Week 9: Post Benchmarks

Well, the first quarter ended today.  The students took the first benchmark assessment yesterday, so I thought we’d have a light day.  Only an hour with my long classes, so I decided to play a modified version of Scattergories, a game that my high school students always liked.  Not so much the seventh graders.  First they didn’t get it, then once they understood it, they did try, I’ll hand them that.  But the down time between rounds, when the teams call out their list of items was too much for them.  The thing was, I kept compounding it!  Each class I tried a different game, and it turned out a little worse than the last.  No one liked any of the activities I had planned!  So, yeah.  Try again.  I did give out a lot of tickets throughout the day, which will be good when we draw for Fabulous Prizes.  Indeed.

Then there is the Benchmark assessment.  They didn’t do too well.  Actually they did miserably, but it’s the first one.  I think maybe I have a better idea of how to teach the material next quarter.  It is kind of cool to be able to see where I got the info across and where I didn’t.  Believe me, it is starkly obvious!  For some reason, I haven’t been using all the tools I have in my ELD teacher toolbag.  The ones I try are too hard or take too long for seventh graders, so I’m trying to adjust, with only limited success so far.

I think my focus has to be on better preparation for my classes.  When I prepare well, the whole thing just goes smoother.  Pretend I’m a student teacher and plan, plan, plan.  I think I counted on being able to wing it much more than I actually can, given my new setting.  In high school I knew how to just make things happen, although even there it was always better when I prepared more ahead of time.  So I need to back up and really overdo it for a while until I find my groove.  Sigh.  This is so hard.

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