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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Three days into the school year!

Wow, it's been three days since school started, and I am still as pumped as the first day!

I have all 9th grade English and we are well underway in our semester.  I'm pretty sure I've been called a hardass behind my back, but quite frankly, I don't think I mind.  It just goes to show that I have high expectations.

The first few days has been all about drilling procedures, taking pre-assessments to ensure my students are in the correct class and reviewing basic stuff (plot/conflict/tone).  While teaching mini-lessons and having them do assignments, I go through grouping procedures, passing out/in papers, answering/asking questions.

I also have what some may consider absurd rules in my classroom, but I am hoping these rules will limit distraction and increase learning.

1. No one is allowed to open the door except the student sitting closest to the door.  I let the two students who are closest to the door choose who on the first day and that person is responsible for the semester.
2. Knocking on the door must be done appropriately (firmly, but not obnoxiously - I had students demonstrate!)
3. Food is not permitted at all in the classroom.  Food that is seen in the room will be thrown out.
4. 5 bathroom passes in a grading period (6 weeks in a grading period).  If you have any left over, you may turn it in for extra credit. If you go over 5 passes, you will have an administrator walk you to the restroom and you will give back the time in lunch detention with me (I have planning during lunch, so this works perfectly!) I was told that 5 was generous and I should do 3.  I will need to try 3 next semester!  I even have set times when they are NOT allowed to use the restroom and when they are.  It is so explicit!


One thing I really need to work on is my whiteboard.  In all honesty, I think it needs serious improvement. In addition, I need to learn how to write objectives!  I just am never happy with the objectives I do write - I feel it's not rigorous enough, does not explain the objective enough...  Any suggestions?!

One thing I was concerned about were lack of pencils, but since establishing a rule in which students must ask their neighbors before me before the final bell is working beautifully!

We get our Chromebooks in two weeks and I am stoked!  If y'all have any GREAT interactive learning programs that works in your high school class that I can incorporate, please let me know!  I plan to use Google a lot!  I feel that would be beneficial with the writing.  I did the laptop 1:1 last year, and while that was awesome, I want to go in complete technology mode and really make it an integral part of the classroom.  Teachers with  this kind of success, I could use your words of wisdom!