Friday, January 18, 2013

New Students

A new girl moved to school and started school this week. It was actually pretty good timing because this is the first week of the semester, so we were starting new notebooks and the transition was pretty easy.

She moved to Ohio from Texas, although from what I understand she's originally from Louisville (her grandma is an art teacher at my school and gave me a little background info).  This girl was taking pre-AP classes at her old school and has been placed in our honors level courses. Seemed appropriate.

We were finishing up our Linear Systems chapter this week; before exams we got through solving via graphing and substitution, so all we had left was elimination and inequalities.

The girl didn't have her homework on Monday, which didn't give me the best first impression. Now don't get me wrong; she seems very nice and is pleasant (and quiet, which is a nice change from some of the kiddos in here!) but it didn't get her off on the right foot work-wise.  On Tuesday it seemed that some of the kids were having issues with the elimination (a lot of it due to those pesky negatives) and I gave them some more practice.  With just a short amount of time left in class she approached me and said, "I don't get this. Can you walk me through it again?"  I understand that she's new to school and just getting used to us, but I really wished she'd spoken up earlier and had more time to get help.  The girls she was sitting with did help her out some, so at least that was a good thing.

On Wednesday we graphed systems of inequalities. Because we've already graphed inequalities, this was just the next step of comparing two on the graph to identify the doubly-shaded region. I went through a couple with the kids and let them start practicing. Again, near the end of class she approached me and told me she hadn't graphed equations of lines so wasn't sure what to do to graph the inequalities.

This surprised me. After finishing the first semester of Algebra 1, she hadn't graphed lines?  I'd love to see the curriculum she was working with this fall.  She'd only left me a couple of minutes, so I showed her how to graph something in slope-intercept form, talked about when to use dotted vs solid lines, how to know what to shade, and when to flip the inequality.

I didn't check homework yesterday so I don't know if she persisted in it or not.  But at the end of class yesterday she asked where she could get some extra help. (We have math teachers every period of the day as tutors, plus an after-school thing on Tues/Thurs.) She sounded interested in the after-school sessions, though she's an aide for her grandma and could use that time also.

So, today was our quiz.  Right before we started, she came up to me and asked if she could take it on Tuesday instead. She said that with moving and starting school this week she didn't have a chance to study last night.  I'm not one to give kids extra time like that, but I have a feeling it was more academically-based than what she told me. I told her yes, but this is the only time I'd allow it.

I'm wondering if this girl's been placed in the correct class.  Aside from missing some material in the move from state to state, I'm wondering if she's the type of kid that is going to do something about it.  I guess time will tell!

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