Rules For Posting To This Blog and Weekly Blog Question

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This week I would like you to use your imagination. You have just won the lottery and will leave your teaching post immediately to travel around the world. As you leave your keys you meet your replacement. You are asked to give this new teacher just ONE piece of advice. What would that be, and why? Enjoy your world expedition!

Blog Post - Week 7
This past week in my own teaching I felt a little disconnected which prompts my question to you, "What was the moment (or moments) when I felt most disconnected or disengaged as a teacher - the moment(s) I said to myself, I'm just going through the motions here?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 6
For the past couple of weeks you have experienced asynchronous online learning (doing modules by yourself). Previously this semester you have experienced synchronous online learning (all together in the Collaborate room). Which do you think is more effective and why do you think that? Which do you like better, and why?

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 5
This week we have what we call "open mic." You can write a post about anything related to your teaching that you would like responses from your classmates.

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 4
Here is this week's question: "What was the event that most took me surprise this week - and event that shook me up, caught me off guard, gave me a jolt, or made me unexpectedly happy?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 3
Please write a post about the following question, "In thinking about my past week teaching what is one thing I would do differently, and why?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 2
Please write a post about the following question, " In thinking about my teaching activities this past week, of what do I feel most proud? Why?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 1
Describe something you used in your program in the first weeks of school that you learned in the summer NTI program. How did it work? Did it get you off to a stronger start than last year?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

My Event This Week....

I had several things going on this week. I had just returned from a three day conference in Savannah, GA. To my surprise, my second and third year students (juniors and seniors) missed me, and were so glad I was back! They hated the substitute. Last year, they couldn't wait for me to be out for a day, so they could get a substitute.

My 1st through 4th period classes went right back to work, where we left off the week before. They are starting to manage each other in the shop, and my "shop foreman" is informing me of who needs to still do which tasks. This was awesome! My "shop foreman" is checking to make sure all repair orders are filled out correctly, that students are keeping their safety glasses on, and even checking to see who didn't put their full name on papers. I wish all of my classes worked this well together. Everyone is eager to get up and use the scan tool, or check brakes, or tear down parts on stands. Also, everyone keeps their safety glasses on! Last year it was like "pulling teeth" to get them to do much of anything.

Something that really disappointed me this week was the lack of effort and motivation in my first year students (5th & 6th periods). I handed out a detailed assignment for the students to get "signed off" for the CTAE Safety/Haz.Mat. Standards. This assignment should have taken two class periods, maybe three. No one was ready to present after the students had three class days to work, and also the weekend. When Monday rolled around, everyone said they forgot, or didn't want to do it, or didn't know they had to do or turn anything in for the assignment. I extended the assignment until friday, restated the "task" and what needed to be done about 10 different ways, gave examples, passed out about 80 copies (only 56 students) of the assignment, and wrote everything on the white board. Each day, very few students were on task. I have about eight ESEP students in each of the classes, but none have any accomodations/modifications for literacy. I re-stated the importance of the assignment, re-stated what was due friday, and kept reminding students that if they didn't present with their group friday that a zero is un-recovereable per the student handbook/grading policies. When friday came, only a couple were ready. Half of the students came up in groups of two or three and mummbled through a brief discussion on the safety assignment. The majority of the students that actually did something, failed. Now I'm in the sixth week of school coming up, and 90% of my first year students refuse to do work, they have no home phone or cell number to call the parents, and I would say at least half of the students in my first year classes are failing due to not doing anything. Help! My first four periods of the day go so smoothly outside of several ADD and ADHD students, which I've adapted to, but 5th and 6th periods don't want to do anything. I tried taking a slight "left turn" around safety to bring in a little automotive careers and shops into the safety lessons to grab their attention, but I'm not getting very far. I only have five or six students per class in the first year that want to be there, and want to learn about automotive.


RS said...

I feel your pain. Everyday is different as to how the students respond to instruction. There are so many factors that affect the students and learning. It seems we are competing with so many distractions.

By using several different types of delivery I have been able to keep the students from getting into to much of a rut or being bored and acting out. Several of the tools that have helped is by using quality DVD's for audio visual movies about safety. Another thing that was effective was the game we learned, "Read and Run". It gave an outlet for those that can't sit still, as well as an opportunity for the interdependent and intradependant student to lear. It seemed to reach many learning styles and they had fun.

Still, we must always be on the lookout for new tools to assist learning. The students have more and more need for more knowledge as well as new ways of learning that helps them retain what they learn.

I hope you can find some ideas that may be of use in your class. Wishing you the best!

RS in Alpharetta

Dr. M said...

Andrea - your students at the end of the day may be tired and/or leaning on the mantra of "I don't want to be in here", but then imagine what it's like in math or english or history, where there are more students and do they want to be there? Your challenge is to create interest in the auto career or find something in auto that will appeal to your students. Are there labs you can be doing that will get them up and moving and maybe capture their interest?

If these are first-yrs, then the labs can be very basic and simple, yet teach them a skill needed not only in the auto industry but also useful in daily life. Let's say you could teach proper tool use and then have a competition to see who can remove head bolts quickest or who can guess the wrench size for a particular task, etc. If you only have 55 minutes, then do 15 min. classroom, 30 min. lab, 10 min closure/transfer out, or something similar, but the lab needs to be something they will find interesting or challenging such as a game or competition. Maybe some of our auto colleagues will brainstorm with you on this as I'm sure you are not only one with this problem.