Rules For Posting To This Blog and Weekly Blog Question

1. Only use your first name (no last names, addresses, IM screen names, etc.)
2. Show respect and consideration of others when posting and commenting. This includes individuals, students, organizations, political parties, colleagues, etc.
3. Check all posts for spelling and grammar errors before posting.
4. Protect the privacy of others. Gain permission from other people before you write about them. Avoid sharing someone else's last name. Use job titles or pseudonyms when writing about experiences with your co-workers or students.
5. Watch your language. Use politically correct and non-offensive language.
6. Make sure you write about things that are factual.
7. Keep your postings education-oriented. Avoid discussing plans for the weekend, etc.

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, October 4, 2008

My Challenge This Week

Well, my biggest classroom management issue, right now, is my last period of the day. I am struggling with keeping them on track and focused. It is a chore just to take attendance. The class seems so "checked out" it is hard to get anything done. I start taking attendance, and after getting through a few names down the list, the class would start talking again. What I am currently doing, is stop taking role and stare at the kids talking. My "star" students notice that I have stopped taking attendance because of the talking, and they actually tell everyone to hush. I am then left with the issue of; what happens when my "star" students are absent, who shuts up the class? Well, it ends up being me, and then I end up a flustered mess. It's the last class of the day for me, and it's the last class of the day for them as well. I want it to go smoothly, but honestly, 6th period last year was a disaster, and I never really got it under control. I have been told that this is why many teachers as for 6th period planning. I don't get the option to have a planning period, so I don't get the same one hour "mental" break in my day as other teachers. I am go-go-go all day long. I'm in my halls inbetween classes, and running in and writing my new Esential Question on the board and other class information while erasing the lessons from the previous class. I think half of my issue with trying to get the class to sit down and be quiet and to start their work, is that I'm so exhausted that I'm probably not doing as much for discipline as my other classes, and I'm not noticing it. More than half of my class doesn't even do my 5-10 minute warm-up assignment. They just sit there. I do not understand the lack of initiative in students today. I was raised that an A- meant that you didn't try hard enough! Does anyone have any strategies for getting the students motivated to actually do their book work/written work?


Upward Bound said...

I totally understand what you are going through. This reminds me a lot of my after lunch class (7/8 period). We are on a block schedule so keeping their attention for one and a half hours is challenging. It sounds like quite a bit of time is used getting the class started. One thing I did was to take about one fourth of my board space and section it off for hw/EQ/classw for each class. In this way, I put up all of my class instructions/activities before classes start in the morning. I give my classes an automatic 3 minute time frame to get prepared for class and sit down. During this time I ask the students not to ask me questions as I am preparing for class too. I say hai and take roll as the students enter the door. At 3 minutes, I lock my door, turn off my light for a second or two and go to work! Yes, there are a number of times I must remind my students to get on task and to stop taking. I have also begun collecting the activity sheets they work on at the beginning of class. I then reveiw them as a group and have the students grade each others. That helps me with the extra grading work. It's amazing how they get on task when they know a grade it attached. Something new I tried this week is to give a bonus point to students who are on task when asked to be. I even heard a student say to their classmates, "We need to go ahead and sit down in case she gives out bonus points today". The points can be added to a test grade or some other activity they are doing.I'm trying to remember to use positive reinforcers even though it can be a bit challenging at times. I hope this helps!

Joe Westbrook said...

I wrote a very long comment a few hours ago and lost it. I will try to re-create most of it.
First of all, BE TOUGH! BE A B....! You are the teacher, the boss! Your students are to do what you want. If it is for their education, your boss will back you.If there is major interference or non-cooperation/participation by students in your class, you must get out the descipline write- up reports and use them.
Sixth period is my worse class also. Dr. Montrois came to observe my sixth period class this past Monday, and I really enjoyed the feedback and notes that he wrote. If he comes to do your observation he can help.
Use your "star" students to take roll. My class leaders perform small but important tasks that really help me watch for class/lab problems. I had two days in a row that my computer was messed with during class change. It was done while I was in the hall doing my hall duties. I asked my boss for advice and he simply said to lock the door and not let anyone in until I was ready to be in the class with them. It worked! Also he and Dr. Montrois told me to get rid of my problem students by writing their behavior up. I have. It works!
Keep a parent contact log. I stay late a few days a week to contact parents on the school phone after 5:00. It works!
Have someone in your room during sixth period, a freind, a trusted teacher, or your boss to help They will not interfere but will be there to help.
My biggest problem is trying to keep the classroom students on task to do the work assigned to them while I closely watch my labs. That is hard, but I am learning to give classroom students lots of work to keep them busy and enforcing punishment for off task behaviors. I am through with warnings. The parent conference is a good tool also to use.
I started writing my EQ and odjectives on the board the day/afternoon before. I spilt the board between my class levels. It helps me be on task and ready the next morning. I feel a lot more organized with this being done.
My boss stayed in my class and lab the other day for the entire period. It did not bother me, but I was a bit curious since he had never stayed longer than 20 minutes at a time before. He told me later that he was really enjoying my class and transitions from class lecture to lab and relating it all together.
Start using Pop Quizzes on your first five to ten minute warm up work. I went to open note pop quizzes to get students to taking better notes. It worked for most students.
You can probably sense when your students are ready to learn and when they are not. Do not let them control you and your classroom. You can do it! Create cool set inductions, grab their attention, be excited, but be tough when you need to be.

Joe Westbrook said...

Did you have a better week?
Your posts on the other class was very good.