I’m not sure how I feel about this.

Posted on February 29, 2012


I teach 2/3 of my students the subject of Precalculus. They had to pass a bunch of other math classes to get to me.

The students I teach are largely (90%) seniors (and, therefore, have no high-stakes tests in two months). Most claim to be headed to the local junior college (13th grade). (I could get into a bunch of stuff about budget cuts and over-enrollment. But this is not the point of this particular blog.) They are here because any number of people told them they wouldn’t be successful if they don’t take math as seniors. Many, if not most, would have opted out of this if they weren’t afraid of this threat.

I want them to have or know what they need to know. I am using the remainder of the school year to fill in any blanks they may have had in the past.

The biggest blank seems to be fractions.

The on-the-fly, slightly related to PBL lesson that came out is this: find the recipe online for a restaurant food they really like to eat. Use that recipe to come up with a list of ingredients, use any number of sources to find the price of each ingredient in a standard package, use conversion facts and fractions (!) to find the price of the amount needed in the recipe, add it up, and compare the cost to the price the restaurant charges.

Today, I overheard a student say “This lesson is way more fun than I thought it would be.” Her friend agreed “It is more interesting than usual.”

I feel I should be proud of this lesson. But I can’t help but feel that this should be waaaay beneath them/too easy. I feel I am cheating them somehow. Am I overthinking this? Or should I be spending more time on logarithms?

Posted in: School