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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:03 pm 
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What math is it?

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:17 pm 
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Torque, you are and amazing mom. Just reading those two posts next to each other just shows how much you are willing to do for her and how much you love her.

I'm sorry she's having a hard time and I'm glad the root of it came out so maybe she can get some help now. Sorry it had to be hell I'm the process! (And yay! For sharing personal stuff! I always consider that the biggest win when you get let in on the portent details of their life. I would have never, ever told my parents any of that.)

Hope things start to look up soon.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:15 am 
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thanks for your vote of confidence, kelly.

LW, i'm also having vocabulary problems and the kid and her book already left for the day... the circumference of triangles? the differences between medians and means of triangles; the difference between the centroid and the other main point of the triangle (different one which is the center from the bisects or from the medians, can't remember name).... lots of these problems just end in the phrase "calculate the triangle" and i have no forking idea what they want, especially as there are no measurements anywhere (area? angles?). no examples of course. the texts are horrible. She is so confused between how to bisect an angle, create a median, create intersects.
[makes me slightly less angry to see that in singapore math this stuff seems to be grade 9. she is grade 8; although it looks like she didn't catch much of last year either)
i ended up going to Khan Academy and hunting some of the stuff down- KA at least makes it relate to real life functions [which is refreshing, as her book doesn't] but I'm afraid she is going to get lost in translation here. and it still doesn't help us figure out what the book wants. This week i am booked to the gills but i will be trying to meet with the teacher next week. [two years and i've never managed to get the teacher to call me back. this ought to be fun.]

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:41 am 
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Kelly wrote:
Torque, you are and amazing mom. Just reading those two posts next to each other just shows how much you are willing to do for her and how much you love her.

I'm sorry she's having a hard time and I'm glad the root of it came out so maybe she can get some help now. Sorry it had to be hell I'm the process! (And yay! For sharing personal stuff! I always consider that the biggest win when you get let in on the portent details of their life. I would have never, ever told my parents any of that.)

Hope things start to look up soon.


I second what Kelly said, torque. I was so glad you gave an update - my heart goes out to both of you, such a distressing struggle. I'm pretty sure you have a heart and a good one. Sometimes it's safer to put a cage around it for a while and just do what you have to do. Good luck with the school.


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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:00 am 
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torque wrote:
LW, i'm also having vocabulary problems and the kid and her book already left for the day... the circumference of triangles? the differences between medians and means of triangles; the difference between the centroid and the other main point of the triangle (different one which is the center from the bisects or from the medians, can't remember name).... lots of these problems just end in the phrase "calculate the triangle" and i have no forking idea what they want, especially as there are no measurements anywhere (area? angles?). no examples of course. the texts are horrible. She is so confused between how to bisect an angle, create a median, create intersects.


I have no familiarity with the textbooks or whatever the curriculum is, but I did a quick google search and found this site which describes a bunch of different features of triangles, along with applets in which you can drag around vertices and see how everything relates to everything else. Doesn't seem to include very much about how to actually compute things, but might be helpful for visualization and definitions: http://www.mathopenref.com/trianglecenters.html

Not sure what's meant by circumference of a triangle. Circumference of a circumcircle? http://www.mathopenref.com/trianglecircumcircle.html Perimeter? http://www.mathopenref.com/triangleperimeter.html

Dunno if this is helpful or not.


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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:53 pm 
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"Calculate (or solve) the triangle" usually means finding out all the angles and side lengths of the triangles. It involves a little trig. It sounds like she's working on law of sines/law of cosines if she's both solving the triangle and finding areas or finding perimeters (not circumference - that's for circles).

http://www.mathsisfun.com/algebra/trig- ... ngles.html


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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 1:53 pm 
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We need to set up a ppk homework help thread for this kind of thing. I've definetly had to google a few things to help Shae before.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:00 pm 
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Kelly, that's a great idea.


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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 6:28 am 
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you guys are awesome. thank you for the links, they are going in the homework folder. she's not on trig yet and tea, i also have no idea what the circumference of a triangle is. the language barrier sometimes is such a mindfuck. add to that that they actually do the math differently in many cases [division is sort of backwards, it turns my brain inside out to watch] and baboom, brain explodes.

the kid went to the teacher yesterday [finally!!!! she's been afraid to tell her for the last year or so] to say she didn't get it. then stayed for extra help in the afternoon. tonight we'll talk about what the math actually was and see.

also, i told her she could take her computer to use this afternoon. she has real self-control problems with the computer- in theory it's so she can use Khan academy and write [she wants to journal again]. do we want to take bets what i'll see when i open the history tonight? i'm so hopeful every time but i think i must just have "sucker" written on my forehead.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:26 am 
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GRRR.
The school over stepped with Alex and now we have to really reassess if we keep her there.

She is telling me she won't graduate if she can't stay there.

I swear my kids are not as stupid as they are acting. They are really quite intelligent. But they are doing everything through the teen goggles of stupidness.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 8:16 am 
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Sorry you are going through this kfad!

