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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Remembering what learning looks like....

I know I shouldn't but I am going to put my thoughts out there just for my own reflection. For weeks, well frankly for months, ok all year, I have had those 'just kill me now' thoughts about why I am even trying to continue teaching (as I do not really feel parental or admin support). The students do not study, they will not do paperwork, and when I try to start class or even give the lesson one or two students have to shout out some comment about how they cannot take out last nights homework because they did not do it or talk as I am trying to give instructions or basically tell me they cannot do any work in class because 'I have a snotty tone'. But this week even after all of this there was a day when I saw learning going on and it reminded me of why I put so much effort into organizing the lessons and providing opportunities. I had given the students a list of terms to know for the quiz next week and then I decided that I would put the terms and definitions in boxes that they could cut out and match up to help them study (basically for my special education students). They were also, supposed to organize them into columns of like terms, so a ;modified graphic organizer because I have this theory that if they have to read it and cut it out and organize it then it will implant somewhere in their brains. I set it up quickly due to a 'this is what a great idea' on the drive to work in the morning and 15 minutes when I got there to type and print it up. Of course without totally reviewing it and doing the activity first there were problems with not every term having a definition and not fitting into one of the four columns of terms. But, wow to my wonder the students in first period spent the time discussing the issues among themselves and coming up with a solution that worked for them. They collaborated with each other and between groups. It was amazing. Then in another class we did a lab to find denisty of objects, which used the lab of finding volume from the day before. The students were cooperative in their groups, worked all period long, and when one student did not get what to do, rather then run to me they helped each other and figured out what to do. I am reminded about a couple of things: 1) the students are learning, 2) I am doing a terrific job, and 3) all the little outbursts and behavior challenges are just another way that they are growing up.

Saturday, February 11, 2012