The Sort-of-Scientific Method

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
May 24 2013

Improvement! Sort Of …

Day 159: Wednesday, I had one of the best classes with my homeroom all spring. Sort of.

After three or four quick warnings, the Do Now was silent. Not sort of silent, but actually silent. When it came time for the food web demonstration – throwing balls of yarn around the room to make a big web – the kids were rowdy, but nothing crazy. While it took some management, they got through it as well if not better than any class I taught last year. We then got through all of the notes efficiently, including my less-than-thrilling demonstration of how to “text-mark” a food web.

However … The early warnings led to some gloom and grumpy faces that persisted for the whole 50 minutes. And while we efficiently moved through notes, so many people were confused about how to deal with food webs that I had to cancel the homework.

Sometimes, teaching can feel like Wile E. Coyote trying to plug holes in a dam. Plug one, and two more open … and you only have so many fingers and toes. For now, I’ll bask in the on-task behavior. For later, I need to think about how to get my erstwhile homeroom to both appreciate their renewed focus, and translate it into higher achievement.

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Experimental Procedures of a Second-Year Teacher

Greater Boston
Middle School

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