Day 21: integer addition when some don’t do their homework

I wish I knew how to move students forward when they haven’t practiced the current skill.  A handful of students didn’t attempt or complete the 8 practice problems I assigned on Thursday.  For the majority who did complete the homework, most had a difficult time modelling integer addition using a number line–even after I modeled 3 examples and discussed in-depth how the number movement begins at zero.

Their arrows made no sense.  Students don’t seem to be critical readers. They don’t look closely enough to see the nuance that the number line begins at zero. I didn’t take any pictures, but here’s an example one student’s work:

number line mistake

An example of a mistake I saw.

To top it off, many who did the homework weren’t making corrections. I checked each student’s corrections as we discussed each problem, nudging them to fix their mistakes. Very few were taking me up on my pleasant demeanor. I finally warned them, “If you don’t make corrections, I’ll count your homework as late. Then you’ll need to get a parent signature and you’re one step closer to a detention.” I deplore using threats, but they weren’t acting like responsible learners.

On the bright side I do have some students who are eager for a challenge. After we did some around the world practice problems, as described in the other classes, about 6 students took me up on an offer to complete the most challenging practice worksheet.

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