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Getting there


Thursday, May 13, 2004

Thursday students always benefit from my Tuseday guinea pigs...my prints are sorted, clear worksheet and reference separated out, and i have rearranged the timing of handing things out, so that they don't just get a wad of unmanageable papers flying around.

When they come in, I'll not put out the group discussion results compilation sheet at all, I had decided. So I had one sheet: the graph description verbs and nouns reference sheet. YES!

But this morning I had to call up the students who had messed with the rules, not asking a different person to check the vocab, or still not asking the checker to sign their name, or really used way off non-economic vocab, so no time for encouraging in a real positive way...
Then i did a pep-talk about standards, mentioning to all that my son in high-school knew the word "income" and that I expected them to do better, waved around the Economics dictionary and the textbook and said if they had to copy someone's vocab, to make really sure they copied the best, and mentioned a few names panicked, cos i still don't know enough names, flicking through my records to find some good ones,,but hope i did justice to them all, and the ones who weren't mentioned forgive me.

Ok, m'dears, now we're going to talk about Question 2 from the group discussion sheet, who was absent and needs a sheet?

Now then, and this time as I explained, I IRFed to practice a bit, with concrete Economic examples, adding on the three stages of agreeing bit by bit and weaving in the graph vocab, too, so that they were already practicing the next stage. Mixing in a wee head down and look at the verbs alone exercise: Ok, so check going up...some go up a little, others a lot, can you mark each word with a gradual arrow or an upward shooting arrow? Ok, the answers are... so listen to my hypothesis about the number of cell phones in Japan, and agree with a synonym of the same degree, ok, here goes...IRF with student, working it through together and then, "ok, now practice with a partner, one minute"

And then likewise with the degree of change, dramatic or rapid or whatever. Getting caught up in it, so we overshot the break by five minutes, but i noticed, and we all had a break a little late. I wandered off to the loo.

NOW they were ready to do the worksheet, and off they went, and i warned them the test was in fifteen minutes so whatever was left was homework, and began to circulate, supporting weaker students and amazed at some of the great graphs they had brought in. Inbetween I chalked up the answers, my Tuesday lot taught me (again) students need to know if what they've done is correct as they progress, not right at the end.

I think I'm not liberal enough with my praise, one student had brought in a graph showing the shift in full-time job placements, because, as he said, they are looking for work next year and he wanted to research the prospects, what brilliance!! Making it real, as i had said in my class goals!And others had a great graph on the changing sales in computer-games software companies, or a graph on McDonalds and how their half-price policy had affected their market share long term. Simply wonderful, and I'm not sure I really praised them enough, just thought in my own mind, this is the standard I expect, and took it for granted, the way i take myself for granted sometimes, don't celbrate achievements. need to watch out for this. I am proud of you guys!
But then next week, as they work on peer graphs, other students will see these brilliant examples, and be as awed as I am, and learn how to make it interesting.

There seemed still to be some confusion about the homework, so as they did the test, I penned up a sample homework on the blackboard. So they could see what was required, and read the group discussion results compilation sheet on their way home...

So much better organized, so clear, wrapped it up with a see you next week, and then i was off to bother the faculty head again, poor guy, with one of my students who failed to register for teh course but needs the credits... The long and the short of it is, he will be able to attend, and I spent a half-hour beefing him up on the class he had just missed today, or he'll not have his graph for next week, and told him to pull up his socks with the vocabulary sheet, or he'd see his marks slipping inexorably, and on the train home at last...but feeling good about today.