I’ve been having my students work on what I considered a small biography project for quite a while now.
I gave them Annie Perkin’s list of mathematicians and asked them to choose one. I allotted an entire week just to choose a name. A whole week to pick a name. Most of them didn’t do it.
I gave them another week after that to find sources. Most of them didn’t do it.
I gave them another week to write their rough draft. It was a one-page, double spaced paper. That’s barely a few paragraphs. Most of them didn’t do it.
A week from now when the final project is due, I expect most of them will not have done it.
Bah. It’s not like I’ve been that lenient. I had deadlines with grades. If you chose a name, you got 10 points. If you had your sources, you got 10 points. If you had your rough draft, 25 points. I put zeros on for those who turned nothing in. I set it up so that they were held accountable (the zeros) but they still had to do the work if they missed deadlines (the next part of the assignment which required you to do the first part).
This is really something bewildering to me. I thought that one whole month to write a one page paper would be more than enough time. I was wrong. We’ll see what next Mathematician Monday brings. Argh.
On a brighter note, the class that I have been having trouble with, the one that I took on Friday and had a small conference with each individual student was much better today. There’s still some growth to do even back to where we were before. But it was far better today.
I spoke with an administrator after school and was very encouraged by her words to me about how I am doing and what the school expects of me. Although I like to think that I am good at introspection, it helps tremendously to hear from people outside of myself.
In unrelated news, our school desperately needs a math teacher certified in South Carolina as of yesterday, so if you are looking or know someone who is looking, please let me know.
Thanks for reading.