Today one of my lowest and slowest and most confused students combined like terms.
On his own.
With the distributive property.
This sums up why I believe so strongly in my school's decision not to groups student by ability or math level groups, but instead to differentiate the material to all students. Every student of mine has a chance to work with variables and and algebraic patterns. Some master it. Others struggle. But they all get to try. And sometimes, for even the lowest, some amazingly difficult topics become accessible.
So I watched my student, with his little white board, puzzle through the distributive property and combine like terms and make equivalent expressions. Will he know it after the weekend? I doubt it. But for a moment, he had it. And if we split up students by level, he never even would have had the chance to try it. He may not master it this year, but he will be all that much closer when it comes around again in Algebra next year.
And now, as I'm finally writing again, I feel why I need to write every day. I'm suddenly flooded with things to write about and topics I've let slide.
So let the blogging begin again. It may not always be poetry, but it's something.