This isn't complaining but it's teen related so here it goes. Shae is going out of town on a school trip for 3 DAYS soon. It'll be the first time he's been away with something like this (without family!) and he'll have to figure out food on his own around the teachers perimeters. I'm so used to researching restaurants and all that for him! I know it'll be good for him and he'll do fine. I'm sending him with builder bars just in case and microwave beans & rice for the hotel just in case, and honestly he'd be thrilled to live off french fries for a few days, but you know. Of course it's with the teacher that told him he should quit veganism because her scientist husband said it causes brain damage, so I'm mostly concerned with him making veganism look safe in her eyes. I want her to have some positive feedback for the next vegan kid she encounters!

And then he goes out of town on another school trip to a theme park in a few weeks.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 4:58 pm 
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soooooo... here ends our experiment in letting the kid use her computer again. in the month or so it's been, she has gotten a 41 in math, a 30 in Phy Ed, a 72 in portuguese, a 60 in spanish, and just today, a 29 in math. my dog could get better grades than this.

she has a makeup exam tomorrow AM to try to save her from failing math. what was she doing when i dropped in to see her? sitting on the computer. didn't study. and talked her dad into going to a party tonight.
a 29?? getting math tutoring for the test, twice a week? i am so sick of this child. what a lazy little bum she is.

sorry, i am venting, but i am breaking my asparagus trying to pay for all of this shiitake and making myself crazy. going nuts trying to find opportunities for her to get better grades when it just comes down to the fact that she is lazy. I just want to take everything out of her room and leave her in a bare cell and then she will have nothing else to do. How do you motivate a lazy person?

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 5:43 pm 
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I don't know that you can. I have students who flat out tell me that they don't need my class to graduate, they are already accepted into college, so they will not take the state exam (this will be the same as a fail on my job evaluation under new rules from the governor), and no longer do work since the F is ok with them. Students in morning class stopped coming once they were assured of a passing average for the year. One girl got a B+, and an A, then a D. This quarter, so knows she can fail so she doesn't get up for school at 7 any longer and just comes for the classes she needs. Many of my students spend a great deal of time calculating the minimum they can get away with and still get a D-. It would actually be less effort to just do the damn stuff.

But, are you sure it is laziness? My parents were convinced I was just lazy in high school. I would read my own things and focus on some stuff, but it was whatever I needed to do to get out of my own head. This did not include French homework. I would read Hugo in French for fun, but wouldn't do classwork. Or math homework. The real problem was my trying to deal with undiagnosed bipolar disorder. I'm not suggesting anything of the sort here, just that other issues can appear as laziness when the apparent laziness is just a masking symptom. For me, just the pressure of things being required of me was just too much and I would crack and be unable to do them.

Either way, I'm sorry you are dealing with this. My parents did a lot of similar things, math tutoring, etc.

In my GED classes, I have two types of students. Students who want GED for job opportu iTunes, their own personal growth or satisfaction, to prove to their kids that they can do it and education is important, or any other personal reason and students who are there because their spouse or partner insists or their parents will kick them out or some other "they are making me" reason.

The second group is never successful. They are a pain in the butt, put in no effort, expect to finish in a week or two and get pissy when I suggest doing anything outside of class. They typically stop coming after a month. They do not ever actually get a GED because they don't want one.

The first group is awesome. They come to class after working 14 hr days, covered in mud and scratches from working in vineyards, they arrange convoluted child care and they do work outside of class. These people achieve and inspire the hell out of my lazy asparagus.

Now, I did have one student defect from the first group to the second when she discovered that she was pregnant. She decided she couldn't not graduate before her baby was born, worked her asparagus off and finished in record time. But, before that, she was in and out of my class for most of the year, doing fork all because her grandmother made her come (and drove her to class). Nothing anybody said or did motivated her at all.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 6:37 am 
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lavawitch wrote:
In my GED classes, I have two types of students.....The second group is never successful.

i saw this in my own GED and literacy groups. And with any kind of teaching i've ever done.

i guess i wonder what makes the difference. is it innate?
how does one create this?

my husband claims, and i hate to say i think i agree, that it is only hardship that creates initiative. that if she had a job at this age, which she had to keep to eat, she would start to get her shiitake together.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 12:12 pm 
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Anti-vent: we just came home and attacked the house together (after 2 weeks of being too busy to do it, i thought it was time).
She helped me pick peppers, and hang laundry, collect seeds, scrubbed floors, cleaned the bathroom, washed dishes......
Afterwards, she was saying how good she felt after doing everything. So we talked about being proud of what you do, even if it's just cleaning the floor, etc etc. We agree, good parenting moment, etc etc, then she says "but i only feel proud of what i do if you don't tell me what to do". oh rilly..... this kid makes me laugh so hard sometimes.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 12:34 pm 
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I don't have teens/tweens, but my Dad was able to turn me around from being a "lazy student" to a straight A student, when I was in the fourth grade, because he always made sure I felt confident. I was *terrible* in math, because my sister just understood it naturally, so I gave up on it and assumed I was just stupid and that looked like I was just lazy. My teachers and parents both constantly assumed that I was "smart but lazy" when really, I felt hopeless about math and thought I'd just never be able to understand it. And I couldn't articulate that yet, plus I felt like if they thought I was "smart but lazy" at least they thought I was "smart." And at the time, I would have rather been that, than the dummy who tried really hard but just couldn't get it. Imposter syndrome, I guess.

