Sometimes there are days where your lesson plan explodes in your face. You set up this great worksheet for your kids to explore the lesson on their own, and so they figure out the key points of the material without your help. Then, five minutes into the activity, no one understands the material and you find yourself running around like a chicken with your head cut off explaining to every other student how to calculate a dilation.
On days like these, which like obviously totally never happen to me, you have to focus on the positive in order to move forward.
I have this brilliant student who always finishes her work 10 minutes before the rest of the class. She spends those extra ten minutes bugging her neighbor and disrupting the class. I don’t understand why she’s in summer school or how she failed the class the first time, but she’s a gem I can always count on to have the right answer. She’s taking the ACT in September. She’s nervous. Today I brought in a few ACT math prep worksheets for her to try once she finished her work, hoping this would keep her focused and allow her neighbors to compete the class work at their own pace. She got stuck on the first problem on the worksheet, but kept working at it until she got the right answer. After class let out, she stayed for an extra few minutes to show me the problem.
“Look Ms. Abram! I solved it! I figured it out all by myself! I’m good at math. I’m good at math!! I’m going to major in math when I get to college.”