I really didn’t feel like teaching this morning, but today was better.
I addressed at the beginning of each class how I thought yesterday went and that I was disappointed in their level of focus when we are so close to the final exam. I told them that they could work in partners but if they got too loud or too off task we would work silently and individually instead.
I don’t mind having a loud classroom when all of the students are talking about math, but when everyone is just goofing off I find it very frustrating.
It also probably helped that I bribed all of them with some Jolly Ranchers while they worked on the review questions.
For my final class, which was the rowdiest yesterday, I wrote 5 marks on the board and said if I erased all 5 we would go to silent work. I wanted a more visual reminder because they had been so much more out of hand than my other two blocks.
The South Carolina End Of Course Exam for Algebra I is this coming Monday and I am still trying to figure out what is the appropriate mix of:
“You need to take this state test seriously, it is 20% of your final grade by district policy”
“Tests and grades aren’t important, learning is what matters”
I am trying to find the right balance so that these messages don’t seem contradictory. Who knows if it is possible or not.
Thanks for reading.