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Everything posted by lewelma

  1. We get stickbugs in the house!
  2. Sorry to confuse the issue, definitely not my intent. I was not comparing homeschool kids at elites vs at CC at all. Rather, I was pondering the differences between homeschooled kids vs school kids at elites, as I actually didn't expect a difference when he went last year. But he definitely has seen differences. He is better at some skills and worse at others. It is not like he is either all better or all worse, so that homeschooling is some utopia. But it does seem somewhat consistent to him across the board with all his school friends and the other homeschooler in his dorm. Just something I found interesting. It also suggests to me that while homeschooling let my son run in his strengths, it did not allow him to develop good executive function skills. Perhaps CC draws a wider distribution of skill level in both groups (from very high to very low), so that trends are not noticeable. But it seems curious to me that most of the freshman school kids in my ds's dorm are less mature in his opinion. I wonder if a kid chooses to do a ton of work in high school so they can get into an elite, maybe you have no time to develop your inner self. Just pondering. My ds's experience this year has been profound, so it is on my mind as he finishes up finals week.
  3. I am old enough to have had my maternal great grandfather tell me stories about travelling to Oklahoma by covered wagon because his father had been in the Oklahoma land rush. I am old enough to have had my paternal grandmother tell me stories about how her grandfather lived with them when she was a girl, and how he would meet up with the other civil war vets on their front porch. She could never understand them because they were speaking German!
  4. My older son has found he is .... Better than brick and mortar students in: 1) Using a textbook to learn independently 2) Content knowledge in his field of speciality 3) Maturity and confidence and sense of self Worse than brick and mortar students in: 1) Figuring out what will be on a test and making sure to study that stuff 2) Organizing his study when there are multiple competing deadlines Sounds like this is not what you have seen. Ruth in NZ whose son is studying in the USA
  5. Biozone has an Ecology worktext that is really good. They also have environmental science worktext. Both have full text previews so you can see what it covers and the kind of questions it asks. I love Biozone. Ruth in NZ
  6. My ds labeled all his photos for his science fair project on mushrooms, and wrote up some very brief descriptions. He made an awesome poster.
  7. Well, using the pronoun 'they' as singular is both common and accepted here as a way to avoid referring to gender. That vs which vs who is kind of a nonevent here. Essential and nonessential clauses and comma requirements would be laughed at. Definitely the idiomatic phrasal verbs. If it sounds right here, it is right. She has no interest in memorizing how to match prepositions to verbs from an American English point of view. Stuff like that. It is definitely an American English test, and she knows New Zealand English.
  8. Thanks guys. I'll go have a look. I think that shipping the study guides here will cost a fortune. So I'm thinking of starting with Khan and then bringing some physical books back in my suitcase in July.
  9. Well, I'm going to tell my dad that he is super special. He taught in Public Health and had students write three 15-page papers each term. They were due on Monday and he returned them on Wednesday with feedback. He did this for a decade. He worked at UK, and I don't remember why, but I know the student evaluations were important to him/the school. Good incentive to be efficient in grading, and plan to get papers back promptly.
  10. Interesting. I didn't read the syllabus that closely. I know the final is comprehensive and required. So just becomes weighted more if you start skipping tests. My guess is that you need a note from the Student Services group for missed tests to be counted as an excused absence and not recorded as a zero.
  11. And my ds also took a philosophy class last term where he did not get back one paper before the next one was due. DS had no idea whether he was on the right track or not. It was really discouraging.
  12. Well, my ds has now taken 4 midterm tests in physics over the course of 2 semesters, and all 4 have been posted within 5 hours. Not sure how it is done (i'm just guessing multiple TAs, but maybe one TA is just super fast), but clearly the professor wants it to happen or it would not happen. These physics tests are handwritten long-form answers and each are given brief written feedback-- so to be clear it is not a multiple choice test. Also, the syllabus says no make-up tests are given regardless of reason-- so if one is missed, fewer assessments averaged into the final grade. Not sure about extra time or other assessment conditions, perhaps it happens same time in another location. I just wonder why my ds's experience in physics and my dad's experience of personally marking thirty 15-page papers in 48 hours is just that unusual. It is clearly very good for the students. Is the main purpose of tests/papers to assess students or to act as a learning tool? If the second, prompt feedback is required.
  13. My oldest is now at MIT studying physics and mathematics. He just just so far away, and I miss him! But he is happy, really really happy. He has found his tribe.
