Saturday, October 11, 2008

take 2

friday, thank god, was the total opposite of wednesday. the ctt class was a struggle, but everything else was a dream.

new girl came in and asked to join a new group with 2 students who weren't there on wednesday. she asked if she could start the project all over. i agreed and even told her we could start off completely new as far as the class goes. she was happy with that.

all the groups worked really well. even the one with the terrible kids. they were joking around a lot and didn't get as much done as the others, but they had concrete ideas about where they were heading with their final work product.

and i had some amazing ideas coming from some of these kids. to explain the concept of the additive inverse, one student drew a meteor plus a black hole. another one drew a sandcastle and the seashore (the waves wipe out the castle.) and someone else drew a pen plus white out.

i'm not going to be back into school until thursday; i really hope they continue to work on everything. i'm no so sure about the ctt class, because i barely got the directions across to them, but i see everyone else passing this unit easily. and thankfully my sub assisted with my classes on friday so he know what the project is all about, so i'm sure he can help the kids in the ctt class just fine.

1 comment:

LeeDawg0 said...

I sort of flipped through a couple of previous posts so this may address a few different things.

Teaching your first-year will be cycles of bliss and mayhem. There will be days where nothing went wrong and others where everything that could go wrong did go wrong. Hence the day by day inconsistency.

It's a good idea to implement something early on about getting kids quiet, get a noisemaker from a New Year's party or heck use a coach's whistle. Something that signals the class to refocus on you.

When dealing with students individually, I think it's effective to point out to them that they don't need to yell to talk to their neighbor. I've had special ed. students who literally yell to get the attention of the kid sitting next to them. When you talk to them individually about the volume of their speech it may take some time but they'll quiet down eventually.

Don't ever resort to yelling in class. If you get louder, so do they. It's lose-lose. Hence the noise-maker or the whistle (I'm trying to find a gong).

The idea is effective conditioning. If you get the right procedures in place, it won't matter if students are talking because they're missing out and they're failing. You provide interventions for them and document them. When you call parents, you let them know what you've offered their child and how they haven't taken advantage of your time then the accountability is on the student to seek the help they need.

I think we make our first-year harder because we think it's our responsibility to move every student when in reality, it's the students job to move themselves. It's unfortunate but you can't save them all. Work on the ones you know are driven to graduate. Otherwise, you'll lose sleep over the kids who ruin the classroom.

These are things you should discuss with your in-house mentor or your CUNY mentor. Find other teachers to work with that you trust to help you through these times.