Okay, so Day 5 and I think I have figured out that I need to write my daily blog post before I leave the school or life gets in the way because once again I am sitting in the dark in my bedroom typing this. As a minor improvement over last night I am using my chromebook and not my phone.
My matrices lesson went decently well during the presentation, but then students became confused when they practiced what had been discussed. I am at a little bit of a loss to explain this. The questions on the sheet (with the exception of a few at the very end) were very similar in difficulty to the ones that I gave as examples when talking about matrices. It appears I need to improve the way that I am assessing students as I am introducing new material, but it is still a little confusing. I got a very strong response from most of the class as I repeatedly asked questions and got them to explain and justify. I need to change how I do a formative, informal assessment as I am giving direct instruction or I need to work on helping the students learn how to take more initiative.
Like I said, the response was a little confusing. After working with them in small groups though most of them seemed to improve. Maybe there is just some brain shutdown during direct instruction no matter how short I try to make it. It’s also my very first time teaching matrices.
Today I put an #ObserveMe sign outside of my classroom. I took this directly from Robert Kaplinsky’s website after seeing him post about it on Twitter. Here is mine. I realized only after a full day of having the sign up that it had a minor typo. Oops. I fixed it after my last class when I noticed it. No one came in to observe today, but my room is set back away from the main passage for the hallway but I plan to leave it up all year. I made a Google form for people to use that is simply this levels of classroom discourse rubric that I also took from that link on Robert’s site and a free response question.
I think that rubric is fantastic but it also depressed me a little bit because I think I would score a 0 or 1 on almost every category, I didn’t think my class was going too badly so far, but I’m not sure how to make a culture shift in both my teaching and how students respond to that culture. As I have written already, my students are very reluctant to self-start and I am not sure what or how to encourage them to buy in to a system that looks like a level 2 or 3. And, for what it is worth, as much as the values and pedagogy embedded in the rubric appeal to me, I am also not sure how they mesh with the requirements and realities of the class and students I have.
Tomorrow I am writing these crazy daily posts before I go home I am so tired right now.