Thursday, January 15, 2015

I'm not so good at this blogging thing

I know, I suck when it comes to being consistent and timely with getting a blog out.

To follow up on some things touched upon in my previous posts, I have had a full class set of Chromebooks for quite a few months now.  I had posited that once I had them all that digital homework completion would increase.  That hypothesis proved false.  But, this seems to be a problem with paper assignments as well.  This is a really apathetic group of students this year when it comes to completing their work.

One theory I have on why so many students aren't completing their work in a timely manner is that they have gotten so used to a teacher's fear of failing a student (and the repercussions that often come with that), that they rely on that fear to earn at least a D without even trying.  Failure, however, should be a part of the learning process.  So, I've told my kids that I will allow them to fail if they so choose.  And, they really do have to choose to fail in my class (I gave my juniors the opportunity over the winter break to do up to 300 points of extra credit).  I've been encouraging my students to learn from their mistakes for the past few years now.  And, it feels like a I do a good job of modeling that for them (read:  I make a lot of mistakes in front of them).

I really need to create more meaningful assignments and spread them out to keep my grading woes under control.  I don't think I need the 10th graders to answer questions for every chapter.

The test I that I mentioned my juniors took earlier was a difficult test for all the juniors and not just my students struggled.  That made me feel a little better.  It did prompt me to pull back on the amount of time my 11th graders spent on the Chromebooks though, and made me realize that I need to ease the student's into the use of them next year.

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