Monday, March 22, 2010

I lecture way too much...

In the AP Stat classroom, lecture is an acceptable method of teaching, as most of the students in there are capable of learning that way.  It’s funny, AP Stat and most other AP courses are the ones where we do the fun labs because “kids are smart enough to be able to handle it”. 

In my Calculus 5.0 class, anytime I start a lecture, there is an immediate disconnect.  Kids in this class don’t learn that way and they don’t want to learn that way.  Too often teachers solve this problem by making their classes more regimented.  I guess these kids can’t “handle” a lab or fun activity.

My observations are that students in Calculus 5.0 respond better to the labs and activity, because that’s what they want and how they learn.  I’ve had this class completely fall apart, but it’s weird, it’s only during a lecture that this happens.  From experience, my Calculus class today was close to mutiny as a result of too much lecture.  That, and it was raining outside.

I’m going to embrace my Calculus class’ different learning style, and allow them to work with material using classroom technology and communication with each other to learn.  How do you think they will do on the final exam, a standardized multiple choice exam?  I don’t know, and honestly I can’t say that having them all pass the final is my ultimate goal.  If the end result is a group of students not bored to tears and enthusiastic about interacting with Calculus, I think I’m happy with that.  Now, if only I could explain an F on the final to a parent or administrator……

Yours in getting better at what we do every day,
Mr. C

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