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Permission to Teach

Dan Meyer has a great post about cheesy, forced math problems in the textbook.  I am struggling this semester with my Pre Calculus class and making it relevant.  (The rigorous part is not a problem.)  I did the typical maximizing volume of a box problem already.  (I know, it’s only the second week.)  Now, I’m on the hunt to make transforming functions applicable to daily life.

I strive to make as much relevant as possible but I don’t want to force anything in class that is not natural. I actually stood up in front of my Pre Calculus Honors class yesterday and started the lesson by apologizing for it not being entertaining or ‘fun’ like some of my Algebra II lessons the students had me for last year. One of them laughed and said, “Mrs. C it’s ok. It’s Pre Calc. We knew what we signed up for and it wasn’t ‘fun’ activities. We want to be ready for Calculus next year. That’s our goal with this class. You teach, we will learn.” I almost cried. I feel like my students lifted a weight off of my shoulders. I will not use this as a license to lecture the entire period or assign 30 problems from the book.  I will still strive to be creative and relevant, but I refuse to fill my curriculum with contrived math and fluff.

(If you have any great Pre Calculus resources that are relevant and rigorous, I’m always willing to take a handout. 🙂

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. August 18, 2010 at 1:15 am

    I’d love to hear that from my students! Exciting for you! I think I’m gonna have to say something similar to one of my classes, and I suspect they won’t be as gracious — they are only new 5th graders.

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