Friday, March 26, 2010

Opposite day?

I like to blame things on the weather because it doesn't make logical sense. I should probably do more research into weather and how it affects human behavior, but the flip flop weather change from yesterday's 65 degrees to today's snow flurries and wind chill are to blame for the odd student behaviors I saw today at tutoring.

In my 5th grade class today, we worked on an assessment work packet with multi-digit division and multiplication problems. The kids were supposed to do most if not all of the work by themselves. After a lot of stalling and seating changes, we finally got down to the work.

As usual, my two more self-motivated students breezed through the packet and only needed to review what factors were. Surprisingly, the other girl in my group wasn't being distracting and worked very hard on her packet. She managed to get ahead of me in our worksheets! Usually it takes a lot of pleading and bargaining to get her to focus enough to work, but she was a superstar today.

My other two students in the group usually have lots of attention issues. The newest addition to our group is very capable of doing work, but he really like distractions and being the distraction for other students in the group. I used a much more serious tone with him today in getting him to stop messing around and to do his work. My last student spent a lot of time goofing off in the beginning of the session and finished last today. It's so frustrating to know that all of these kids are very capable of doing their work, but when put together in a small group, they lose all focus.

On a more positive note: I got a welcome to class hug and teased during my time with the 5th graders.

The 3rd graders were working on patterns, counting color cubes, and deriving an easy way to count certain numbers of cubes. I was working with a few students, but one student in particular just didn't get it. I got pretty frustrated with her, but we slogged through and did our best. One moment she understood and the next she completely regressed and started guessing randomly. I'll work on being more patient next time.

My 3rd grade positive note: the 3rd grade teacher said that I was a big help during math because I could help some of the students while she was focusing on the other students in the class.
P.S. I finally beat the computer on Ker-Splash! After a few dozen games, I finally won.

x = 7
y = 10

Calculation Nation: 61x + 17y + 15 = 612
Math Rules: 32x + 52y + 39 = 783


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