Thursday, December 10, 2009

Unreasonable assignments

Not everyone is as lucky as this double-yolk egg.

I have one more day of my solo experience to go. Since last Wednesday, things have been going pretty well on all fronts.

Today was a bit of a scatter-brain day, what with students getting pulled out left and right, assemblies, end-of-the-year-2009 rush to get things accomplished, and a general sense of "w00t! one more week of school until Christmas break!" The fact that it was Thursday didn't help matters very much.

But over all, I'm teaching well. At least, according to my standard of "teaching well." Of course I've got things to make better. But I got 90% of the class to learn how to locate North and South American countries and their capitol cities today. 75% of the class can correctly calculate the multiplication AND division of fractions AND mixed numbers - despite the fact that both concepts were introduced within one day of each other. Two days ago. Which was about the same time when 90% of the class finally understood the difference between the GCF and LCM.

However, I'm babbling. Let's just say what I've been telling people: "It's been up and down, but more up than down, so I consider it a success."

One thing to remember: don't assign ginormous assignments (i.e. like the astronomy project my class had to finish this week) without mico-deadlines. Or requiring that students type and print their report, knowing full well that they don't have computers, let alone printers at home and that school rules say they can't print anything from school printers (budget cuts). Granted, my CT gave them plenty of time to figure all this stuff out (a full 6 weeks), but still. They are 10 and 11 year olds. They have no concept of independent long-term planning.

Oh well. They'll learn. This class's demographics are such that they will bounce back. I'm not so sure about others.

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