Saturday, May 14, 2011


On a more pleasant note than my last post, this week my students wrote thank you letters to the semi-anonymous donors who made our electricity labs possible. I know some of the sentiments in the letters were forced, but some were honest and sweet. They wrote about what they learned in the labs and what they like about doing labs. Next year I would like to do more freewriting or journaling or reflections whatever I decide to call it. I think it's helpful to have kids process what they did in writing outside the constraints of answering questions or the formality of a lab writeup. And also, it was amazingly peaceful to have even five minutes of class when all the kids were intent on writing without much input from me.

Parts of a Whole

Last week, for the first time, I found myself able to think about the rest of the school year all at one time. It's still blocked out into several chunks (wrap up last unit (done as of last Wed), state test review, take state test, post-test project) but I can think about all 7 weeks at the same time without my eyes bugging out or tearing up.

For me it finally feels like the end is in sight, although there is still some hard work ahead. My kids took last year's state exam as a practice test this Thursday and Friday and I am avoiding scoring them because I'm too afraid of what I'll find. And I really have no idea how to create effective review activities. For some, it's just a matter of reminding them of what they already learned - the vocabulary, formulas, and units that have slipped their minds - but for others who never fully grasped the concepts in the first place, it's hard to imagine how I'll bring them to any level of proficiency in the next 11 school days.