Today has been nonstop. I’m pressing through, even right now. Let me tell y’all this. Fractions were not meant to be taught remotely. Today, I was Mrs. Barnes the third-grade math teacher. Today’s lesson was about equivalent fractions and counting fractions on a number line. The online module include lovely problems such as find the missing fraction on the number line. Even though I am known as a literacy person. I originally was a math education major, and I wanted to double major in English education and math education. Apparently, that takes a long time. I went with English education and never looked back, but I’m not afraid of math. I enjoy it. I was always one of the top grade earners in math all the way through senior year of high school. I was determined that the scholars, Jeremiah and James, in the Barnes At Home Academy would also achieve greatly in math.
I got out some paper, grabbed some colorful markers, and went to work. Not only did I teach the math skills, but I also had them teach them back to me by explaining what they learned and how they got every single answer. I know they were tired of me saying, “Explain that, please.” We also covered math vocabulary. One problem talked about counting the fourths, and then the next problem asked them to count the quarters. I had to teach the math vocabulary that quartered means fourths. Let me slip on my literacy cap on for a second. I was a bit annoyed that there was an assumption made that the students completing this module automatically knew that. These are the little roadblocks tripping students up at home. Vocabulary is not just a reading class or English class thing.
To make life easy for their teachers, most of the answers were multiple choice. That meant the assignment would grade itself. I used this as an opportunity to go over some test-taking skills. Standardized testing did get canceled for the rest of the school year, but we know, at some point, it will be back. However, the Barnes boys will be ready.
I also taught about the importance of labeling your answers. If they were counting half inches, I need to hear them counting and saying inches as they counted. Then, when we looked at the answer choices, I had them check the label. I pointed out trap responses. Two answer choices were 5 feet and 5 inches. I asked, “What are we measuring by?” They said inches. Then I said, “Which answer can we automatically eliminate?” They replied, “5 feet.”
To teach this math lesson today, I had to stop working. This meant I ended up doing my work at another time. That time ran into dinner time. I started dinner, and Mr. Barnes finished. Now, I’m supposed to be working on my second portfolio for my doctoral class. It is my last assignment that is due for this course. Specifically, it is due at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday. It is supposed to be at least 18 pages long, and I currently have four pages. Y’all pray for me. I need a good grade on this assignment, but I have not been able to put the time into the work as I need such as reading academic articles so I can cite researchers in my portfolio.
Every day I have to choose between my work and their work. This is what life is like for me and many of us during the pandemic.
I have to hop off of here, so I can get back to my homework. I’ll only be able to work on it for a little while because I promised my boys quality time. Y’all already know, if you have been reading these updates, that this means another episode of The Twilight Zone. We are on season three now.
Stay safe, and wash your hands correctly. Tschüss!