11 hours and 20 minutes. That’s how much time I spent today writing answers for a 7th Grade Math workbook.
A couple of years ago, Utah adopted the new Common Core standards for Math, even though there were no textbooks for it. Last year we got a “textbook”, in the form of an online, interactive program. All our textbooks were taken away, so there was nothing physical we could give to our students.
There are a lot of things to like about the program, but the biggest complaint I got was from parents who wanted a physical copy so they could have something to reference when helping their kids with homework. They, like I did, learned how to learn math from a textbook. We know how to read them, how to pick out what we need and bypass the stuff we don’t.
So, the Utah State Board of Education gave a group of professors up at the University of Utah the money to write textbooks for the new 7th and 8th grade curriculum. And being smarter than the average non-middle school teacher making stuff up for middle school students, they knew they needed actual middle school teachers to review their work and critique it.
That’s what I’ve been doing this summer. Reading through their books and making suggestions on how to make it more student friendly. For the most part, it’s been 3 hours here, couple hours there, maybe 6 hours a week tops.
Well, it’s the end of July and they want to have it completed before the school year gets too far along. It’s crunch time.
Monday evening I got a call from one of the professors and she asked me if I could write the answers for the 7th grade chapter 4 workbook.
Sure, no problem.
Oh, and can you have it done by Wednesday night?
Yeah. How hard can one chapter of 7th grade math be?
Uh, well. It was 101 pages of charts, graphs, proportions, fractions and all the fun stuff that makes Microsoft Work go bonkers. Handwritten, I could probably have done it all in 4 or 5 hours, but Word is not so math-friendly.
All-in-all, it took me over 16 hours to solve all the math and get it properly formatted on a Word document. But I’m done, and now I’m going to bed.