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[teacherartexchange] A good story about an "at-risk" student


Date: Thu Mar 01 2007 - 13:44:10 PST

I have a 6th grade student that has been ID'd as "at risk" because
he has failed the state's standardized tests, and math is one of his
weakest points. While we were doing clay, I made a large coil pot
of my own that all the kids have been incredibly impressed with.
This student came up to me during class one day and we had the
following conversation:

C: "Miss Hayes, how much does a box of clay cost?"
Me: "Well, I'm not exactly sure, but I think you can get 50 lbs of
it for about $20."
C: "How much clay did you use in your project?"
Me: "I don't know - probably 10 lbs."
C: " could make 5 of those with a box of clay."
Me: "Yeah, that's about right."
C: "And how much do you think you could sell it for?"
Me: "I don't know for sure - but I could probably get about $50 for
it. Hand made clay items usually sell for a lot, especially if
you're a well known artist, which I'm not."
C: " could sell 5 of these pots for 50 each. That's $250.
And your cost was only $20, so you'd make $230 in profit! That's
Me: "You're right, C."
C: "How much time did you spend making it?"
Me: "Ummm...I don't know for sure. Maybe 5 hours."
C: "So, 5 hours for each one - that's 25 hours. So...$230 in 25
hours - that's about $9 dollars an hour, right? And if you could
sell them for more, you'd make more money per hour!"
Me: "I guess so, I'm not sure about the math. Let's get a
calculator and check."

So we checked it, and he was right.

Me: "C, you're a walking word problem today! Good job using those
math skills!"

Isn't that awesome???


Heather Hayes
Visual Art
Ridgeview Middle School

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