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EKS last won the day on January 26 2013

EKS had the most liked content!

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  1. Pending here too. When this happened last time, my son's scores were released by the early afternoon, IIRC. We're on the west coast. I seriously don't understand why they can't release the scores all at once.
  2. In addition to the standard resources, we always liked adding books set in various places where the place was a large part of the story.
  3. Ok, so I went back and looked at your solution. My solution was nothing like that (I mean, I got the same answer but I did it in a much more direct way--at least it seems more direct to me). I can't imagine any of my Algebra 1 students coming up with the solution you posted, and several of them have been very bright, very capable math students.
  4. I agree. I was able to figure it out, but I'm trying to figure out what specific Algebra 1 skills you would use to solve it. And I teach Algebra I to other people's children, so I'd like to think I know what those skills are.
  5. It's possible that you're sending out vibes that you don't want people to talk to you or sit with you or whatever. I think that I have this problem, which is why I mention it.
  6. The policy that Christmas stuff be advertised before Thanksgiving.
  7. This discussion reminds me of this essay on late bloomers by Malcolm Gladwell--though he was talking specifically about late-blooming genius. But I think that it has wider relevance, particularly this bit here: This is the final lesson of the late bloomer: his or her success is highly contingent on the efforts of others... We'd like to think that mundane matters like loyalty, steadfastness, and willingness to keep writing checks to support what looks like failure have nothing to do with something as rarefied as genius. But sometimes genius is anything but rarefied; sometimes it's just the thing that emerges after twenty years of working at your kitchen table.
  8. This. Support, if done right, makes a person stronger and better able to deal with difficult tasks later on.
  9. I think it is a mistake to allow kids to fail in school. Here's why. I have never been formally diagnosed with anything, but my adult son was diagnosed with dyslexia and ADHD, and I believe that I have a less severe form of what he has. My parents, being like all parents back in the day, allowed me to fail beginning at the same age your daughter is. All it did was teach me that failure wasn't so bad, that in fact, failure was easier than putting effort into things. It enabled me to change my identity from "reasonably good student" to "student who fails." This stuck with me through junior high and high school. When the going got tough, I simply didn't do the work. I somehow graduated from high school anyway, and I got into the state university on SAT scores. And at the university I failed as well, but at my school Fs didn't go on the transcript. I was on academic probation from the second quarter I was there until my very last quarter. All that failure resulted in a few things. The first is that I missed large pieces of my education. Math, for example. The second is that when I finally decided not to fail at the end of my sophomore year in college, it was too late. The damage to my record was done because even though the Fs weren't recorded, there were lots of places where I obviously hadn't taken a full load, including places where I got credit for a 1 unit lab class but the lecture portion was missing! After homeschooling for 16 years, it is obvious to me how much I missed. I really wish my parents had intervened and forced me to learn math and all the other things I failed at. I wish they had scaffolded my experience to show me how one systematically approaches excellence as a student. The only time they ever intervened was when I was about to fail French at the end of 11th grade. My father made flashcards of every word in the book and over the course of an evening (or maybe it was a weekend) my mother drilled me on them. I went into the final exam and aced it. That experience showed me how just a little bit of parental support could make a huge difference. So I chose a different path for my kids. I decided not to let them fail because, in my world, failing once meant that it was that much easier to do it again (and again and again). I don't think that suddenly eliminating the scaffold is a good way to teach kids how to approach hard things; it just makes the wall insurmountable. Obviously, eventually dismantling the scaffold is part of the process, but when that time comes, if you do it right, they will be ready.
  10. I was responding to your original statement about fluency that didn't have the Spanish II qualifier. That said, I don't think that a person in Spanish II, even at the end of the year, is going to be able to do much beyond extremely basic communication. My son spent two years in one on one lessons with a foreign language tutor who had previously taught at the college level at an Ivy caliber school. She said that it was astounding how little students knew even after taking an AP class (which was essentially required for admission)--the vast majority placed into the first (or, rarely, second) semester. Another data point--I took two semesters of Japanese as an adult, which would be equivalent to two years of high school Japanese, at a well ranked state flagship. I got solid As, and the professor loved me. I was anything but fluent on any level. I couldn't understand Japanese people speaking Japanese. I couldn't read without literally transliterating words written in Japanese characters into the English alphabet first. If I had been plunked into Japan and actually had to speak and understand Japanese to function, it would have been a disaster.
  11. It's possible that I've missed something, but I didn't think anyone was arguing that a two hour school day would to serve as the basis of an excellent high school education. Speaking for myself, I know that my argument is only that it would be possible to do in 10-15 hours per week at home what is done by average students in regular classes in school (so working to a C level in non-honors classes). That is not the same as providing a rigorous, college prep experience where the student works to mastery, and it isn't the same as providing the sort of education I think that all students should be entitled to. But it is how things are. Of course, as I write this, I am realizing that I am thinking about how long it would take my son (who is highly gifted) and me (a veteran homeschooler who knows how to be efficient with my students' time) to do these things. People in different circumstances would likely take much longer.
  12. I don't know if my comments put me in this category, but I wanted to clarify that I am not defending a two hour school day. I'm just saying that I think it's possible to provide a minimalist version of what a public high school provides in their regular classes (with the exception of labs and whole class discussions) in two to three hours (includes math and English homework). Do I think that this would be a good education? No. But do I think that the average high school student in the average high school is getting a good education? No again.
  13. It sounds like his grade might be deflated, for lack of a better term. Some ideas: Have him correct the work that is intended for practice, and then give him 100%. Give him points for participation (listening and speaking). Stop giving low point value assignments where only whole points are taken off (one mistake will put a 4 point assignment into the C range). Give him assignments outside of what the class offers that he is allowed to rework to 100% or that are experiential and that he gets 100% on if he participates fully. Make sure he is truly ready for tests before he takes them. Make sure your grading is giving appropriate weight to different sorts of mistakes. I had a very long conversation with my son's veteran French II teacher (who gave the least inflated grades in the school) about how she graded grammatical mistakes versus vocabulary mistakes. A vocabulary error got just a smidge off (so far less than half points) but a grammar error was considered much more serious (note that she also graded homework on completion). In addition, the goal of Spanish II isn't to be able to speak and write fluently. Your assessment of his grade as being accurate is against a standard that lies well above the goals of the class.
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