Rookie Year: Day 22

Today was really rough.

The students have been begging me to do a Kahoot all week so I finally had one ready for them today to help them review Glenn’s Three Essential Rules of Algebra and also some basics about absolute value equations. I try to keep Kahoots to once a week because I don’t want the novelty to wear off and the website to lose its usefulness as a review tools for engaging students. The fact that the students were asking to do a Kahoot told me that I have the frequency just about right.

I did make a mistake in first block. After we had finished the Kahoot that I had prepared, they wanted to do another one. Well I had only made one. The students told me “Everyone just searches for one. Just look for one.” So I did that. This was a mistake and I felt it in my gut and I should have listened to my gut. I need my Kahoot questions to have a low entry. The one that I found was solely multi-step absolute value equations solving. The problems were too difficult for my students to solve in under 2 minutes. They simply aren’t that fast and that’s okay. I don’t want or need them to be that fast at a brand new concept that we started learning yesterday. But this meant that students started guessing and then turning to talk to their neighbors. I told them to give the problems a shot and not just guess, but no one had notebooks out or were writing. They simply weren’t ready. I turned the second Kahoot off in the middle of the game. I was losing control of the class and no one was learning anything. They weren’t happy about this, but I don’t have time to waste.

And now I’ve buried the lede a little bit here because not only did I send someone out of my class today but in fact I sent three students out. The first two were at the same time. The student would not shut their chromebook and join the rest of the class. When I asked them repeatedly they kept doing what they were doing instead. Already at this point in the class I had asked them several times to stop talking to their neighbors and focus with rest of us. When I asked them about their chromebook they got into a verbal fight with another student who I had already pulled out of a class and tried to get them on task, but their attitude was not stellar. So when they started fighting and interrupting everyone else I just sent them to the ISS room.

Then in the next block a student who I have been working on for days now plain old refused to work. They often struggle with not participating in class interrupting. All last week they would ask to go to the bathroom every day. They would interrupt class by telling me they had to go to the bathroom or that they were thirsty. They made a big deal out of it and constantly avoided work. I’ve tried pulling them out of class and talking them several times over the past several weeks. I’ve tried encouraging them in different ways. Today the student said they didn’t have paper. I told them to borrow paper. They said they didn’t have a pencil. I gave them a pencil.

But they still wouldn’t take notes. So I gave them detention.

I came around in 10 minutes. Still not participating. I gave them another detention.

Then they started grumbling under their breath about fighting and what they were going to do. I walked them to the ISS room (it’s just around the corner from my room). On the way I tried talking them about how I’m trying to help them and that I want them to succeed and learn math and graduate. But they weren’t interested.

I talked to my floor administrator. The student got a third detention from them because of how they responded to me and the administrator.

Earlier last week I recommended this student to a mentoring program. I hope they are accepted and I hope it helps them get it together. They are able to answer questions in class when they try, they just cant focus.

So I sent three students out today. I don’t feel bad about this because I need to be able to teach my students and the ones that I sent out were preventing that. I already feel much better at classroom management than when I started 22 school days ago, but I still have a long way to go.

I didn’t send any of my last block out but about half them probably could have used a shock. They were absolutely awful today. I think part of it was Friday but oh my goodness were they all trying my patience.

On the positive side I am encouraged by how most of my students are doing with the concept of absolute value so far, but it remains to be seen how they will do as we continue to try to solve absolute value equations. We didn’t get very much math done today because of all the discipline issues.

I’ve got some quizzes to grade and dinner to eat and then lessons to plan. Monday is a new week. I’m kinda looking forward to it. There’s something wrong with me.

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4 thoughts on “Rookie Year: Day 22

  1. We’ve all been there – having a bad day. Andd, luckily, we can dust it off, and start fresh. There’s nothing wrong with you. It’s a people business. There’s are ups and downs. Enjoy next week!

  2. It’s a tough line to toe, that’s for sure. Discipline and creating that safe space for kids to learn is often muddy. You’re getting there, and will continue to make that line more clear as the year goes along. Keep it up, amigo.

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