School Week Round-Up: Week Ten

Ohhh, week ten, week ten, week ten.

Lessons: Because report cards are always a hassle, I tend to plan light during the week they need formatted and printed. Although, this year I’ve been working hard to foster an attitude of “figure it out.” Students directed themselves through steps of routines, and troubleshooted when they got stuck; they helped others troubleshoot when they got stuck. I only helped when kids got really stuck, and even then sometimes my “help” amounted to saying, “This isn’t a bad problem. I bet you can figure it out.” So, because students directed themselves as much as possible, I was able to field some phone calls and answer emails during class. Groovy!

Support: So report cards got done! And that’s all I’ll say about that.

There was an iPad blip. We got some of our older, larger iPads reimaged so that they would be able to run Zearn. I haven’t used it much myself, but we have some teachers so excited about it, that I have to believe it’s a fabulous resource. Anyway, one day this week was the first day a first grade teacher tried having the kids log into Zearn on iPads. The teacher did well with modeling the login process, and then letting the kids try, and make mistakes, and fix mistakes, and try again, sometimes with all new mistakes! It’s a process that takes longer, for sure, but will pay off in the long run when students realize that spaces screw up usernames and caps lock can mess up your password. So they almost all were able to log in by themselves. The bigger issue was when they finally logged in, videos and sound weren’t working. Now, ultimately it turned out that the iPads are just slower than the Chromebooks the kids are more used to. But we didn’t realize that until half a dozen children were sent to the lab to ask for help. So now “be patient” is on the list of tech teacher refrains, along with “figure it out” and “get those cords out of your mouth.”

Things I Did Well: This week I rediscovered how loud I can scream. No, not at the kids — I zombie-mdwent to a zombie-themed escape room with friends. I was actually the weakest link on the team, and we totally lost the challenge. Was still fun. (Though the next escape room I do shalt not be scary!)

Things I Will Do Better: Train students to do tasks that they can do and like to do. Many of them like to pass out cards to each other and collect magnets and straighten out keyboards. I need to let go of the control and let them do the tasks, accepting that they will get done more slowly and maybe less neatly for a while.

Cold Prickly: Literally, it got cold. And I did not enjoy it. Why always the week of Halloween? Ohio!

Warm Fuzzy: Halloween is genuinely exhausting, but it’s not hard to feel good when you’re surrounded by small people who are exuberantly joyful. Still, though, I felt even better when I finally hit the bricks!

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