If you are a teacher, using  Straight A’s Are Not Enough in a class or workshop, please share your experiences here. If you are thinking about using it and have questions, you can also share these.

Lesson Plans

I have often been asked about Lesson Plans. But, as I talk to teachers in different situations, it is more and more clear that you will need to create lesson plans to fit your own situation. You might need lessons plans for

  1.  Pre-college programs such as Upward Bound or Educational Talent Search – and there are many more.
  2.  high school students: learning in a high school, home schooled, or learning in a college.
  3. summer bridge programs.
  4. working with first generation or other at-risk groups of students
  5. orientation programs
  6. First Year Experience programs
  7. gifted students
  8. students with physical or learning disabilities
  9. Student Athletes
  10. short one-hour workshops on study skills
  11. classes on Study Skills
  12. programs for students on probation for poor grades

And this list could go on and on. I would like to suggest that if you have developed a series of lesson plans, you could let me know about it with a description of your program. I could make of list of these, and when anyone asked about lesson plans of that type, have them contact you.

Comments on Math Problems

The pigs and chicken program is an example of a problem with some information missing. Students are not accustomed to supplying additional information to solve a problem.  Another interesting type of problem involves giving students too much information.  Here is my favorite:

There is a room that is 20 feet long, 15 feet high, and 10 feet high. There are 2 doors, 4 windows, 1 blackboard, and 6 windows. On the north wall there are 5 pictures. On the south wall there is 1 large world map.  Next to that is a thermometer. The temperature is 70 degrees. What is the area of the floor?

I gave this problem to high school students and the majority of them added all the numbers together. Did it make sense? No, but what else can you do with so many numbers?

If I could Teach the Class

I would require each student to have and use a journal. In addition to discussing their answers to questions in the book, I’d want them to write about and discuss how using a journal can be helpful.

Early in the class or workshop, I’d ask students to preview the book (if using the book) or a list of topics and ask them which of the topics would be most helpful to them. And I’d be certain to cover each of those topics, either in the group or individually. I l would want the class or workshop to cover what the students say the really want to learn – NOT just what I want to teach or want them to learn.

Early in the class or workshop, I’d ask students to share their goals – what they want to achieve in college – and what it would mean to them to get a GREAT education.

I would take time with each new topic to learn what strategies each student was already using and what kind of problems they have. I’d have plenty of time for discussion in small groups and with the entire class.

I would ask students to choose some of the strategies to try – and later ask how it went, but I would never expect any students to use all of the strategies.

I would ask students to evaluate the program both immediately after finishing, and again after a month or two to discover what changes they made based on what they learned.