Last week was the last week of actual instruction. I opted to take it easy. Life will go on even if I don’t try to cram the teaching of volume of 3d figures into two days. Also, this is my 100th post on this blog!
LAST WEEK ACTIVITIES
Last week, I shared all of our previous quizzes, tests, and reassessments with answer keys with the students. This week, I decided to make a more proper review sheet in the form of a Quizlet. I’ve never used Quizlet but students kept suggesting it. It’s virtual flashcards. On one side I put the question, and on the other, I put the answer. In one of my classes, the students wanted to create a game out of it, so one student took all the questions from the Quizlet, plugged them into Kahoot, and then played a review game with three of his peers. It was pretty helpful because the class after that is usually a bit more distractible and I wondered how they would do just working all period through the Quizlet. I ended up using the Kahoot game he made in the next class and it was more of a whole class review.
I’ve written in the past about how I don’t really like doing time review games in math because math isn’t about how fast you can solve the problem. I gave the option to students to go through the Quizlet review on their own or with a peer or they could play the Kahoot game. Everyone opted for the game. Go figure; middle schoolers like playing games. The timer was set to two minutes for each question and there were only a few instances where I could tell some students were feeling really rushed and not really able to think through the problem.
We had our last auction in the classroom economy as well. It’s a bit of a free for all since some students have a lot of money and it doesn’t carry over to next year (if they have me as a teacher). Little hair-bows and small boxes of candy were selling for $6k. I need to think of some other way to use that last bit of money because some kids are left with $3-4k and then it’s just gone. Perhaps I’ll do something where they can pool their money together and buy an end-of-year party. Like $500 for 1 pizza, $2k for five minutes of party time, or something like that. But of course, then I’d have to buy all that party stuff. Hm. Will reflect some more before next year. Also, I may do a vlog series on how to set the classroom economy up since I get a lot of questions about it.
I was seeing that this post is going to be my 100th entry on this blog! I started the blog after my second year of teaching but didn’t really go gun-ho until this year where I blogged every week. I’ve looked forward to writing and sharing and it’s led to a few correspondences with other educators that have virtually become digital pen pens. I’m going to review over all my posts later this summer, making notes of things I want to keep, lose, or change for next year. There are a few educators out there who write a short entry everyday in the classroom (like Justin Aion and Martin Joyce). I wasn’t that bold and don’t know if I ever will do that, mainly because I also spend time on the vlogs on other days of the week.
That natural question comes up ‘how has blogging been beneficial to you.’ In addition to forcing me to reflect on the week in a more prompt fashion (as opposed to trying to reflect on things weeks or months later), I hope it’s made me a better writer. I try to think of ways to communicate all that I want to in a concise manner. When it’s something I’m not sharing, I’m less worried about stuff like that; I don’t think about structure, I don’t think about brevity, and I don’t think about creative ways of expressing my ideas. Sometimes that freedom is needed, but I like that the blog forced me to think of all of those things every time I posted. I also hope it’s been a help to other educators. I tried to be honest about things that worked as well as things that didn’t. I think it’s encouraging to see other teachers write about how hard good teaching can be; you realize you’re not the only one struggling.
Thanks to anyone who has read any of this. I hope it’s been helpful, enjoyable, and/or useful 🙂
I’ll likely post at least one more entry after finals week and/or our middle school graduation thing.