I'm sitting here, with assessment projects to grade and mid-terms to finish grading . . . and wondering where in the world the semester has gone. I've "thought" several entries to this Blog, but time has a way of slipping away, especially this semester. I've delayed Blogging in order to get papers graded, get power points done, get things done for the Center - and I can tell that I haven't taken the time to reflect on my teaching in writing this semester. Somehow, just thinking about how things are going doesn't cut it, at least for me.
I was not happy with class last week -- in the middle of class, I realized that even I was drifting -- and I hate that. I felt like we were slogging through vocabulary . . . then slogging through pre-teaching. I refuse to slog through another "topic." Based on the What's Working -- What's Not think writes at the end of the mid-term today, I need to rethink some things -- I need to save time at the end of every class to read to students - without fail. I haven't done that as regularly as I should have, especially for the 2 PM class. There are so many students, and everything seems to take so much longer in that class. Also, the math folks are having difficulty seeing how these strategies can be adapted for their content - so I need to spend some time modeling strategies, then put them in content-specific groups to discuss ways to adapt and use the strategies. We probably need to stop and take a look at everything we have considered so far.
Several students mentioned not really liking theory - and I appreciate that. But I know that if they understand the theory, then they can adapt the strategies with much more success than if they are trying to follow some procedure for a strategy. Knowing a few "guidelines" for learning will help them more than knowing the names of strategies -- they'll end up inventing their own, of that I'm sure.
Students are reading chapter 11 using the different note making strategies -- I'm thinking that perhaps it would be better to have them get in Jigsaw groups to discuss the different strategies instead of "teaching" each other -- but I've already assigned the teaching part, so perhaps I'll adjust what I expect them to do during that time. Next year, though, I think I'll have students use different strategies as we read and discuss the text - and sprinkle in lessons I'll teach and unpack with them.
Well, I'll see what changes I can make at this point - these students are going to be such great teachers and I want them to be prepared!