Monday, January 28, 2019

I want Time to Stop #StartOver Day 9 and Day 10


If you remember my post from Day 8, I woke up refreshed on day 9. I had a pleasant day.
I am still in the process of getting students used to my classroom procedures so they installed the Screencastify extension on their Chromebook and recorded themselves playing the 6 times table during the morning period on Day 9.

During the afternoon period, all students solved questions on the board. I really love #360math but it's difficult to manage classes where students don't work. Some students realized right away that the board work was the exact same questions as the test from Thursday. Answers were already provided for them. They had to show me work. Today was meant to teach the procedures for recording work and working on the boards. I told them they have to write their names on the top starting with their last names. They had to solve one question on the board and take turns writing on the board. They had to write big so I can see their work from the middle of the classroom. They also needed to have their Chromebooks with them since some teams solve problems faster than others so they need to scroll down on their own screen and not wait for the questions on my projector. They get credit based on working, not based on doing work correctly.

Surprisingly, 20 out of 36 students submitted their videos and worked on the board. The other students are still testing my patience or at the restroom when I approach them to help them. For a group of students who failed most of their classes last semester, they are really performing well. It makes me happy. I told students they can request good calls home. I had about 14 requests combined from both classes and I stayed after school Friday to share the good news with the parents of all 14 students. The highlight of the day was when Sarkis came up to me after the board work and told me that he realized he got the exploding dots questions wrong on the test. He said he realized he did it backwards. The whole point of #360math is students realizing what they are doing wrong and  learn from it or reinforce their correct work and I get to assess what I have to reteach. So I would say Day 9 was a success.

I ended Friday on a good note. What a huge contrast from Thursday where I thought I would have to quit teaching all together.

On Saturday, I graded the tests students took on Thursday. Now that I decided to enjoy the process and let go of things I can't control, more positive things were popping up. Even though I see the students for 4 periods, it is still only 2 groups of students. So when it came time to grade tests, I only had 2 classes to grade for. Most kids ditch class on test days so I only had to grade about 50 tests total. The ones who took the test tried hard. Out of my 67 students, 27 passed. It may not look like much to some of you, but to me, it is a huge victory. Let's not forget what I keep emphasizing. Most of the 67 students have failed almost all their classes throughout their high school years.

Today, which is now day 10 of my #StartOver semester, I was all smiles as I talked to my students about how many of them passed the test. Today, I wanted to make sure that students have the 20x20 times table in their notebook and that they understand how to glue the tests I return to them. I started the class by letting students know that I updated their grades. Then I told them I almost never give out extra credit. If their grade is low, they need to make up regular credit. The process is simple. They check their grades, if they notice a 0, they check the date and click on that date on Canvas. They make it up, then email me or show me so I can give them credit. I told them I take 20 percent off for late submissions because it's not fair to the students who turn them in on time. Today is a 40 minute short period day. I ended up spending the whole morning period returning their tests with a glue stick and times table chart and explaining to them how to glue it to their notebook. Don't worry. The students were copying 4 pages of notes that I planned on teaching today. We weren't wasting time. Plus, after today, all I have to do is tell them which page to glue their test and they'll know what to do. During the afternoon period, I was able to teach the multiplying and adding integer lesson from  exploding dots. Consistency really helps. Students are really getting this concept of exploding dots. There were no bad phone calls home today and three students requested good news calls. I realized I should stop taking requests since the same kids from Friday asked me to call again.

I think I lost a total of 5 children to Chromebooks today during the afternoon lesson. I actually joked around and messed with the kids today. They made fun of my high-pitched voice and I made fun of them trying to sound like me. I gave a few high fives to kids who were trying and I saw maybe a total of 40 correct answers from practice questions.


I am carefully optimistic about my 67 children. I learned that the pass rate for the class I teach at my District is at around 40 percent or lower. My heart flutters every time I see a child smile at me because she got the answer correct. And when they realize they made one little mistake, then fix it? I really do feel like a superhero.

Today is day 10 and I wish time will stop right now.






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