Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Today was octahedron day. WOW! For so many of the kids, making these 3-D models is a breeze. For others, it is pure torture.

This one little guy 5th hour had made 3 octahedrons before others had even finished the drawing of their #1 model.

The flipside.... one guy spent the entire hour erasing, because even with my step by step instructions and guidance, he was lost. Granted, part of the "lost" is his inability to focus himself. I moved him to my desk so I could record homework grades in the computer next to him while helping him. But unless I actually drew the lines, they were wrong! It is frustrating.... for me and him...

He cannot follow simple directions... spends half the time looking, watching and listening to the others in the class....is low-functioning.... struggles reading.... not special ed.... has been referred for testing but when??? and then what??? He is not in math when the spec ed teacher is in my classroom. She is in there very little anyway, but at least if he was there when she is, he could get some extra help.

Social studies was interesting - I conducted a little "experiment". We had a short section to read out of the social studies book. Nine students chose to go next door to read alone. I allowed 3 partner groups to read in hall. THe other half of the class stayed in the classroom, either reading with a partner or alone. After a reasonable amount of time, I divided them into the hall group, next door group, alone in classroom group, and partner in classrooms and quizzed them as a group on the section. THe "next door-alone" crew did better overall, closely followed by the hall group. Of course, other factors influenced the outcome. The groups I chose for the hall were quieter more trustworthy students I knew could read out there without neing distrated by the activity. The loners next door were even the more studious quiet types. Still - it was interesting.

Friday we take our first online test!! I made it at teacher.web - the questions are all true/false or multiple choice and very easy. I must admit, with the first time using this testing method, I was more worried about the actual setup than the validity of the questions. It should be a learning experience for the kids, but a needed one with the MEAP going to online version in near future. If we are successful Friday (and all 3 social studies classes are taking it... not just mine..) I will attempt this method again, with better questions. The appeal of it grading the questions is a real plus for all 3 of us teachers, I must say.Students will also have essays to answer but we opted to have them separate - my class will have option to type in Word, or write longhand, whichever they prefer.


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