Week 19: New Horizons

February4

LE 19

I’m trying to get back in a routine after being out of the classroom due to union business. In addition, I have gotten a student teacher in my classroom, so I’m trying to introduce and incorporate her into our classroom routines.

I’ll start with the bad and the ugly. There is a point you hit around January or February when the kids can lose it. Maybe they realize they’re only half-way through the year (or there-abouts), maybe with fifth graders they’re hitting some emotional intersection they’re having a a hard time negotiating, maybe this winter the weather has been too nice, and maybe I’ve been out of the classroom too much? Whatever the reason my class did not start the week well. It wasn’t just my class, but the entire school. It was frankly, a little embarrassing to introduce the student teacher to my class the way it was on Monday, and even Tuesday. On the other hand, having a new teacher in the room is a great excuse to review the rules and procedures.

Enough of the griping….What was good about this week? Well they settled down largely by Thursday (unfortunately¬†I was out at a conference on Friday — I was really sad to be leaving them). What worked? We’ve had the Macbook cart come in each week to do activities, so that is part of our routine. I felt like it was time for something new. One of my gripes with the class is that when I show videos on science, etc. some of them ask/answer questions in the middle of the screening. So, I gave them the Macbooks, and told them to go to a chat room I had set up, and put comments and questions there. MUCH better! quieter, on topic, not missing what the narrator is saying because someone is shouting out something. Was it perfect? No, some random comments, but for 10 year olds doing this the first time, pretty darn good. I’ll be looking for more depth of commentary as time goes by…

Here is video:

Here is part some of the chat:

what kind of animal was that a camel
-stanford27 at 17:17 PM, 02 Feb 2012 via web

pumas rock
-sean at 17:17 PM, 02 Feb 2012 via web

oh like a puma and mattata
-bob6 at 17:17 PM, 02 Feb 2012 via web
those are weird monkeys.
-A2 at 17:17 PM, 02 Feb 2012 via web
cool.
-abc13abc at 17:17 PM, 02 Feb 2012 via web
>:)
-call of duty guy18 at 17:17 PM, 02 Feb 2012 via web
my favorite animal
-austin at 17:17 PM, 02 Feb 2012 via web
:-0
-Jonathan at 17:18 PM, 02 Feb 2012 via web
that lion looks tight
-ray/g 4 at 17:18 PM, 02 Feb 2012 via web

Photo credit: LE 19 by Leo Reynolds, on Flickr

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