Ahhh... the application of concepts, great number sense - which is more
math than arithmetic. Truly, schools only teach arithmetic - and
standardized tests primarily test reading skills - for all subjects.

I just read two articles on math that hit home - there is such a thing
as math anxiety (I don't have it, but I have three sons paralyzed by it)
- and the other was from a professor at Stanford (I think) - about mind
set intelligence/fixed mind set intelligence.

Two groups of students in the 7th grade - one group is taught how the
brain works - how to use it - how to stretch the muscle... a mini
neuroscience course...

The other is taught the good old study skills -

Observe the two groups for two years - the 'brain' group had improved
math scores - the fixed mind set group stayed the same.

Thanks for giving your student the chance -
Ellen

-----Original Message-----
From: Heather_Hayes@roundrockisd.org
[mailto:Heather_Hayes@roundrockisd.org]
Sent: Thursday, March 01, 2007 4:44 PM
To: TeacherArtExchange Discussion Group
Subject: [teacherartexchange] A good story about an "at-risk" student

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: "So...you 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: "So...you 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
Awesome!"
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!"