Jumping All In

Posted: January 8, 2015 in Uncategorized

Many asked me to keep you up to date on the progress of Mission: January 2015.

Well, things are going well . . . . . sort of.

I’ve learned a lot about my individual classes. First, I want to share a little about my classes.

I started the year out with about 160 students in 6 classes. That gave me about 25-30 students in each class. Two of my classes are Pre-Algebra (yes, they are still 6th graders), one co-taught that has lower level students, and then 3 other classes of 6th grade math (2 of which has paraprofessionals assisting). This semester though we had a new teacher start. (It can’t be easy starting mid year, but this guy is doing awesome! I’m excited to have him join our team.) With that, two of my regular classes are now going to be split starting next week and he will have half of them. Now that you know that, I can share with you what I’ve learned about my students.

IMG_2441My 2 Pre-Algebra classes are flying! I’m sure you can guess which two classes those are by the number of badges handed out. They are competing with each other on who can get more badges quicker. They are all reaching the goal of 20 questions with a 70% or higher and they want to reach their goals. In fact, I had to stop walking around the room handing out badge to just sitting at my computer and they come to me. I couldn’t walk around the room quick enough to help them all!

I also learned that the students in my co-taught class have a rough time remembering things. I now understand why they have difficulty with testing. So I’ve started to review a topic at the beginning of the class and they having the students work on the topic. They need these reminders. I started doing that today and I have seen a quicker feedback from them.

They are really working to earn their badges and get excited when they achieve one.

A change that I made for classes is that if they receive a 100% on the first 10 questions, then they pass the topic. That is helping them focus a little more instead of talking to their neighbors. Then if they don’t get the 100%, they work for the 70% with 20 questions. For lower students, I have told them to work for an 80% on the first 10 questions, but then for the 70% on 20 questions. It has helped students to focus more on what they know and to try harder.

The biggest challenge that I have seen though is trying to get students to write down the problems they are working on and to work out the math. Many see the computer and try to just do the work mentally. Over the next few days I am going to work on getting the students to write their problems down and work them out. I think that one of the reasons the Pre-Algebra classes are doing so well is that they do show their work. They are students who enjoy doing math and just naturally work it out on paper. It’s my lower students who are not writing things down.

Overall, I feel that this is going well. Tomorrow is the end of week one and they goal that I had was for each student to have at least 4 topics completed. There are many who have 5, 6, or 7 completed, yet there are some who only have 1 or 2. It’s a work in progress, but I know we will work out the bugs.

The exciting part is that the bulletin board is just about full of badges and they will start to go out into the hallway! I know that there are not the number of badges below that match the number of badges handed out, but that’s because many students are taking their badges home to show to parents and color and then bring them back to hang up. Yes, they are proud of them and want to work as much as possible while at school. Oh yea, there are also a few students who are just about done because they are doing one or two topics at home each night.IMG_2440

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