Wednesday, April 04, 2007

From here to there...eventually.

"Coverage" is a four-letter word.

It rankles me more each year.

It's especially frustrating in classes like Calc I, where I've "got to" get to a certain point in the curriculum so that my kiddies won't be left in the dark when a new semester's sun rises on Calc II.

My colleague on the third floor, Fyodor, mentioned in passing this morning that he's happy if his Precalc students end the semester with a basic and lasting understanding of polynomials and rational functions. I concurred.

And I meant every word I said to my Calc class this afternoon in the aftermath of yesterday's exam: "I don't put too much stock in grades." A partial truth. "I'm much more concerned with progress." Closer still to the mark. "If you leave this room with a greater commitment to critical thinking, if you gain facility in performing a few mathematical calculations, if you can grasp the basic concepts behind calculus and how they relate to the 'Big Picture,' then you've succeeded."

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