Sunday, January 16, 2011

Manic Monday

My kids have tapered off on the whole reassessment thing. No, that's not true. I think they may have forgotten about the whole reassessment thing.

I, however, have a feeling that the last few weeks of the trimester will have everyone panicking, coming in to my classroom at all hours, trying to raise their grade. I would really like to avoid that if at all possible.

We also took a test last Friday. It was okay, pretty much what I expected. My kids are very good at balancing equations, but can't write an ionic formula to save their lives. We have gone over it and gone over it and still, nothing.

So on Monday, we tried something crazy. The night before I made out review sheets for each of my targets. This included naming and writing formulas for ionic and covalent compounds. Turned out we only got through ionic, but it was nice to be somewhat prepared.

Anyone (all but two kids) who wanted to retest over ionic compounds got into groups of five and each got a review sheet. 

One of the key parts to this was that instead of plugging in their iPod and working in isolation, they took turns working the problems while explaining their thinking to the group. So not only did each student have to speak the words, they had to hear it over and over (and not from me!).

When the group finished the problem set, I scribbled (literally, I hadn't gotten far enough to print out) out a quiz on scratch paper and let them reassess. This is totally against my fight against short term memory learning, but I am making this up as I go.
The goofy guy in the coveralls (it's REALLY cold here!) is my nephew. He is extremely smart but doesn't seem realize it. He is sitting across from my other nephew. He is extremely lost but doesn't seem to realize it.

This went over really well, although there are a few things I will tweak. 

Groups of five are too big. That could just be a space issue in my room set-up, but there were a few individuals that didn't seem to really be a part of the group.

I also think next time I will give each GROUP a review sheet instead of each KID. There were a few that I kept having to get after to work with their group instead of on their own.

The response to this was overwhelmingly positive. There were more light bulbs going on during this hour than I have had for quite awhile. 

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