Rookie Year: Day 105 or Ketchup

Overall I would say that today was pretty middling. After my ambulance ride and day off I felt really behind coming in to class today. My students didn’t really get the work I left for them done, which is kind of understandable, but still putting us in a bit of a time crunch for the unit. I needed to talk about two separate ideas that I had originally planned to introduce on separate days–the two days that I was gone.

On the bright side, today was the first day I felt that I successfully had my classes do the following cycle:

Short Notes with Direct Instruction

Practice

Short Notes with Direct Instruction

Practice

I messed up this pattern in first block–I talked for too long–but I had it down by second block. I am also feeling a time crunch because we have extended advisory tomorrow so all of my classes will be shortened. We may have to push back the test one or two days. We shall see. It wouldn’t be the end of the world if we had to do that. I can just feel the state EOC breathing down all of my kids necks and it’s like I’m the only one that notices right now.

On a classroom discipline note, I have noticed that my classes have become more lax but are still not unmanageable. I did have to threaten detention for a few jokers in last block, but they shaped up when I ominously starting writing on pieces of paper at my desk.

I know that I am still not getting the kind of classroom collaboration I want out of my classes, but my students resist me when I try to shift the focus from my thinking and explanations to theirs. I am sure that subconsciously I am also resisting this because it is more comfortable for me and easier. But I do want them to be the ones working on problems and talking. When I try that I meet massive roadblocks. I am still not sure how to get them to do it. It’s a little frustrating because none of the suggestions people have given me have worked so far. I’m not giving up though.

I did have a few students give great explanations of their thinking today, but they wanted to tell me privately and not share with the whole class. I wish I had made them share with the whole class, but I also haven’t figured out how to encourage this without embarrassing students. It’s not so much about at atmosphere of encouraging each other (I think I have done a decent job of that my first year) but that some students are just plain old shy.

Argh. I’m going to stop stressing about it for now though.

Thanks for reading.

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