Next week is the MSA math test--ye olde high-stakes testing. The kids finished up their language arts MSA this morning, so by the time I had them we were teaching math. That's right, kiddies--I spent 3 hours monitoring a scavenger hunt for linear equations and helping kids solve them. It was the exact opposite of the scene in season four of The Wire when Prezbo has to teach language arts in his math class before the MSA. Thank God I still remember enough algebra to make myself useful here (though I did get one problem wrong on my quickie answer key).
The kids are ultimate defeatists. They look at a problem and say "I can't do this, this is stupid." But as soon as I would sit next to them and ask a couple questions, they could easily explain all the steps to me, and come up with the correct answer. Unfortunately during the MSA nobody is going to sit on their shoulders directing them to think about the next step. "You're smarter than you think you are," I kept saying, trying to encourage them. "At least try before you give up."
Lukie's birthday is tomorrow. The Booker T. staff are congregating for karaoke at Kelly's tomorrow night. Look out.