Friday, January 7, 2011

Not Even Trying

Today's lesson plan consisted of one sentence stating that there was a student teacher who was going to do all the work.  Easy day for me.

Fourth period was algebra 1 for English language learners.  It was a small class.  Most of them were fluent enough in English that understanding wasn't much of an issue.  Well, understanding what the student teacher was saying was not an issue.  Understanding the math...

They were working on graphing inequalities.  They were given an activity.  They had to figure out which point of the given five was the point where the treasure was buried.  They were given three inequalities as hints as to which point was the correct point.  Presumably, the inequalities only overlapped with the point that was where the treasure was buried.

They were supposed to treat the activity as a quiz.  I walked around the room to try to help shush them and to assist those that needed a little extra help.

One boy raised his hand.  He was clueless as to what to do.  This was even after the student teacher had explained what steps should be taken to solve the activity.

So, I looked at the first inequality.  x > 2.  I asked him how he would go about graphing that.  He had no idea.

Usually, in situations like this, I can ask the right questions to get the student to the point where he remembers that he learned how to do this.  I got nowhere with this boy.  When I asked him what the teacher had explained about graphing, he admitted that he didn't pay attention in class.

After practically doing the first problem for him (which he then didn't write down), I walked away.  I wasn't going to do the thing for him, and he wasn't helping me out any.

I noticed that most of the class was in a similar situation.  After 15 minutes, the student teacher called for their papers.  No one in class had even gotten close to finishing.  Practically no one had written anything on the papers.

(This wasn't the student teacher's fault.  I saw him teach all day, and he was doing all the right things.  Fifth period went a little better.  Most of the students just refused to do anything.)

I should have been paying more attention to names and faces.  It'll help me later when these kids end up at the continuation high school.