Monday, November 28, 2011

My Project Fails

This has been the worst year of my teaching career so far. We moved into the new school and nothing was working or working well. My students have had their laptops for about a month and are the most challenging group I have ever worked with both academically and behaviorally. I usually enjoy teaching but not so much this year. That said, there are some really great kids and it is important to remember to appreciate them and not just focus on the problems.

I don't have a blog that I have used for them but they do have access to their grades and that makes a big difference to many students in that when something is missing I get it much sooner. I still want to have them have portfolios and I still intend to do so but something else always seems to come up. I gave my first math test from the new series and the average grade was probably around a 70. I don't find that acceptable. I do post their assignments on a board every Monday so they can know what is coming up for the week and while I have tried to do that many times, this year it is actually working. Also when the students have been absent and return, they should have the work done as they were assigned it ahead of time. Sometimes that works. I do still want to use the blog I started last year but haven't introduced it to my students yet. I went from 80 minute period to 35 min and am having a hard time with that as well.

What next
Over all I don't feel like I have done what I needed for the STI 2011 class but I have done what I needed to do for my new school and my classes there. I haven't given up on the portfolios, and won't, whether I get them done this year or next year. I will do them. I see the value of them too much to give up.

We are going to start working with Legos next week and I want to start some asynchronous groups. I don't know if that will work but I liked the idea. Students will be helping each other solve problems during this period and I will try to have some students create screenshot movies to help each other learn how to program the Lego robots. 

As soon as I can get a bit more settled, and I know it would seem like by the end of November I should be settled, I do still intend to try more of the reverse teaching and having the students save work for their portfolios. It's on my To Do list, I'm just not there yet.


  1. I feel your pain and will add my struggles in my post

  2. This is why we do a lot at start (reading/blogging) so when life/school happens we can weave and bob with the best of them. I hope you all realize that the battle/attempt is the goal. When I do my hands on/reverse teaching model the process is the outcome not the project. Kids play the game of school very well, but do they learn more when they reguretate the answer back to me or figure it out on their own? For example, I can teach simple machines and friction. I can have them take a paper test and tell me about incline plans and how friction works. Yet when I race the cars in a fastest, slowest or pulling competition do you think they remember and get more out of this or a paper multiple choice test? I find the application of knowledge in a real world challenge means much more then the outcome on a piece of paper. Why do we fall? So we can pick ourselves up... I hope you all notice that EVERYONE had issues with delays of access to technology or limitations in time and students ability. This is much more valuable for all of us to understand that there is no magic tech guru that just has the secret button and everything works for them. It never works perfectly for me... only difference is I troubleshot and work through it rather then throw my hands up and blame the tech/system/school. There is no try there is do or do not (Yoda)