Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Funny Thing Happened to Me on the Way to Work Today...

...well, not really.  I was actually at work.  I went in two hours early to do some podcasting for my eighth graders.  I was podcasting problems from the state modules and I came across this problem.


I was on my first take for the podcast, only to realize that I misread the problem before hand.  I am not going to get into the math too deep, but to put it shortly, I thought I was multiplying a monomial by a monomial.  You can watch.  In the clip, I am too busy just trying to read the numbers that I do not notice that it is actually a binomial times a binomial.  It finally hits me as I read the second dimension. Watch how I react...

You can tell by my reaction that I was left wondering.  In fact, I expressed what I was wondering on my twitter account.

I could not believe what I was seeing, so I checked the answer key and this is what I saw.

The next several minutes I sat there wondering what I should do.  Do I have my students try it or not?  I made the decision that I would skip this problem and not show it to my students.  This problem is from the second lesson in the state's first module for 8th grade math.  Looking through the module, I realize that I am going to have to do this with a good deal of the problems from the module notes.  Again I am in between a rock and a hard place.  On one end of the spectrum I am directed to use these modules and on the other end are my students who will actually bare the consequences of that directive.  Last year, in the midst of the barrage of testing that my students had to face, I was the last line of defense for them.  I adjusted my classroom and do not quiz or test as much as I have.  This year I find myself amidst another battle where I have to be the last line of defense for my students in respects to these modules.

Never a dull moment.

On a positive note, I shared the clip with some of my colleagues and we had a good laugh.

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