Patterns And Shapes

In a stack of papers called Instruction.

  • May
  • 06
  • 2009

The Support class settles down into a rhythm once I put on the video to take notes to (Tuesday, Thursday) or announce that it’s time to read (Monday, Wednesday, Friday). The same happens most days that I point out a Do First on the board. The time when they are the most out of control and, therefore, the most difficult to get back for the rest of the period are the times when I don’t have things together right away. When I scan the room for those handouts or scramble to get the next thing ready, that’s when I lose them. Things need to flow better there in order to keep the momentum going.

Seating plays a big role, too. I went around the room yesterday to issue censure for poor notes based on a video we watched twice. Almost every critique involved me pointing at their desk, nearly pounding it with my index finger, while emphasizing that “maybe this is not the right desk for you. Maybe you shouldn’t be sitting so far back, surrounded by others who are also taking poor notes.” Yeah, that’s my job to move them. They don’t know enough about themselves or this game to make the right choices when it comes to where or with whom they sit. We’re back to a more traditional grid of desks (the set up I usually start and end the year with anyhow) and I’ll get back to seating charts for them tomorrow.

The routines and the consistent expectations help these students more than others. Those things keep these kids hooked into what I’m offering. They like me well enough to (mostly) do what I ask of them. I just need to make it easier for them to do so, something I’ve grown lazy with since most of my juniors and seniors meet me halfway already.

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