A Potpourri Update on My Classroom, Mostly

Halfway into week 3 of student directed learning and standards based grading and all is well. I think. One thing I really like is having my students blogging. I’m not getting all of them blogging every single day, even though that’s what I’m asking for, but I’m getting a lot. And, it’s good to get the feedback. Interestingly, because some of them don’t know what to write, they fall back on summarizing what they learned. This ends up being a pretty good informal formative assessment! It’s a totally unlooked for benefit of getting them to write more.

One good thing is that it seems like many students are really focussing on learning. They are talking and thinking about their essays and how to master the standards. That’s pretty cool. Also, many of the “high achievers,” i.e. those students that typically get good grades and need extension activities are enjoying being able to work as they like without being “held back” by the other students. Conversely, I am able to spend time talking with the students that need more attention.

Today in class we went over the 6 Traits of Writing. Well, most of the class. Some of them read about it on the computers (their screens face the front of the class) and some wrote on their blogs or worked on their drafts. Except for a handful of kids making poor choices and deciding it would be better to chat for the period instead of working. We will be dealing with that. I need to make some calls home, I think.

Fantasy football season has begun. I had my first draft last weekend and another tomorrow. My first team is, um, iffy. I’m not super happy with it. It is a boom or bust team. I have Aaron Rodger and Antonio Gates. Also, I have Ingram (New Orleans Saints) as well as Earl Bennet and Roy Williams and Arrelious Benn. See what I mean? Who? But, all I really need is these guys to put up decent points, say 10 each week, or so. and then Gates and Rodgers to do what they did last year (except for Gates getting hurt, of course), and my team will be pretty good. So, we’ll see.

This teaching thing is hard. I’m tired now. I must rest and read.


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