The Sort-of-Scientific Method

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jan 05 2013

2013, And Celebrating Wins

Day 76: Reading through what I’ve written about this year, I see about as much negative as positive. In fact, I see a lot of, “This part was great, sure sure. Now on to the five minutes of the day that made me pull my hair in frustration, so much so that I can’t let it go.” With that, this marks my third straight day committing to a New Year’s resolution. May 2013 be the year I see the good, and celebrate it, rather than just acknowledge it.

6B was loud. 6A was more antsy than normal. 6D had an uncharacteristic bout of shouting-out at the end.

HOWEVER – and it’s a big however – 98 percent of the day was awesome. 6B was completely on-task, and nailed the modified jigsaw activity I created, even though they’d never done anything like it before. An observer from another school told me I had more engagement than the other classrooms she’d seen. 6A also picked up the jigsaw well. Both 6A and 6B mastered the plant cell objective with over 90 percent mastery. And 6D, the last of my four classes to tackle the gigantic “scavenger hunt” packet I had put together to review cells and organelles, handled the relatively unstructured 40 minutes of worktime better than any of my other classes, including JPV, who often struggles to complete classwork for a few minutes straight.

Plus, I had two moments of sheer, “holy crap you’re learning!” joy. First, during Reader’s Workshop, my kids were playing Bananagrams. During which, one of my weakest kids managed to spell, “Quantitative.” Second, after school, I asked JV to water my plant. When she asked how much water to give it, I responded, “A little.” She responded, with no small amount of consternation, that “a little” was not specific enough language for a procedure, and that I needed better detail. I gaped, then laughed, then gave her a ticket, because clearly the girl remembers her scientific method.

In short, this first week back was miles better than last week’s first week back. Were we perfect? Hell no. Did we get a ton done, prove we were more than capable of jumping right back into learning, with limited stress and shaking-off-the-rust pains? Yes, and that’s something very much worth celebrating.

About this Blog

Experimental Procedures of a Second-Year Teacher

Greater Boston
Middle School

Subscribe to this blog (feed)