Monday, February 27, 2012

Class Size

Today was a Monday, that's for sure.

Actually, my first block class went pretty well...took a SBG assessment, did pretty well, those that were ready and took it, the rest will take tomorrow, briefly reviewed the video stuff on orbital notation, that seemed to go well also, kids working at different paces, the way I want it to go.

My AP is not being I won't mention them other than the, wow, if I was this unfocused in school in my AP classes, I am soooo sorry.

But my last last class.  This class is Honors Chem I and they are a bunch of pretty good kids.  One of the things that happens a lot in my school though is that a lot of our honors kids have some good brains but aren't very used to using them.  Since they can coast by in most of their classes, they aren't used to having to really apply themselves, and just like when I start up running again after a 5 year hiatus, it takes time to stretch out those muscles.  That is killer hard, both for them to learn and for me to be patient with.

What makes it a little more challenging for me is that I have a larger than normal class for our school.  One way that we are blessed is that overall our class sizes are pretty small, especially in the lower two grades. I generally have around 25 or so students on my roster in a normal class.  In this one though I have 30, and one  constant that I've always noticed is that all of my honors kids have tended to be a bit more chatty than others. Couple that with the newness to them of flip and of SBG, they are struggling and I am struggling with their struggles....

S:  "Mr. A, I didn't watch the video last night, can you come show me how to do this?"

Me: "Ok, did you read over the note packet?"

S: "No"

Me: "your partner seems to know what's up, did you ask them?"

S:  "They don't want to help..."

S2 (the partner): "I tried...she doesn't want me to help"

And so on...I want to help, that's what I do, what I'm there for, what makes having a real teacher different than just watching videos and such.  But me a third of the way.  When your honors kids don't want to plug into an equation with n trickeration, that's frustrating...for both of us.

I was tempted on the way home to just scrap flip for this class, stick with SBG and switch back to my normal DI lecturing, at least for a week.  But then I thought, if I really believe in the flip, which I do, why would I switch to what I feel is an inferior pedagogical model?  To prove a point?  We already know that they hate lecture in general....

Part of the problem of course is that I feel I've been falling a little apart in my planning, so the ones that really want to zoom ahead, I'm not fully prepared for.  So I spent extra time this weekend in between starcraft viewing to really flesh out more fully this weeks plans.

And then on the way home I get an email that says my team will be out of the building all day Friday for the hot new model of thinking we are doing next year.


Okay, I can do it...

Anyone out there with ideas on how to make flip flow smoother sometimes, send my way, I'm going to try out some new stuff, but always love to hear what others are doing!

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