Step One, read the problem, work it out in their packet.
Step Two, display your work on your personal dry erase board.
Step Three, discuss your answer. If correct, (good job, Benjamin Sklar!) Ms. Meredith McFarlin, Instructor in Mathematics and Math Lab Supervisor, offers a "Thumbs-up"; if incorrect, the student goes to the board, and classmates coach the one who got his answer wrong in order to help him correct his steps toward the right answer.
Ms. McFarlin sees herself as a facilitator in this process as the the boys learn to teach themselves.
In addition to Boot Camp, some students receive a Math Lab Mandate which requires them to attend Math Lab during their Study Hall period. "Accountability," offers Ms. McFarlin, alluding to the seventh tenant of the MUS Community Creed.
Observations from Ms.McFarlin:
"After grading the most recent test that I gave to my Algebra I class, I realized many boys needed additional practice outside of class. I divided the students into smaller focus groups based on mastery level (I used their test scores) and required each group to attend "Factoring Boot Camp" after school for an hour.
Factoring Boot Camp has run all week with four to five students each day. The students worked out problems in packets that progressively became more challenging, participated in white board races (pictured here), and taught their peers by working out problems on the main board.
When it comes to mastering the skill of factoring in Algebra, students need as much exposure to all sorts of factoring problems. I made this boot camp mandatory because the boys need the extra practice, discipline, and attention on this skill in order to be successful in math at MUS and beyond. Factoring is an essential skill."