Sunday, December 12, 2010
I have yet been able to see how well students do on projects but I have decided that perhaps in my own classroom I may decide to give large projects that display student's learning of concepts for a unit rather than tests. The only dilemma with that is that projects take time and if I have students work as groups then I cannot individually assess each student.
So we were trying to find something for our students to do for the last week before break. The criteria were that we did not want to start a new unit because students are more likely to forget during their long break, and we also did not want to create a lot more work for them especially because we only really have 3 in-class days in Algebra, we decided to do a project with cars that integrate concepts that we just had a test on. It may have been beneficial for students to do this project before the actual test.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
It would be a great idea to have students do posters about each "big picture" topics on content that we have covered so far. Then each group will have the opportunity to see everyone's description of each content and also they will have a say in the grading. Lastly, we would have public records in class that students can consistently refer to.
At times I have noticed that I have lesson plans that are thoroughly made however I cannot seem to captivate my students. Then I would have lesson plans that allows for lots of leeway and students will be on task during those lessons. Perhaps the success of my lesson depends on the mood of the students?
As I approach the last few lesson plans of my unit, I have found that I have less things to put on my actual lesson plans and rather put more information on the worksheets that I give in class. I find that it is much easier to hand write my lesson plans right on the worksheets rather than having to recreate the worksheet on to my lesson plans. It's almost like doing the work, twice.
The second week of my teaching unit 5, I encountered a dilemma that I still don't have an answer for. I want to incorporate more hands on projects in class for Algebra because I know there are many lessons that I can make more interesting except my CT and I discussed how I can make my lessons more interesting and I was told that based on the kinds of students that we have this year we might not be able to incorporate more projects. This is disappointing to me but at the same time I completely understood why this choice is made. Based on what I understand about my students, I have found that it would be more of a management class versus a learning experience, but on the other hand I could be just evaluating the outcome for myself rather than my students....still debating whether or not it is worth an entire school day to make the attempt. I don't want to be the one to waste away a day just trying to keep students on task.
Persistence does count for something! I have a student that makes the conscience choice to not to do any of the work everyday. I asked him why he did not want to do any work and he stated that he was just not motivated to do any of the work, he has failed the class before and this year will be no different. So instead of nagging him everyday to show me effort, I instead asked him everyday if it was a good day for him to try some work. After maybe three weeks of asking everyday if today was a good day, he finally said yes. Today was that day.