Wednesday, September 21, 2011

From Zoo to Classroom, Hopefully

Hi, everyone.

I'm struggling.

My students are exhausting me. I didn't feel this negatively about my students last year, ever. I guess this is one of the ways in which high school is different. Worse, I feel that a very small fraction of the kids are actually learning.

I'm hoping to turn this around. And I would appreciate any comments/feedback.


- I'm overwhelmed. With grading (warm ups, classwork, homework, exit slips... gah, so many papers!), with keeping make up work organized (mostly because I don't take the time to do it), with lesson planning (is there a way to streamline this process more?), with effectively rewarding and "punishing" students, with cleaning my overheads, with keeping my class website up to date, with basically everything involved in teaching! So I'm behind.
- I'm having difficulty in finding more interactive activities for geometry.
- I wish I had more technology so I could show my kids pictures of where geometry fits into the world.
- Students talk too, too much - and not about math.
- Students are often tardy.
- Students aren't learning to their fullest extent.

Part of this is my doing. I'm feeling disorganized and overwhelmed so I'm not the teacher I should be or can be. But the students are a doozy too... They don't listen to or read directions, most don't do their homework and they rush through every assignment.

I know what my basic problems are. How do I fix them?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Bag of Tricks: Classroom Management

Below are some things that work for me on the classroom management side:

- strategic seating charts. sometimes, they are the best thing ever, if they are down thoughtfully and purposefully.
- sticking to a strict routine so your students know what to expect.
- a tally board that encourages healthy competition among your classes.
- a job board that will ease your load and allow you to focus more on teaching and managing.
- a consequence sequence that you can stick to. this is really important for me because I have seen other peoples' consequence sequences and I have gone along with their sequences, but if it doesn't seem "you" then you may not enforce it. Pick rules and consequences you care about. And then stick to it. Make a chart, if necessary, to make sure you carry out consequences from minor to severe.