Teacher Reflection 180: Day 8

When it comes to a job which is better: getting it done fast OR getting it done right?

Explain when getting it done fast is better:

Explain when getting it done right is better:

When it comes to Math which is better: getting it done fast OR getting it done right?

Explain when getting it done fast is better:

Explain when getting it done right is better:

Why do your students feel speed is better?  How has this opinion been supported by real life experiences?

This is a very important question to get a feel for.  Students hide behind the statement “When are we ever going to use this in our lives?” and there are a lot of jobs that support speed as a factor of performance.  Research the examples they provide to determine how speed effects evaluation.  I have found that unless you provide students with some visuals and facts about jobs outside of school that they will listen but not hear you.  Provide students with examples of jobs that promote quantity over quality, and even find a video clip or two that students could watch.  Have them discuss things they noticed after watching the clip and see if their outlook changes.

This type of research will give you a basis of how you can combat the need to rush through work in class.

Why do your students feel doing things right is better?  How has this opinion been supported by real life experiences?

Similar to speed, do some research to find jobs where quality is demanded over quantity.  Do the same things, find videos, show them.  Have students talk about what they saw and which of the two factors they now believe is more important.  Then hit them up with typical salaries for the jobs you found.  I have found quality/expertise jobs to offer higher pay.

 

Why do your students feel speed is better in math?  How has this opinion been supported by school experiences?

Math for many students is timed.. for everything!  We do math minutes, 5 minute warm-ups, timed tests- even the class is set on a strict time schedule.  Many of my students want to complete things within the time allowed and not worry about quality.  They think a math lesson has to be completed in one day.  They feel projects are on a 1-2 day time frame.  They often comment to me about the time they have wasted by doing a problem wrong, or they don’t want to try to work on a problem unless they know they are doing it right because of the same constraint.

There are times that I also support this outlook, I currently set a timer for class to remind me about class reflection at the end of the hour.  Once that buzzer goes, we drop what we are doing.  I have caught students glancing at the timer by the board to see how much time they have left to complete their current work.  How often do we set up timed stations or activities with the justification of keeping students engaged, moving, fresh?  Currently I am working to slow down my classroom (even working on the timer for reflection) to show students that this is not important.  Students initially think that I’m doing them a favor and allowing “goof off” time, until they start thinking about the work we do, get involved in the discussions, and start to make their “brain hurt.”  That last phrase has been spoken a lot this year, and I’m starting to take it as a badge of honor.  Even though they say their brain hurts, they are working their hardest to find answers, justify their work and analyze the work of others.

Why do your students feel doing it right is better in math?  How has this opinion been supported by school experiences?

Right now there are only a few students who feel that doing it right is better than doing it fast.  The bad side to this is those students feel that the answer is all that matters, not the journey.  This is another reason I have refrained from giving official grades on papers- instead I ask a question to provoke the student to clarify or analyze their approach to the problem.  Giving students small input to assignments and having them rework the problems has really helped many of my students, but it comes at a cost- time.  Learning isn’t something that happens instantaneous for our students, they need time to be messy, make mistakes, correct them, compare them.  That is the way I want to encourage my students to think about Math, so they can grow to their full potential.

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