Thursday, February 10, 2022

Technology is Cool

     I teach a lot of science. Biology, environmental science, and chemistry. I have taught biology and environmental science before, chemistry is new to me, but I have an amazing teacher helping me and she is awesome at chemistry. That definitely helps. I also teach algebra 1. Which is a little bit scary. When I started this particular temporary (lol, sure) teaching gig, I asked to go back to basics, like, super basics, to make sure the kids had a proper foundation to work on everything else. With the go-ahead I have been at least fairly successful at building a proper foundation. Some of the math is simple. We all agree that multiplying and dividing negative and positive integers is way easier than adding and subtracting them. Pretty soon though we are going to have to distribute. I have done distributing of course, but probably not in almost 30 years. But I figured, I KNOW how to do this... until I looked at some of the problems on the worksheet and the answers that were on the answer key. Um... how do I get to THAT!
     So then I remembered that some of the kids have this photomath app on their phones. Which actually annoys the crap out of me because then I have no idea if they can actually do the math or not. But I thought I would look into it and see if the app would not only solve the problems, but tell me HOW to do them. Well, one of them at least has that option. So I took this weird problem, -7c-3( -6 + 5) and I took a photo to see how the app works. 
     When you click on "show solving steps", you can actually learn how to do the math in the app. Holy crap that is cool. It broke it down and showed me just how to do it, all of a sudden it made sense. Or at least I thought it did. So I tried another one. 
     This was another somewhat weird looking problem that I was not 100% sure about (and we haven't even gotten to really hard problems yet!)
      So I got the photo and clicked on solving steps and all of a sudden I also knew how to do this scary looking problem. And since I know how to do it, I can teach the kids how to do it. I am currently foreseeing many of them needing a lot of days to work on this stuff. But that is OK. We will go just as slowly as we need to. I want them to actually learn the stuff. I'm weird like that. 

      Yesterday was a pretty excellent day at school. I definitely have plenty of rough ones which make the really good ones that much nicer. But all the classes were good, I got some kids to do some of the work they were missing (extra work! I am so mean!) and I helped a kid finish their work when they looked like they just couldn't handle any more. I helped another redo part of a quiz to get a better grade, and all in all it was my favorite kind of day at school. No one was mean to anyone else (where I could hear it at least). I got to teach and people were listening and interacting with the lesson. I got to help kids with their work. Definitely my favorite kind of day. I wish all of them could be like that. 


1 comment:

timaru star ii said...

When you talk about meanness I am in fear of it; it seems the worst thing, and I believe you are fighting hard against it.

But when you say "I am so mean" I absolutely don't believe it!!