I'm busy lately, and every blog topic that comes up in my mind I have to eliminate because I feel like I couldn't write it without identifying features of my students. Lots of interesting stories, but inappropriate for mass release.
It's been a strange and busy week since I last updated. The students are doing fairly well on their oral commentaries, but it's very hard work for the teacher. Each student has a 40-minute time slot, and they all overlap, with the last 15 minutes in a room with me recording and questioning. Even though last week was only a three day week because of the snow day, the week was a tough one, with near-constant commentaries delivered to me in that tiny room set off the library. The snow day made me fall behind, and I'm not even finished, which is even more problematic.
The 9th graders didn't do well on their midterm, with class averages in the 60s on the multiple choice in all my classes, as well as the other teachers of 9th grade. It's a bummer, and an annual reminder that our students struggle on multiple choice tests, and, again, I'm left wondering what to do. I spent some time analyzing the data from the 50 questions, and know some of the topics that I want to go over, but most of the test was questions about passages. Students need to read and make inferences. They don't. I teach that every day. I feel like they've learned a lot, bu not enough yet.
One sweet kid came to me before the exam and said, "You know those questions where you have a story and are supposed to answer questions about it?"
"Uhh, yes, I think I know what you're talking about."
"How do you study for that?"
We went to my computer and brought up PSAT practice website with some passage questions.
"But, you know, the real way to study for that is to read challenging books and make inferences as you read, just like we've been doing all year."
"Oh, well, I don't like to make inferences as I read. I try to just turn off until I see the questions at the end. No inferences for me!"
She said it with genuine earnestness, too, without a touch of sarcasm or irony. What to do, what to do.
I'm so happy I teach both seniors and freshmen because daily I'm reminded of where I need to get the ninth graders and how far the seniors have come while here.
Mental Health Break - Great moments in Jumbotron history:
23 minutes ago