As break approaches, other teachers are having End-Of-Unit projects and any time I give my kids to work on my assignments are spent finishing up work for others. I sympathize with them attempting to meet their deadlines, but I also find it confusing.
Are students doing work for my class in history or English?
I'm also confused by their reactions to poor assessment results. They seem baffled when they don't know what's happening in class and don't understand why my tests aren't asking about the Holocaust or the Treaty of Versailles.
The fight has gone out of me.
The advantage is that my new-found indifference seems to be a boon to my patience. I am willing to sit and work more carefully and more attentively with students who wish it. Instead of feeling as though I need to spread my attention to 9 different places in the room, I am finding that I am eminently present with small groups or individuals, providing them with what they need. I am reminded again about how much more effective this class would be with half as many students.
I decided to utilize the computer lab for the geometry class today and set them up on Code.org. Before we went over, we talked about how programming is related to mathematics in general and the skills I'm emphasizing in my class in particular. I related them back to the 8 Standards of Mathematical Practice and talked about logical progress of commands in relation to geometric proof.
They LOVED it! By the end of class, kids had worked through a large part of LightBot or Code Combat. They were designing their own flappy bird games and making Anna and Elsa skate around in snowflake patterns. For 80 minutes, they programmed and created and laughed and enjoyed learning and exploration.
I wish I taught computer programming...
In 8th period, I got tired of being talked over, so I sat in the corner. I told them that I would be teaching and anyone who would like to join me may do so. A group of students came over and we had an excellent discussion about slope-intercept form.