Thoughts on Student Attitudes about Mathematics

The last couple weeks in my Pre-algebra class have been especially frustrating for me. We have started working with negative fractions and the placement of the negative sign seems to be a major stumbling block for a few of the students in the class. I can only repeat myself so many times before we run out of time, I become frustrated, and I start to wonder if they even hear what I am saying.   I know that most of the students in the class want to do well and that the majority of them really want to know what's going on. However, the fact that they do not know what is going on during the exact moment that we are doing it in class makes for tension in the classroom. I am not sure that they have come to realize that it takes practice outside of class in order to master the material....
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