Thursday, February 4, 2010

Interactive Notebooks: Day 9

Interactive Notebooks: Day 9

Things are starting to get better. And by better, I mean that my students are getting more familiarized with the pattern of the Interactive Notebooks (I.N.).

The trick is to make sure that the creative activities where the students go into more depth with the material are not above the students' heads. That was where I was running into trouble in the beginning. I was writing the creative activities so that I would have fun with them and forgetting that the average 14 to 15 year old doesn't learn at the same pace as someone that has a Master's degree in Biology does. Whoops.

I need to keep things simple and reinforce the material in a creative way instead of just focusing on projects that I think are awesome. I'm sure I'll get to awesome, but not right away. I need to give myself time to get into the swing of feeling out how well my students have absorbed the material before I give them complicated, higher-thinking tasks.

Also, I need to stop using the book quite so much for introducing materials and instead for reinforcing it. My students this year have a lot of trouble with understanding the book due to it's literacy level being too high for them. I need to focus on the big picture at first and then differentiate into more complicated minutiae.

In the words of my students' vernacular: "it's all good."

Thoughts from today: Consistency is next to godliness. Seriously. If I consistently use a set of rules then I don't have to fight my students anymore. I just hold up my hand and signal to the phone. A student walks over there and calls because they know the procedure. Oh, how I love it!

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