## Tuesday, September 30, 2014

### Day 20: Parents

As soon as I said I can't blog daily, I became determined to make it work!  One of the hardest parts of blogging everyday is coming up with a title.  I really want this blog to be a brain dump of the day and never know what to call it.  Since I had two interesting interactions with parents today, I decided to go with Parents, but more on that later.

### Today in 5th and 6th Grade

Today in 5th grade we are working on division and it seems to be going well, since we started off with dividing by 10s, 100s, and 1000s.  I hate how kids brush things off as so "easy" when there is a lot of good math stuff to talk about.  We continued to talk about place value, but it seems that kids are more interested in "just tell me the TRICK"  when you explain to them that they have to understand first and then maybe discover their own tricks, they become confused.  It like that is what they come to expect.  (learning tricks)

6th grade is going a whole lot better since I talked to them about persevering with problem solving.  We learned about unit rates today and even though the problems were pretty basic, they seemed much more engaged and the loved the fact that they could relate the unit rate to finding the value of one unit in a ratio.

### Quizzes and Tests and Concept Checks Oh my!

This year I decided that I was not going to give any quizzes or tests (besides the 4 interm benchmark exams that we have to give) and that I was going to simply give concept checks.  My reasoning behind this was that once kids hear the words Quiz or Test they freeze up and their mind goes blank.  The concept checks can be taken over and over again until they get it. Isn't that the goal?  To get it?  One problem I'm running into is that since I'm not making such a big deal about their "Big Test" or quiz, I'm kind of forgetting to prepare them for it, meaning I'm not giving them notice to study.  My idea has been, if I teach it you need to know it, so you better study it!  I have to work harder on making sure students know when the first concept check for a topic or topics will be so they can prepare.

### Parents

So I have a really sweet 6th grader and I can tell she struggles a bit (hasn't really passed my concept checks yet, see above) but she isn't clueless, needs a little help getting organized and tightening things up.  Her mom is totally on her, which I think is a good thing.  She made her come to me after school for extra help but the cool thing is she showed but about 10 minutes later and stayed with us while we worked the problems!  She never saw the bar model before so she stayed an learned with us and it was awesome!  I wish more parents were like that.