Monday, March 31, 2008

Hitting the Ground Running

Monday after Spring Break.

Half of my homeroom walks in, put their heads down on their tables, and whine about how they got their sleep patterns all goofed up over break and they were soooooooo tired. Poor babies. That's what happens when you play video games until 3 am and sleep until noon. They weren't going to be able to do anything because they were sooooo tired. They just wanted to curl up and snooze and whine and whimper.

Think again, chickadees.

We have two weeks until the Very Big Deal State Mandated Tests and it's Review Time!!!!!

Three years ago Mrs. Eagle, Mrs. Robin and I decided we needed to come up with a good overall review to get our kids ready for the Very Big Deal State Mandated Tests. What we came up with was a ten day plan where we covered everything in warp speed, had the kids doing mini-labs, taking quick notes, doing mini-quizzes, and basically moving so fast they couldn't see straight.

That was when we had a 55 minute period.

We have a 45 minute period now.

Any guesses on how fast we're going now?

I laid down the law...We don't have time for goof-offs, we don't have time for distractions, you don't have time to stare into space, you don't have time to mess with your neighbor...the only thing you need to do is listen, follow directions as fast as you can and pay attention to what I'm doing on the document reader.

I said it so fast even my head spun.

They looked like somebody had hit them with a stun gun.

Now my classes are pretty fast paced and busy to start with. I'm not a lecture and take notes sort of teacher. My kids are used to doing a lot of work with their hands, making foldables (Bless you Dinah Zike), doing labs, and the like, but this surprised even them.

For example..."Okay, now put your homework in your binder in the homework section and while you're at it, pull out a piece of notebook paper and get it set up like you see here on the document reader. When you're done with this, answer the four questions on sexual and asexual reproduction on the mini-quiz. We'll go over them in three minutes."

After a brief pause where you could almost see them think, "Is she serious?", the binders flew, paper came flying out, heads were staring at the screen, and hands were rapidly flying as they begin answering their quiz questions. Even better, they were so busy they were quiet.

We ended two seconds before the bell rang.

They looked exhausted.

And this was only the beginning!


Welcome... said...

Are any of the foldables useful for middle school reading?

Mrs. Bluebird said...

Well, since I've never taught reading and don't have a clear idea of what the curriculum is, I can't give you a definite answer. That being said, I've never seen a situation where you couldn't convert a basic note-taking situation and turn it into a foldable. Vocabulary, most certainly, could be done this way.

Teacha said...

I LOVE IT! I LOVE IT!! I LOVE IT!!! When can I come visit your classroom, I would love to see you in action. Oh, how I want my classroom to be like this, moving so fast, they don't even know what happened to them. I can see the student's really waking up and definitely moving and working, oh, it is what I want so badly.

EHT said...

Foldables can fit any situation....sometimes you have think outside the box, but they work. I love foldables, and so do students.

Good for you keeping things moving and waking those babies up....and I mean babies in a loving way. :)

The Vegas Art Guy said...

You go girl, er bluebird... lol

That should snap them back to reality in a hurry.

Mrs. T said...

I love those days when you just keep forging ahead and you time it just right with 2 seconds to spare! It makes me all energized instead of tiring me out.