Saturday, 22 March 2014

2 Stars & A Wish: Week 26

     After two weeks of battling bronchitis-like symptoms* I am finally feeling better and this week felt like a fresh start! (*I have no idea if I actually had bronchitis because I couldn't get into the doctors office). Not only did I hit the ground running in regards to my lesson plans and classroom activities, but our report cards were due for review this Friday as they go home with students this upcoming Monday. Thank goodness I was feeling better because this week definitely had some stressful moments, but two things that I think went well this week were:

1 ) Finding Fun Learning Opportunities That My Students DON'T Want to Quit
- My Grade 9 Science class is currently at the beginning of their
  chemistry unit and this week we were introduced to the Periodic
  Table. As a short-review I planned an "I Spy" game that I found
  from a friend where students have to spy the appropriate element
  on their Periodic Table.
- For example, "I Spy an element with 8 protons". Answer: Oxygen.
- I had planned on going through 5-7 questions like this but my
  students didn't want to stop! They organized themselves into teams
  and decided we should implement all types of questions like:
  - "I Spy an element with ___ neutrons" so they would have to
    do math before they could answer.
  - "I Spy an element with the chemical symbol ________"
  - "I Spy the lightest element in the ______ family"
  - etc
- I was surprised by how excited they got about this style of game
  but I went with it and we continued this activity for almost 50mins.
  I was able to touch on all of the aspects that I had hoped to
  review through another activity anyways.

2 ) Not Having Any of my Report Cards Turned Back
- While I completed report cards for my High School students at the
  end of January, this was only my second time having to prepare
  report cards for all six of my classes at the same time.
- Last time, in November, I missed several key formatting aspects
  in my report cards and ended up spending several hours in the
  office adding in details with our secretary at the last possible
  time (thank goodness my students were attending a presentation
  that day; very convenient!).
- Luckily, this time around I did not miss any details in regards to
  information, formatting, comments, etc and I couldn't be happier!
  I know that appropriate and accurate reporting is very important
  and I hope to get more comfortable in this area as I become
  more experienced as a teacher. (I'm already excited for next year
  because I feel like I will be so much more prepared!)

    One thing that I want to work on, however, developing math packages for my students to take home over Spring Break. I have on math class in which we are very far behind in our curriculum for a large variety of reasons. (As my Week 24 Reflection, I actually set a goal for myself to help get them back on track.) I'd like to put together an independent, guided, package to send home with my students to complete over the Spring Break in an effort to strengthen their understanding. I don't want to overwhelm them or take away from their vacation, but I would like them to work on this package so that we can stay on track despite missing a week of school... What are your thoughts?

Week 25 Update:

     Last week I shared that I wanted to get a head start on my report cards in order to meet my Friday deadline. Read #2 to see how it all turned out :)


  1. In my experience, any homework that is sent home over long breaks (or even weekends), tends not to be completed. Maybe that's just my students, though. I gave up the homework fight years ago because I was driving myself crazy fighting with kids over late work. It would be nice to be able to assign things like reading at home, but I can't trust my students to do the work, which creates a huge problem the next day when they don't have the foundation they need for the lesson.

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience Miss Lifesaver! I was worried about exactly the same thing :S I want this to be something that alleviates problems, not causes more.

      How have you addressed this in regards to time management? Do you just try to do more during class time or have you cut material that you wanted to cover?


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