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Topic: upper middle schoolers that haven't yet mastered multiplication facts


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Subject:   RE: upper middle schoolers that haven't yet mastered multiplication facts
Author: Mathman
Date: Feb 7 2005
On Feb  7 2005, rabeldin wrote:
> I think everyone agrees with your sentiments. The problem is "How do
> you get to know students well enough to know what will motivate
> them?". It may take several one-on-one sessions for severely
> disaffected students. With large classrooms and students who come
> only to one class per day, this may be difficult to arrange. Some
> teachers adopt the "showman" approaach which will attract some
> students but certainly not all. What other strategies can we
> recommend?

Another question might be as to where the responsibility of the teacher begins
and ends.  Another public servant, the doctor, can prescribe pills, but does not
need to shove them down our throat.  We must decide what is best for us.
Certainly, children do not have the same capacity as the adult for making
decisions, but they have to be amenable to suggestion, whether from a parent,
teacher, or any adult in  a position of authority.  It is difficult enough
raising one's own; more difficult raising offspring of others, and much of a
child's personality is gained outside of the classroom, and has little to do
with the teacher and any course of study.  We do [did] our best, and no-one
can ask more than that.

Personally, I don't believe in the "showman" approach.  It is a temporary fix,
if anything.  If teaching to drive a car, the student had *better* perform
certain tasks, or die in the attempt; balloons on the hood might brighten up the
atmosphere, but also blur the vision.  There are times to be decisive, as well
as kind and judicious.  That's called good parenting.  Perhaps I'm blessed; I
now have the opportunity for good grandparenting.

David.

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