Math = Love: Convince Me!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Convince Me!

This year, I am having a terrible time getting my posters to stay on the wall.  Every day, I play the "let's see how many posters fell down overnight" game.  #sofun

This summer, I made a set of "Convince Me!" posters.  They started out hanging under my dry erase board.  But, every day, I would come in and find this:  


I took them down and added more packing tape.  They still fell down!  Finally, I decided to take one of my empty bulletin boards and staple them up.


I accidentally stapled the N's upside down.  But, it would be too much of a hassle to take them all down and fix it.  So, I'm living with it.  For now.

Students often question me about the way I run my classroom.  Why do we have to show all of our work?  What if I can do it all in my head?  That's great.  But, I need you to show me what that head of yours is thinking.  Convince me that you know what you're doing and didn't just accidentally get it right.  Or, they ask me why I gave them a "Not Yet."  Because you haven't convinced me that you know how to do these problems yet.

They are always frustrated with this response, but I'm not giving up.  I think this is the first time many of my students have been asked to practice to mastery.  They are used to being allowed to move on without mastering the content.  That's not going to help them pass their Algebra 1 EOI.  That's not going to help them graduate from high school.  That's not going to help them learn math.  I probably should have put that last reason first, but it's the reason that means the least to my students.  I can't convince them (yet) that math is important.  But, most will agree that graduating is something they want to do.  Though,there are always the few who tell me that a high school diploma isn't necessary.  I really haven't figured out how to show students that.  No matter what I say, they always seem to know someone who has excelled despite having a diploma.  

Download file here.


15 comments:

  1. Nothing is sticking to my walls but hot glue but I don't want to hot glue everything.

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    1. I've never used hot glue. I'm afraid it will melt my posters.

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  2. Have you ever tried Mavalus tape? Seriously life changing!

    http://www.discountschoolsupply.com/Product/ProductDetail.aspx?product=22104&keyword=Mavalus

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    1. I agree, Mavalus tape even sticks to cinder block

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    2. I've heard good things about this but never tried it.

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  3. I use poster putty and it sticks fine! I got mine from Office Depot, if you have those stores where you live. I also have students who try to convince me daily that they "will never use this." While they may not ever have to plot a function, the act of having learned it creates newly wired pathways in their brain which will help them be better problem solvers in the future. This results in less googling and more problem solving. It's not so hard to convince them these days. This video helps: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0E-9uJgDZU

    -Alyssa :)

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  4. I did well with stikki clips in my old classroom with cinderblock. They are reusable again and again, so after the initial investment you'll get many years out of them.

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    Replies
    1. Oooh. I've never heard of these before. Must investigate!

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  5. The best thing that I've found that sticks to my cinder block is Command strips. I bought a huge 48-pack of poster hanging strips for $7 off of Amazon.

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  6. I second the Command strips recommendation.

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  7. I am currently senior at the University of Illinois studying to become a math teacher. I love how you have turned mastering the material into ‘Convince me!” I am curious though how do you keep students motivated to keep trying when you write back to them “not yet”?

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    1. Many students want to demonstrate mastery. Students who have not been successful with math in the past want to be successful. They love the chance to try again. There are a few who become discouraged and give up. It is sad to see, but these are likely the same students who would also give up with a traditional grading system.

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