|I really should have switched Fall and Winter so I could have drawn a snowman!|
I didn't even get to talk about what we did in geometry yesterday! On Tuesday, I gave them 3 coordinates and their homework was to tell me everything they could about the triangle with those points as the vertices. Kids came in with statements like "It's a right triangle" and "it's equilateral."
We spent 45 minutes exploring the triangle, their statements and whether or not they could be substantiated. It was a great exploration and the kids gave me great questions.
At the end of class, I gave them their tests from Wednesday without scored, but with questions marked right or wrong and had them do corrections for homework. Today, I was deeply disappointed by their lack of persistence.
I had lots of "I didn't know this, so I left it blank." I explain that I had hoped they would try to figure out the answers, or at least give me some sort of work beyond a question mark with a heart for a bottom point.
So they worked on corrections in class. For the most part, the major mistakes I noticed were simply not following directions or not answering the question that was being asked.
A universal stumbling point, however, was graphing. So we talked about that as a class. I saw several students who were getting flustered and upset, so I made sure to find them during the day and tell them how much I appreciated them working through their confusion.
We value correct answers, but we also need to value struggle and persistence through it. That's often hard for math teachers to do, in my experience (MTBoS excluded, of course. There, struggle is the coin of the realm.)
The warm-up for pre-algebra purposely contained questions from the next section that we hadn't gone over, but could be found with a little bit of thinking. The students (my old one AND my new ones) worked VERY well and we talked about what to do when we encounter a problem you don't know how to solve (solve an easier one) and what to do when you don't understand the directions (break your pencil, yell "this is stupid" and pout).
The students were then given a chapter assessment and the unit-reflection and goal setting sheet that I gave to the geometry kids on Wednesday. I had a quiet conversation with one group where, it appeared to me, two students were doing great work, one was putting in half an effort and the fourth was copying answers. I explained that if that was happening, he would simply be wasting his time and wouldn't be getting any benefit from it. I told him that I wasn't accusing him of anything and that if he wasn't copying, my advice was still the same.
He did VERY good work for the rest of the class.
As I checked their answers, they grabbed the iPads and continued their explorations. As I did yesterday, I spend much the class with a semi-pained look on my face as I fought down the urge to yell "YOU'RE OFF TASK!! Put the iPads away! You've ruined it!"
I think my kids were concerned that I had indigestion.
After class, I was approached by one of the new-to-me students. He and I have a history that is less than ideal. I am nervous about having him in my class because I think that he has needs that I am not capable of satisfying. I'm honestly not sure that we can provide him with what he needs in this building at all. He's a very smart kid, but every teacher knows that the public school setting is not the best for all students.
When he stayed after the other kids had left, I'll admit that I steeled myself for a confrontation.
Him: "Mr. Aion, I honestly didn't think that I would enjoy your class, but I'm finding that I do."
Me: "...I'm so glad to hear that! This situation isn't ideal, but that's not your fault or mine, so there's no need to make people miserable. My primary goal here is to make sure that kids are safe and learning."
Him: "I'm really glad to hear that. I think we'll have a good year."
Me: **stunned and playing it cool** "Me too. I hope you have a great weekend."
I have no idea how much math they are learning, or will learn, but I am happier coming to work and I think my students are happier coming to class. The content will come.
This weekend, I've set homework for myself.
- Create "I Can" statements from 8th grade math standards
- Finish the Genius Hour workbooks for each class with standards in the back for student reference
- Consolidate student data on confidence and mistakes
- Create graph from data
- Plan some amazing activities for next week
- SLEEP! FOR GOD'S SAKE! GET SOME SLEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!
- Buy a cool hat to wear in class
|This is my "angry I have to give this hat back" face|
|This is my "my students are working hard while I take a selfie" face|
|I AM A PROFESSIONAL!!|