Bang Your Head on Your Desk - the thread of teaching despair!

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Sorry for chuckling, Titian, but between Baleful's response and Barcrossliar's poem, I can't help it.

I can see a student exchanging "Lancelot" for "lancelet," but not for "lamprey."  I hope the student was able to distinguish a pigeon from, say, a fetal pig...

Quote from: cine_elle on March 04, 2013,  2:52:13 PM

Quote from: tanit on March 04, 2013,  2:44:03 PM

I'll chime in with those we reveal the nuts and bolts of the test before giving it. 

I give them all the breakdown of points, recommended time to complete each question/section, sample questions, and the reason that they are asked each type of question.  The last has cut out about 90% of the whining about the amount of memorization required.  (I am a big believer in memorization.)

Second chime for those who hold review sessions driven entirely by student questions.  I ask for them via email ahead of time.

I don't know why it never occurred to me to do that, but I love it and think I'm going to borrow [steal] it next semester. It's so simple but genius.

And to throw another penny into the well of consensus, I also just tell them how many questions there are, give them sample questions, and explain why I've structured it this way. In lower division classes, I give them hints throughout the semester to help them learn to take notes. Things like, "Now, this might feel like an informal discussion, but these are precisely the kinds of things you want in your notes, potentially for an exam question." I then put it on the exam. After the first exam, most of them learn to take better notes during class.

I hope it works!  When possible, I do a review PPT and post it so they can review before asking questions.  Sometimes, however, that's too much work, and it's better to just wait to hear what they think is important and respond to (and around) that.

Quote from: balefulregardss on March 04, 2013,  6:35:55 PM

Quote from: cajunmama on March 04, 2013,  4:25:21 PM

Technology. <grrrr>

I teach Basketweaving Graphics to freshpeeps. Old computers and even older software. When the software gets cranky, I can deal, but when the computer and the projector I use to teach decide to go on the fritz?!?


I had our fairly new and fancy smartboard set up decide to poop out on me a couple of weeks ago.

I looked like a deer in the headlights as I tried to get the LCD projector to project.

Then I announced that this is why you must be flexible in planning and changed the lecture for the day.

You are absolutely right. I did manage to salvage something, and I have some wiggle room in my plan, just for times like these.

This semester I have a class with tables. During tests, I sit them by class rank at the tables. (They don't know this). This way I can minimize the likelihood that copying will be helpful. Oh, and it also puts the worst students in the front where I can keep an eye on them. I've done this for years, and no one has ever tried anything.

Until today.

Stu Dent walk in late. He sets his backpack down, and unzips it and takes out his calculator. Then he reads the first problem and writes something down. Next, he rummages through his backpack, stares at something, and then frantically erased his answer and changed it to the correct one.

I moved the backpack after that. I sure hope cheating (at *maybe* a 4 year old level) was worth it on that 2 point problem in a 1000 point class.

Stu Dent found an error on the exam. No problem. I mkae typos all the time.  But rather than bringing up during the exam, she circles a number that could plausibly be correct were the number in decimal. But it was not. It was in a numbering system that we covered .....  oh. 4 weeks ago. And they saw in the prereq class.. and this is not her first time in the class.  So it should not have been news. I suggested the better time to point out the typo was during the exam (when I could have done something about it) rather than circling the wrong answer... which is still wrong.  While I was looking up the best way to solve it, I asked if there were other questions.. because I can read and listen more or less at the same time. Stu decides at the moment I must hate her and "have it for her" and storms out in tears. <sigh>  I get ready to leave and notes she left her jacket here.  If I really hated her, I would have left and locked the door. But I waited.... 10 mins later her friend shows up and I sweetly smile and say oh it's over here I was waiting for her.....  Friend smiles and wanders off...

Now I can go home.

Oh, and Stu?  If you would come to class regularly and do your homework and ask questions in the CMS and read the freakin' book, this would go a lot better. Honest.



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