Tuesday, October 04, 2005

I am so impressed overall with the efforts of my students this year. It is not that they are perfect by any means, but we are closing in on the end of the first marking period and I have only one student with a D, and no E's. They are working hard to get their assignments done and turned in on time. What can this be attributed to? Not me.. I don't really think I am doing anything differently this year, except maybe being more insistent and riding some of the ones who tend to slack a bit harder.

I think the biggest determining factor is Guided Study class. Those kids who would not get their work finished and would not do homework, have that extra class period every day. It really does make a difference. Most of them work hard those extra 50 minutes. They ask for help, they redo assignments, they really appreciate the opportunity they have. It is frustrating to have to tell students who are not in there and want to be that they cannot join. I wish every kid who wanted it, could have it.

I am looking forward to Friday. We are having our first inservice day, a true in-district PD day, led by teachers/staff in our own school. We are offering a selection of half a dozen or so tech classes, everything from software trainings in SchoolWires and Discourse,to using streaming video and webmail, ClassServer, and PowerGrade and just general tech integration. It is truly a "something for everyone" menu. My only concern is the negativity I fear some may come with. I can only do my best to make my sessions interesting, relavent and realize just as my 7th graders must accept some of the responsibilty for their own learning, so must these adult learners.

Today Mr. Overhiser came to talk to students about their upcoming vist to the museum. THey were soooo well behaved. I was as proud as could be. Now if our Thursday visit goes as smoothly...

Monday, October 03, 2005

It's the sixth week of school and things are moving along quickly. Today was our clean up day at Hamilton Lake. Most of the kids were awesome. I was so impressed with some of them. Lincoln was out there pushing/pulling this heavy huge cart up and down the hills, with it gettting heavier and heavier as other kids put garbage in there. Even with the metal, old tires, etc.. Lincoln insisted on taking charge of that cart. He was dripping with sweat. Dakota was dragging huge trees off the trail. Kara was up in the back of the truck shoveling weeds onto the bonfire pile. John and Josh were picking up the most disgusting stuff I've ever seen.

and then.. the other ones.. who just simply would not listen - swinging from trees, stomping dirt piles, running through the woods, not helping pull weeds or pick up garbage. They were rude to Mrs. Brown from the Soil Conservation District. They did not want to get dirty. They simply were not into the project at all. I was really disappointed in them.

Other stuff at school. We are working on integers. This is their first experience with algebra, variables, exponents, and negative numbers. It seems this group has less prior knowledge than most groups. But they are working hard and seem to be "getting it". We are taking it slow. I am determined that before we move on, they will have the basics down.

Tomorrow Mr Oberhiser from the Historical Society will come talk to them about their visit to the musuem which is scheduled for Thursday. I hope we can instill in those who were incooperative today, the importance of being more so tomorrow and Thursday.

Next week we start MEAPS.... YUCK!! Christine will give Language Arts the first week and then I will give the math the next. I don't feel like the kids are ready at all.. I just have to have faith they can problem solve their way through.