Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Middle of the Week Day

Moments from my Middle of the Week Day:

The most enjoyable part of the school day today was 5th hour social studies. The class is studying Canada and spent part of the hour filling in and coloring a political map (a map that shows lines defining countries, states, or territories). I worked with a group of 3 students ,and I did a map along with them. Drawing in the provinces (how many know what a province is?) was a bit challenging (we were given an outline of Canada) and figuring out where to put the Saskatchewan River tricky but then it was time to COLOR! Jacy didn't want to color, but I insisted because I love it so much, and, well, that was part of the assignment. (Jacy's been in a mood the last few days) I have always loved coloring and find it relaxing. To be able to color while also answering questions and joking with the kids was a perfect combination. (It helped that my most reluctant learner was absent)

Math is covering graphs and coordinate planes. The class had no problem with graphing but coordinate planes are challenging them. Or maybe it is having to use positive AND negative quadrants (anyone who knows my math skills is probably amazed that I know what a quadrant is!). Homework is an assignment using integers to draw a picture. I can't wait to see what the pictures are but explaining how to use the 50 sets of integers was challenging. I tried to remember what was stated in the short video the class watched prior to the coordinate plane explanation: "Integers are our friends." Well, I hadn't known that, but my day was just brighter knowing I have all these integer friends.

Homeroom (known as Connections) is the last 35 minutes of the day. Our 17 Connection kids are DONE by this time. Their attention spans are non-existent, hyperactivity (diagnosed or otherwise) has kicked in, and we try to corral and focus them --- not always with success. As frustrating as this can be, by the end Jeramie and I are laughing if for no other reason than relief that the day is done. Today was trying to get 7 of them study for tomorrow's science test (4 of them did listen--finally) then 3 worked on math homework -- back to the quadrant quandaries (come on, how often do you find an opportunity to use "q" in consonance?). Jeramie will be in Madison Thursday and Friday for state football finals (I mouthed "I hate you" to him from the doorway as I left) so the sub and I are hoping to survive the last two connections of the week.

Don't get me wrong...the majority of the students are nice kids and I enjoy them. But the disrespectful, cocky, jerk students take away from the class, disrupt learning, and suck adults' energy. In science there are 24 students and 7 of them are disruptive. I try to have contact with the good kids as often as possible just to keep my sanity and perspective. I also try to remember that the jerk kids just may grow out of this phase and become product adults.