Dec 15, 2008


Today is the first day of our school's three week winter break.  We get the extra time by forgoing holidays throughout the year and by starting earlier, and everybody's happy to be off.  But I can't help but wonder if the weeks off are going to do more harm than good.

When we had a one week break with the calc kids over the Thanksgiving break, they forgot pretty much everything they had learned about the chain rule, and now a lot of them are going to struggle with the rest of the course because of it.  I could tell that it wasn't sinking in quite right when I was teaching it, but I attributed that largely to student absence and refusal to do homework/come for extra help (everyone was busy with college applications).  I thought that they'd study it over break to catch up, but for the most part they didn't.  What do you do to make sure that kids don't lose everything over break?


Anonymous said...

I usually count on some review (anything from a single good problem to an entire period, but usually about 15, 20 minutes) on the day back.

I also suggest that they do their homework on the first day of break (regular, overnight assignment, nothing special), and review the evening before they come back.

It's not the greatest, but it's something.


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