Thursday, January 19, 2017

Day 93: The Boardroom

Every once in a while, everything falls into place.  I've been struggling lately with getting kids to work together in a productive way.  I have tried groups, pairs and individual work.  I have given them seat work, board work, handouts and manipulatives.

Some of these work some of the time.  Sometimes, the method that worked yesterday won't work tomorrow.

Sometimes the method that worked in 2nd period won't work in 5th.

It's part of the nature of education.  It's not good enough to have a good lesson.  It's not enough to have a GREAT lesson.  Great lessons can flop if the sky is slightly cloudy or the new Jay-Z album dropped the night before.

At the same time, a crap lesson that's been thrown together at the last second can go amazingly well for no reason at all.

Today, I thought I had possibly a crap lesson.  My plan was to have today be a practice day as transition from one section to another.

"I'd like you to work on page 51 in your workbook.  I'll be walking around if you have any questions!"

I told them they could use the whiteboards around the room or write on the desks if they wanted.

And a miracle happened!

They worked.

Not just some of them.


It's true, award winning actor Tommy Lee Jones!
Well, 95%, but I'm not splitting hairs!

I'm going to try this more often.  The next time that it fails, someone remind me of today.

1 comment:

  1. This post actually made me laugh out loud. It brought a smile to my face.

    What you described is the reality of teaching. In less than 300 words, you hit upon the joy and challenge that makes teaching the adventure that it is. What so many authors and bloggers try to hit upon with a grand opus, you nailed with a couple brief paragraphs.

    I needed to read this post. I needed it to remind me that when I decide to do something similar and it goes well, I don't have to feel like a mediocre teacher. I can celebrate and find joy when students make something impromptu into something incredible.

    Thank you,



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