Raise Your Hand, Answer the Question, and Keep Your Voice Down

Reflections from a human, father, husband, & educator.

My natural instinct is to just think through my day from beginning to end, but  I am going to try and block that!

The first thing that jumps out to me is my math lesson. I used the Peer 2 Peer instruction technique invented by Dr. Eric Mazur. If you haven´t had a chance to try it out, you need to! The basic premise is having given the students some instruction, and gotten some feedback as to their knowledge/misconceptions, you design a series of questions that make that muse that knowledge.  You ask a multiple choice question, they answer, then they get to argue with their partner, or team, trying to convince each other that the other is wrong! The kids enjoy this way of learning (I actually asked on a slide today, and 54% replied they like it, and 46% said they love it…that´s 100%!!). Tomorrow I will give them a 4 question assessment to see how the learning is going, and just how effective today was.

I am having a Dickens of a time trying to get my kids to buy into their classroom jobs (note-takers, Googlers, social media team, and tutorial makers). I tried to give them a little pep talk, and got one good idea from the group, about giving them two 15 minute sessions to work together during the week. We shall see how that goes.

After totally botching Writing Workshop yesterday, today was a much better day. I need to do more prep work, so my small group instruction is more valuable, but I did some good over the shoulder group making today, and will make some plans tomorrow.

I am  trying to get parents more involved with their children´s  reading and writing lives, and one way I am doing that is by inviting them to talk to the students about their own reading and writing life. We had our first speaker today, and I think it went well. At times it drifted into lecture mode, so I will be sure to talk with any other parents that are going to do this before hand to remind them to keep it positive!

Well, my 10 minutes are up. Happy day to all.


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