Tuesday, May 02, 2006

5/2

I gave my Advanced Algebra students a quiz over one section out of the book that we spent about 3 days working on in class. This was the worst grade for most of the students in class. They have stopped asking questions on their homework and are content going through the motions of writing things down to get the homework done. Since spring break, they have been on coast with their learning. The things that have been working most of the semester is not working now because the students perception is that school is over for the year. How do we keep the effort and learning consistant throughout the year?

2 Comments:

Blogger Karl Fisch said...

I wish I knew the answer to your question. I think all of the things we've been talking about in our sessions (student engagement, meaningful and relevant activities, etc.) help - but obviously not enough.

This is not even a remote possibility, but I always thought that a year-round schedule would make more sense. Something along the lines of 10 weeks on, 2 weeks off. One of the problems that we have now is that students see the end of the school year as the "finish line." They see it as the end of learning for the year and until they start back up again in August. Which is exactly the wrong message we should be sending them if we want them to be lifelong learners. A year round schedule might better convey the idea that they should be continuously learning, yet still allow them some two-week downtimes periodically.

Of course, there's no way we could actually implement such a calendar in such an established school district, but maybe we could adopt it in the soon-to-be-formed School of Fisch District (SOFD) . . .

11:16 AM  
Blogger Ms. Kakos said...

I totally disagree with Karl--I like the feeling of progress that longer breaks give us. Officially finishing a school year creates a sense of accomplishment, and you enter the next year knowing that expectations have been raised.

Anyway, I was relieved to read James's post. My sophomores and juniors look me with mortification when I start new books, assign project/papers, or assign any level of work in the last few weeks of school. I just want to say to them, "What do expect--that we would sit around and blow bubbles for the remainder of the year?"

11:16 AM  

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