Friday, January 22, 2016

Day 86: Checklists

You guys, midterms are super serious!

I had a student in each class who magically shrunk when it came time to take their test.

While the students took tests, I spent most of the day organizing my giant tub of hexagons.
This chaos got to be a bit too much for me
When kids finished their tests, they started coming up in droves to help me sort.  I attribute their willingness to do this kind of repetitive task to the fact that you can clearly see the incremental progress.

Being able to see the work that you've done is incredibly satisfying.  So much of the work that is done at school is inside the mind and intangible, or VERY long term, that students (as well as myself) often gravitate towards tasks where they can see exactly what has been accomplished.

It's one of the reasons why vacuuming and dusting are my favorite household chores.  Everywhere you run the vacuum, everywhere you wipe the dust rag, you get a clear visual of your work.  Check lists also work very well for me.

When I was in school, I generally did very poorly on assignments that were long term without incremental steps to turn in along the way.  I did MUCH better when I was given a timeline.  Interestingly, I'm pretty awful at making checklists and timelines for myself.

I think this need for checking in is what has made the science contract assignment to be (somewhat) more successful than they other assignments.  I give due dates, but they are flexible for kids who need it.

My checklist for this weekend includes grading midterms, putting in midterm grades, thinking of a new hypothetical question for astronomy and finishing watching Gotham on Netflix.

Also, probably something with my children.

On top of all of this, kids I don't even know are starting to use the phrase #HighFiveFriday.

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