Has it really only been one full week of school? It sure feels like it’s been longer. Not that it’s a bad thing – but it just feels like I’ve been in school for more than 1 week. At our school, kids have 2 weeks to switch classes and move around schedules. I also have been teaching a lot of procedures, so I haven’t fully introduced SBG yet. I have given out some information, but next week is when I plan on really spending some time on it.
My 7th grade math class is going pretty well for the most part. Since I haven’t taught math OR junior high before, this was the one class I was a bit worried about this year. It seems to be a review for most kids so far, everyone is doing very well. When I present a lesson, I involve them in the “action” – we’ve done a couple of hands on activities and I try to call on a range of kids. I take them through my “thought process” when we do example problems, and I make sure they get plenty of “story problems”. They do pretty well for the most part. We are working a lot on classroom expectations – I have heard that other teachers have had to spend a bit more time in this area with this particular class. The good thing is, they listen – at least to me – and try to do better. It is just going to take some practice, and I have to remember to be specific about my expectations each day so that they remember.
Chemistry is going through the Mass and Change lab from the modeling curriculum. It is taking a bit longer than I would like – it looks like it will have taken 5 days when all is said and done. However, I think this will be good for them in the long run – they seem to be building a good, solid foundation. I look forward to the whiteboard session after the lab. We’ve only had one session so far – and one class was already asking questions. That’s a big change from last year, and a welcome one. We’ll see what happens next week.
Earth Science and Physics are both working on cardboard boats. One of our teachers manages the pool in a nearby town, and they keep it open for us to have cardboard boat races. We compete with another school. It is a lot of fun, and the kids look forward to it. I use it to teach my Earth kids measurement. This is the first year that Physics students are participating. This particular class was the one class that didn’t get to make boats as freshmen, so they really wanted to participate – they begged last year, and I decided that it could be a good idea. We’ll see how it turns out.
Here are a couple of pictures of boat work – they just started the actual building yesterday/today, so there’s not a lot of visible progress yet. They have a good start though!