Polski3's View from Here

Quote of some personal revelence: "Is a dream a lie, that don't come true, or is it something worse?"

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Because its my job.....Try something different

Please note: This is sort of a rant, but there is information about teaching that some of you few remaining readers might find useful in your classrooms.

I spent two hours after school today because my students are not doing what I hope and expect them to do. On Monday, they were assigned to study and fill in a chart regarding the "Causes of the American Revolution." I kinda think that's important to know prior to learning what happened during the American Revolution and its results. So, yesterday, we spent most of each class period going over what should be on their charts; the various Acts, what each entailed and WHY THE COLONISTS WERE UPSET OVER THESE PIECES OF LEGISLATURE. Then, as an assessment, they were to create a 4x or 6+6 (4x = a list with three pictures and explanation as to why the chosen laws were a problem for the American colonists, a 6+6 is almost the same thing, but no list and you have six pictures with explanations for each). Those assessments were due by the end of class today.

Anyhow, the results were bad, even for most of these students. If I had to label what I got from 95% of them, it was "Illustrated Definitions of the various Acts of Parliament...." Very, very few had any data about how the taxes made things cost more, about trade restrictions, about justice and fairness, or even that battle cry of suffering "Taxation without Representation". Its like they learned NOTHING yesterday when we went over their charts. I saw them filling them in. [ Note: A key problem with many students is that work that is done is then put into a binder, folder, backpack or .... and NEVER read or looked at again. Even if they need it for some project. ]

So, part of my two hours after school today was spent creating an activity for next Monday (we have Vets Day off, AND Friday); ten statements expressing Colonial opposition views to the various acts of Parliament for the purpose of creating revenue to pay the expenses of the French and Indian War and then to punish certain colonies for their misbehavior. We'll see if this works. The Damn pacing guide gives us little room for reteaching or much extended time to make some of this more relevant. Anyhow.....

Thanks for reading this blog. I hope you got something from it, even if it is reassurance that "MY students aren't like that," or maybe, "Damn, its not just MY students!"

Have a happy Veterans Day.