  14. We are on week 2 of term 2. sigh. Four 10-week terms in total. So very very definitely not joining you in your blue sky breeze.
  15. Yes Yes Yes! I tutor math and I COMPLETELY agree. Get a book or a workbook and avoid any and all online programs. I even have students with enough metacognition to be able to tell me that it is the online environment that has led them into the mess they are in. I will join your soap box.
  16. I will also say that the grammar portion of the verbal test is content that is not accepted in NZ as correct or even acceptable in some cases. We have just referred to it as "American grammar."
  17. Well, I didn't help my older with the math section of the SAT, as he is pretty mathy (ok, VERY mathy). So I've never actually looked at the math SAT, and now that I've studied it a bit, I've found it very tricky. I could teach her all sorts of standard algebra, but basically it didn't help. It was more about what we call "kiwi ingenuity." At first she kept trying to use these new algebra skills I had taught her, and just failing at it, because she is just not that strong yet. But once I realized that she didn't understand that *any* method was acceptable, I started showing her all sorts of under-the-table methods to just get an answer, algebra or no. Once I did this, her score shot up. Basically, it seems to be a test of problem solving rather than algebra skill, and you can use lots of non-algebra methods to solve algebra problems. This may not be super efficient, but if she is only planning on doing 75% of the test, she has some time to muck around with non-efficient methods. It was just like the lights went on when I told her to abandon algebra for the harder problems, and just *get* the answer in any way that she could.
  18. Thanks for that. I've never tutored for the SAT as it is not a NZ exam. It has been very eye opening.
  19. Here is an update on where we are at. On her first practice test in February she scored a 950, which was actually better than I expected. At that point, she could do NONE of the non-calculator math section, so just guessed her way to a low score. She couldn't even do the first question. So we started with basic algebra, and then I started teaching her just give it a go techniques - graph to scale, use non-algebra techniques for algebra questions, guess and check, etc. We also went after grammar once I realized that she knew NO as in NO grammar. She could not edit anything except by ear. We worked for 9 weeks. Believe it or not, last week she scored an 1170 on her practice test! 220 point increase! She took her first SAT last Saturday, so crossing fingers for a decent score. So now I am at the point of consolidating her algebra and grammar learning. She needs just more practice, as in 6 months more, of just SAT style questions. Can you guys recommend both online and physical books that would help her get from about 1100 to 1300. I've been reading through the thread, and there are a lot of recommendations. Basically, we need *practice* not explanations, and we need it for scores in math 500-650, without any consideration of the harder stuff which she will definitely skip. Also, we need practice for the editing/grammar portion of verbal. just more and more practice. Once again, no explanations, just practice practice practice. Thanks! Ruth in NZ
  20. This summer, my son is studying the energy transfer between quantum dots and monolayers. Lots of opportunities in the physics end of materials science!
  21. Was the OP's prof an adjunct? I guess I was assuming that he/she wasn't. My sister was an adjunct for 6 years before getting a permanent position. I know that the system is really bad for adjuncts.
  22. It just seems to me that you can *plan* for grading, knowing you have to do it and knowing it is so valuable to get immediate feedback. My older ds's physics tests for a class of 100 are graded and posted within 4 hours of him finishing the exam. Clearly, multiple TA's are grading to get them done so fast, but then it must be planned in advance that all of the TA's get in a room and get it done together right after the exam. This is not just by chance -- the professor must *want* to give immediate feedback, so plans for it to happen.
  23. My dad is a professor, and he points out that the grading has to get done so you might as well do it right away. When he has a test or assigns a paper, he *plans* his schedule so that the next two days are clear of any obligations or meetings, and sits downs and marks the lot of them within 48 hours. He has used this approach for a decade and always gets very good evaluations from the students. The work has to get done, delaying it doesn't reduce the workload for the professor, and certainly doesn't help the students. It makes no sense.
  24. There were no physics opportunities here that my older ds could get into -- all of them were through the schools, and we were told to piss off. So ds put his time and passion into math and stood out in that way. He is now a freshman physics major, taking freshman honors physics classes and grad-level math classes. My ds is interested in theoretical condensed matter physics, which requires lots of math. Ruth in NZ
  25. My older boy is studying in the USA at MIT. He can self-study and take the final exams for a number of courses (4 sciences and 5 math that I know of).
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