My Dad then took on quizzing me on multiplications and praised me a lot - like how smart I was and that I was able to understand etc, and then I felt like I was a smart kid, and that helped me so much. From that point on, I've always been in the top of any class I was in (though I did have a rough patch freshman year of college because I thought you were just supposed to magically be smart, and not that working on it is important too, and I had no idea what to do when I just didn't get straight As with no effort any longer (stupid bell curve)).

I hope things get better for FC, and obviously I don't know what her challenges are, but I hope you can find a solution to empower her, because she is obviously very bright and wonderful in every way, like her Mama!

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 12:40 pm 
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torque wrote:
Anti-vent: we just came home and attacked the house together (after 2 weeks of being too busy to do it, i thought it was time).
She helped me pick peppers, and hang laundry, collect seeds, scrubbed floors, cleaned the bathroom, washed dishes......
Afterwards, she was saying how good she felt after doing everything. So we talked about being proud of what you do, even if it's just cleaning the floor, etc etc. We agree, good parenting moment, etc etc, then she says "but i only feel proud of what i do if you don't tell me what to do". oh rilly..... this kid makes me laugh so hard sometimes.



Hahaha. I'm only laughing because this is so familiar. I can't understand it and probably never will. All I know is that FC and Shae would probably get along really well.

Maybe it's a secret plot to make us lose our minds?


We're in the last 4 weeks of middle school, worst grades of his life just appeared in the midst of his being super involved and motivated and I can't even really form sentences about how insane this whole thing is. I feel like I'm in some loop that we'll never get out of at this point.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 5:17 pm 
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I just want this stupid school year to end. I just want to go to sleep and wake up and it be June 5th. Please.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 7:08 pm 
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You know what I hate? Middle school moms. Not all of them. But there is a terrible clique at Andie's school that are so so awful. Last night they were talking about how one of the kids dress really trashy.

In other news, Andie plays a pretty awesome trombone.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 9:02 pm 
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I'm with you on middle school mom cliques! There's a huge soccer mom tribe that drive me nuts. I swear they are stuck in middle school mentality.

Yay, Andie!

Also- I do actually love the fury of activity that comes out of Shae the minute he realizes that he pushed his laziness too far.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 9:09 pm 
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I wish my students knew what pushing laziness too far is. They are happy to fail. I'm flunking more students this quarter than in my 4 student years combined. The D/F student shave given up and the A/B students are happy to fail for the quarter because that means passing for the year without doing more work. Many have their averages calculated out for each course so they know what they can skip and still get a C- or D for the year. And those are the college bound students.

forking depressing is what it is.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 7:24 am 
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He only knows/cares because his iphone is taken away.

Sorry about your students, lavawitch, that has to be really hard to deal with.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 8:37 am 
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so, we're moving along and getting excited.
except for the math level test i gave the kid. which showed that she's at a 4th grade level. To be fair there were a few problems that had language/format challenges for her [since she's used to doing math in portuguese and the formats of some functions are different. yet when the district tests her she will have to perform correctly, so i guess wrong is wrong], but approx 25% she just left blank. Some of them, she admits she was just lazy, but it was clear that some basic problems were just boggling to her ["it's 1145. Bob has a dentist appointment in two and a half hours. what time is the appointment?"] and i must say that i'm a bit gobsmacked here. She seems to have a sort of blindness: anything related to a fraction may as well be greek, and since she was in second grade it's been like this. In the meantime, she's been in Kumon for two years and is now doing algebra, they swear she is proficient in the lower functions like fractions and multiplication. We will be going there to yell at them tomorrow.
So it looks like our work is cut out for us. Yet even so this is more of a relief than a vent: if she needs to go into a special class, great- at least then i won't be the only person desperately trying to teach her while everyone else just shrugs.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 1:48 pm 
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It sounds like she has some basic knowledge but has trouble making connection between concepts, basic math facts, and word problems. I see this a lot with my GED students. Translating math into words and words into numbers is a big stumbling block.

I used to be that student myself. An algebra tutor at one of the learning center places actually told my mom that he couldn't help me because I just couldn't grasp any of the concepts. I didn't really solve this until I wanted to badly enough to work through it with brute force, so that's not very helpful.

But, the approach I take with my GED students is to start them out with super basic stuff like easy addition, basic multiplication tables and get their confidence up, then ramp up to the appropriate level, having filled in any basic math fact gaps.

I'd bet the 4th grade level score can easily jump up to grade level just by going back and fixing missing or shaky basics and, most importantly, her confidence. Motivation should improve a lot with confidence too!

Can you find a fun, cute computer or phone game to drill math facts? Something silly and goofy that she can play with for a week or two. There are also some anime style books that she might like. I'll dig up some links.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 1:50 pm 
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Here is a whole series: http://www.amazon.com/The-Lost-Key-Myst ... 125&sr=1-1

I don't have any ersonal experience with them, but the reviews look good.

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