Friday, March 13, 2009

Seven Reasons Why Today Sucked

1. I woke up really early to drive a friend to the airport before work. Before leaving, I printed out some worksheets and my lesson plans for today, since I am out of ink at school. I forgot the worksheets at home.

2. Realized I had forgotten worksheets at home when I arrived at school an hour after leaving my house. Drove home to get them. When I got home, I remembered to take out the recycling. But then I forgot the worksheets at home for a second time.

3. Got to school and made this realization. Shook the ink cartridge and got the last dregs of ink out of it. Printed out my worksheet and saw that I had only 9% of my battery power left on my laptop. Went to get my laptop charger from my bag and realized I had left it at home.

4. During my planning period, I went home (again) to get the charger. Also went to CVS to get ink. Got a parking ticket.

5. Lunch period. As usual I have about 10 kids in my classroom hanging out because they don’t want to go to the cafeteria. Two boys get in a fight, and I see boys punching each other for the first time at school (also, maybe in my life?) I break it up and get knocked down in the process.

6. Another crappy thing happens during 6th period that I can’t write about because it would be TMI, even for an anonymous blog.

7. At the end of the day I’m called down to the office. I had forgotten to go to my pre-observation meeting.

So yeah, today sucked. I drove home completely ready to get in an accident. I mean, the day isn’t over. There’s plenty of time for this to be an eight or nine reasons why today sucked post.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Quality Control

Please check out the newest post at the Challenge to Care blog. A friend of mine is very, very angry about her situation at Mervo and has expressed that better than I can summarize. She doesn't pull any punches.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Cell Phone Results

Sara over at Inside Ed just wrote about students texting in class, so I figured I should tell you all the results of my texting experiment. In a word: meh.

Results varied by class. First period was not so into texting their answers. This makes sense since a lot of the students don’t have phones (so why would it be fun?) A few kids seemed into it and asked to do it again, but if not everyone can participate, it’s not worth doing.

In fifth period I had more student interest. Unfortunately, I was almost foiled by a girl who first tried to claim that as soon as they took out their phones I was going to confiscate them (really? Am I that evil?) When that was unsuccessful, she told everyone that I was trying to get their phone numbers (to do what with? Prank call?)

It was pretty cool that as soon as a student voted for an answer choice the bar graph adjusted to show their vote. But, the kids were too into the texting, and not enough into the math part. It ended up being a huge distraction, and pretty much just took up too much time.

When we use technology in the classroom it can’t just be for the sake of using technology (which is what this was). Instead, I have to make sure that either students are learning how to learn technology or the technology actually enhances the lesson in some way. The texting experiment probably took away from the lesson.

One unexpected result was that cell phone usage in class actually DECREASED. When we were done texting, I told them that they’d met their cell phone in the class quota for the day, and that they needed to be put away. And they were.