I attended a staff development last week that offers some validation to my hope for my boot camp plan. Another high school in the district noted a strong deficiency in students abilities to solve for unknowns in given equations. It is most frustrating for science teachers who make use of equations with several variables and depending on the problem you may need to solve for any of the five or six in there. I have noticed a similar deficiency among my students with problems that only have one variable, so I feel the science teacher's pain.

The solution to the problem was to put on their cross-curriculum hats and spend 10-15 minutes a class period for 6 class periods working on this skill in math and science. It was an experiment, not all teachers participated, so some students got the help twice. The students were given six equations and six unknowns to solve for stone cold without any help and after the short tutoring period they were tested again. Scores doubled and I imagine a few more kids weren't so scared of science class anymore.

All six of the problems have features that have frightened more than one of my students. This is getting integrated into boot camp, you can believe it.

Sadly, we didn't get to summarize the day with a wordle.

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AuthorJonathan Claydon