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Wash Days

I really need to have a better plan in place for days that fall apart. This is only my second wash day in the entire semester. But it still makes me feel like a clown for not having materials ready to go. Yet, what I pulled together wasn’t all that bad. The execution was horrible. But the plan wasn’t bad. I had students start to gather information on any missing work they need to complete before next week. This is important because next week Thursday is the last day of the quarter and the end of most classes they are taking. By having them gather and list missing assignments and write down upcoming tests to study for, they are building strategies for being successful students. Great. What’s not so great is that I should have modeled this before completing the task. There were a few parts that got left out. Now, if I don’t follow up tomorrow, I’ll feel bad and it will be a total wash.

I’ve been pondering other things we could do during days when things change unexpectedly. I almost want to make a board of ideas much like we have for our digital learning days. In fact, I’m surprised I’m not doing that right now. I know plenty of activities that I could throw on there that would be far more meaningful than just listing missing homework and planning to study. Not that those aren’t important things to do. It’s just that when you have such limited time with students, you have to use it wisely.

I am struggling a bit to overcome a culture bump within my math class. The way math is taught in the US is inherently a solo practice. However, many of the students I work with want to give each other answers and “help” students through the problems. The problem with this is that the students who we need to be learning the material aren’t learning the material because they are relying on their peers for answers. We give the students plenty of time to work in groups and pairs when doing things like homework, games, and other in class activities knowing that group work does foster greater abilities. Yet, we cannot test students in groups. I wonder if I will need to start testing kids 1-on-1 for a more accurate picture of their abilities.

One thing that I did today that I didn’t expect to do was recorded a brief ethnography. I won’t say too much about what I collected for data or who I was watching for privacy purposes. But I do need to get on that project as the end of the semester is coming fast. Grad school is almost done!

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