Monday, February 08, 2010

Boredom is a Pattern, NOT a Reality.
We are settled into February, the month that seems the longest in the school year. It's been forever since Christmas break, and even longer until Spring Break. The kids are lulled into a monotonous plodding along pattern, and so am I. It is like we are caught in the horse latitudes with no wind to lift our sails.

February seems to be the month for fights, parent complaints, and excessive absences among both teachers and students. Fuses are short, tempers flare easily. We seem to be looking for direction.

How can I harness all that boredom into something productive?

In math, we are starting our house plan projects where students draw to scale floor plans of their houses. The options of the project allow them to draw elevations or create actual models of their homes. I am hoping to generate excitement in the upcoming project by hanging actual blueprints around my classroom as well as displaying models made by former students. So far it seems to be working :)

Tomorrow will be the true test. Students have had a week to measure their actual houses. How many will 'forget'? How many will have no measurements to begin the project?

What do I do with THOSE kids? It is a struggle, always. Do I send them out, to the office? This seems the easiest option, but the one which is least productive. Do I create an alternative assignment? If so, WHAT? Do I just give them some sort of busy work to keep them out of my hair while I try to help students who ARE working on their projects? What do I do if they won't work on the busy work I give them? How do I assess them accurately and comparably to students who complete the actual project?

More questions than answers, for sure.... but at least my mind is back awake, and I am excited to get my classes going tomorrow!

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