Friday, December 12, 2008

It Takes Hard Work to Learn Well
The scores on the unit 5 test have me frustrated. For almost every kid who didn't do well, I can pull up many images and instances of them tuning out in class, being off-task with friends, and/or not responding to my abundant requests for them to pay attention, participate, and follow directions. I wish I could make them see the clear connection between their classroom actions and the grades they receive.
For every test item I gave, I could find the part of an assignment, reading, or activity from which and understanding of the content should have been gained. Everything we do in class is important and every assignment I give is important. The kids have to work hard and play along with me in order to learn the science topics and ideas for this year. Hard work seems prohibitively repulsive to some of the kids in my classes.
No matter how much I try to present each lesson with relevance, engagement, structure, and reward, there is still much action required on the part of the kids for the lessons to turn to learning and the learning to turn to understanding. I'm struggling with the whole idea of how much harder I should work to set them up for success, and how much they should have to work to achieve that success. At this point, I believe that it is in their court (and power) to take me up on what I have to offer.

About Me

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Teacher of seventh grade life science in Sunnyvale and Director of the MERIT Teacher Technology Training Program at Foothill College..."Making Education Relevant and Interactive through Technology"