Reflection: Transitions What are the key features of a linear function? - Section 2: Work Return and Framing


"How can we ensure that every student achieves at least one year's progress for one year of schooling?" John Hattie asks in this post.

At the secondary level, most conversations about helping all students achieve at least one year of progress in each year of schooling focus on teaching students the content.  There are good and bad reasons for that, and to enumerate or debate them here is not my goal.

I'd like to spend a few minutes on the softer stuff.  The way I greet students at the start of class (heck, the way I greet a colleague on the way into the building) affects the vibe of the day and contributes to whether or not my students make one day of progress or not.  Ensuring that we are emotionally and spiritually ready to learn is worth every moment.

Then there are the non-content skills or habits that students must master to be successful students.  One example of such a skill is helping students understand how best to interact with their work when I return it.  I want to help my students understand how to use the feedback I give them, how to use their work later on to review or study, and even how to organize the work they've done for easy retrieval.

It goes without saying that soft skills are part of the Kindergarten curriculum, and I guess the needle shifts gradually toward content as the grades pass.  But an intense focus only on the ends without considering the might actually hinder students from achieving "one year's progress" in a year of schooling.  

This is all the more important for disadvantaged students who might not have mastered the soft skills.  Their one year of progress might necessarily include how to best ask for help when they need it, or how prioritize tasks.  

And here's the kicker.  In my experience, when kids recognize that I'm equipping them with useful knowledge about how to achieve whatever they want, inside and outside of this class, they're more likely to engage in the heavy-lifting of mathematical content.  Once they're more engaged, they're more likely to make that year of progress.

  The Soul of Our Work
  Transitions: The Soul of Our Work
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What are the key features of a linear function?

Unit 7: Lines
Lesson 6 of 10

Objective: SWBAT identify and interpret the key features of a linear function.

Big Idea: Does the y-intercept of a linear cost function imply that someone is paying for nothing?

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