Power Teaching – Day 1

You could market Power Teaching as a weight loss tool.  I did so much running back and forth to the scoreboard today that I’ll bet I lost 10 pounds.

Things started well.  They took to class/yes very well.  They thought the scoreboard was fine.  The mighty groan and oh yeah went well too. . . for a while.***

The most interesting thing was the teach/okay.  They JUST DIDN’T GET IT.  They liked saying okay in the way I said teach, and then some of them would turn to a neighbor but then it would fall apart or more accurately, stop dead.  We tried it a few times with different micro lessons and still it wasn’t working.  Finally, we made it to Library time and I could re-group.

After Library, we did a re-cap of where we were on the scoreboard.  Later about that.
It wasn’t until after lunch that I realized  – THEY JUST DON’T GET THAT WHEN WE DO TEACH/OKAY THE ARE SUPPOSED TO TALK.  duh
Once I figured that out, things went much better, much much better.  At the end of the day they were gesturing and everything.

That was awesome!

This was awful:  my 3 most challenging students seemed to stay with me at first, but that ended after about 45 minutes.  They continued to regress into their previous patterns.  Now, I do have to give them SOME credit.  They were sitting at tables with other students after having been isolated nearly all year.  So I suppose they actually made progress.  Unfortunately, their incredibly poor ability to control themselves caused the class to loose their entire recess.  There was really no way to ignore their frowny face behavior.  By lunch, there were 30 more frowny faces than smiley. ***This is how the Mighty Groan had become unpopular.  On the other hand, the rest of the class had ‘first day’ behavior (all kids behave well on the first day of school).  Peer pressure wasn’t working and I JUST COULDN’T PUNISH THE WHOLE CROWD DUE TO THE THREE.

I had read about ‘The Independents’ in one of the files, so I discussed that possibility with them and even sent one of them to sit by himself for a while.  He was able to rejoin later.  Anyway, I ended up with three write-ups and brought them to the office for recess.  It really was unavoidable. The principal ended up seeing them and . . .

Anyway, they received consequences which I don’t agree with but NOW I’ve got something to work with tomorrow.  We have all talked about what we need to do to avoid repeating today’s behavior problems.

So we’ve been from awesome to awful and back again.

Tomorrow’s plan includes:
1.  working out gestures to go with our rules and throwing them into rehearsal.  It will re-emphasize and reinvigorate our rules.  We’d gotten so familiar with them that they had just become numbers.  I think I may videotape them for next year too.  (Of course, my students LOVE to watch themselves.)

2. moving the scoreboard so I don’t have to keep running back and forth (although I should really move it further away so I DO loose weight!)

3.  taking a long hard look at my lesson plans and determining what the micro lessons are

4.  continuing to rehearse – I award smiley faces whenever I MAKE A MISTAKE and I made a lot of them today!  I kept saying eyes and hands instead of hands and eyes


May I lapse philosophically here. . . #3 is my own paradigm shift (Structure of Scientific Revolution, I think was one of my favorite books).  I’ve been focused on differentiated instruction and making lessons accessible to varied learners but I had totally lost sight of the actual CONTENT of the lessons.  I will really need to break things apart into 30-second bits.  This will absolutely revolutionize my teaching.  I’m not really sure how to express how much impact this has made on me.  I feel like I’ve been missing the obvious.  At the same time, there are certain areas which will not be able to be boiled down to a simple 30 second lesson . . no. . no . .  I take that back —— the practice takes longer, but the POINT should be brief.  I’m telling you I’m really having more of a paradigm meltdown here than a shift!  Thank goodness summer break is on the way, so I can think this all out.

So, all in all the day was fabulous AND horrid AND my feet hurt.  What else can a girl hope for?  I hope my update is better tomorrow.  I’ll have my OWN 90 pages written before I finish the week I fear.

Published in: on May 7, 2008 at 7:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

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