As a member of this Online Book Club, you are expected to post to the book blog at least once per week between now and July 11 -- that's six weeks. You should finish your book before then, and you will meet during the Institute in your groups to extend the discussion and plan how to present the book to the others in the Institute.

Search This Blog

Monday, June 27, 2016

The Story So Far...

I've been really connecting with this text, realizing that I do a lot with my own classroom in regards to bringing in real world relationships. I am a supporter of the mini lessons, allowing students to bring in real world examples (current events, television shows, anecdotes from their jobs) to what we are doing in the classroom. I love it!

One thing that keeps bouncing around in this head of mine is the concept of encouraging students to take responsibility for their work and showing them what they can do with it.

As a teacher in Detroit, I hear and see a lot of the same things:

  • My parents never went to college and they're fine.
  • Why do I need to do this? I won't need this for a job!
  • Copying homework
  • Photos of tests and quizzes sent to kids who were absent
  • Why do I have to write so much?
I struggle with finding ways to prevent the cheating and the defensive questions. What I think is encouragement seems to always be me hounding my kids and then having them not do the work because I sound more like their mother than a teacher.

I really like the different projects discussed so far in this book, especially the Hairspray Project (because I'm a theater person at heart). Creating these projects for students to have more than just a research paper to take away is astounding.

I'm thinking more and more about how my kids need to be doing things that they are proud of and not copying things from anyone else. I have done a couple, however I feel like I need to work harder and come up with more things to incorporate in my classroom.

Almost finished with chapter 3. I can't wait to discuss more with you.

1 comment:

  1. Eileen, although I teach in a very different environment, I still struggle(d) with students copying homework and/or not wanting to put in effort for their writing. In addition to trying to figure out more projects with real problems and audiences that they might care about, I also switched to Standards-Based Grading/Learning last year. It was a big shift that the majority of my school jumped in to full force. But, I think this really helped me think about what kind of assignments I'm giving and the purpose behind them. I eliminated a lot of homework assignments because they didn't seem necessary to actually get the kids to master the skills I was looking for, but it also meant that fewer people were copying homework. In part, this may have been because homework didn't count towards their overall grade anymore (it's just the practice they need to do to be able to "play well" in the "game" - meaning on their assessment). However, I think another part is that when I did give homework or writing assignments, they (at the very least) played a role in their larger course assignment - so they needed to get it done to be able to participate the next day or to be able to complete their project on time, etc. Plus, since most of the homework was something more specific to whatever they were working on that day, it's harder for them to copy because each homework is unique to that specific student. If you want to talk more about SBG/SBL, let me know. And hopefully this summer we can talk more to brainstorm some project ideas. :)