So yesterday we were learning to factor trinomials of the form ax^2 + bx + c in my math models class. I've taught this topic so many ways, but I have come to realize all of the little "tricks" to help them are useless, because the following year, they can't remember the "tricks". So in order to help them really understand the process, we are doing good old fashioned guess and check. This process was murder for my MMA kids because if they can't arrive at an answer within a few steps, they immediately proclaim "This is way too much work miss, " and you lose them for the rest of the lesson.
Anyway, on each problem, I would write out the possible factorizations and I was getting each row to check a different possibility. The first example went well and our second answer choice was the correct answer. On example two, the first answer choice ended up being the correct answer and I proclaimed, "wow, it's my lucky day!" "I can't believe I picked the right answer on my first try!" Then on example 3, I accidently did the same thing, I picked the correct factorization as my first guess (even though I really didn't want to). I then proclaimed in a very dramatic voice (because I was trying to keep their attention) "I can't believe I got lucky twice in one day!" A hush fell over the room and then laughter ensued. The whole class was beside themselves with laughing. It took me a few minutes to figure out what in the world was so funny. Then one brave student said, "Miss, think about what you just said."
I'm not sure how much they really learned yesterday about factoring. I can see that I will need to spend several more days on the topic. I'm going to try a little group activity today to avoid another "boring" lecture and hopefully more slips of the tongue.