The Calculus Funk.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

I'm teaching Calculus I again this semester (two sections) and therein lies the problem.


And again.  And again.

I've been teaching Calculus I for way too long.  If I'm being honest, it's gotten stale.  My lessons are all on PowerPoints that have been scrubbed clean of errors and ambiguities.  My stash of worksheets cover almost any area where a given class needs more practice.  My review games are carefully tied to the material on the exams.  Heck, even my labs are now a solid representation of how the course material is used "in the real world."

And yet.

I can't shake the funk.

It's a case of "been there, done that."

Even worse is the split of students this semester.  One of my Calculus classes is scoring much, much higher than any previous class (in terms of class average).  The other class?  One of the lowest averages ever.

Sometimes it's luck of the draw I guess.  Sometimes it's the students within the class.  And sometimes, just sometimes, it might be the instructor.

I need to come up with new ideas and methods to engage my lower achieving class - clearly they aren't responding to the same things that my other class is.

I have my theories on why, but there's little time for "why" right now.  Right now, it's time for "how".

How, that is, can I improve the class?

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