homework (practice reps) right after they learned the material so I can help them if they get stuck.I don’t expect you to help them or for you to have to hire a tutor for them; I can tutor them one on one almost every day during class when the other kids are doing their work.