Schooling Magazine

Getting My Mojo Back

By Mrsebiology @mrsebiology
After a year of being out of the classroom and learning the ins and outs of my new district (both the spoken and unspoken rules), I feel like I'm finally getting my teaching mojo back.  While I can't do things electronically like I used to (today our network had issues downloading images in a test I gave online to my Biology classes), I am finding ways to adapt to my new environment.  One way is pictured below: Picture I have the coolest whiteboard cabinets, as you can see.  I use them to write the following for my students:
  1. The I can statements (objectives) for the day.
  2. How we will accomplish mastery of those objectives.  This includes listing the specific learning activities (not just activities....LEARNING activities) that we will be doing in class.
  3. Any homework they may have that will help them practice mastery of the objectives.

While writing objectives and homework is pretty much standard practice these days, writing how we will accomplish those objectives is something new to me - and something I never saw in classrooms as an admin.  I think this is important for students to see, so they can connect what you're doing in the classroom to the WHY of it all- so they know you're not just giving them busy work.
I'm also still working my SBG mojo.  Check out the low-tech visual that's in my classroom: Picture Oh the magic of electrical tape! It's the same scale (basically) I used before, only I now equate everything to a 10-point scale rather than having a 5 point in the classroom and a 10 point for the gradebook.  I'm still working on getting students to understand that this is a scale that represents how well they have mastered an objective rather than how many make-believe points I'm dishing out to them in reward for completing a task. As you can see, I'm also still working on writing in a straight line.  You'd think after 18 years (and starting on a chalkboard back in 1997) I would be better at this.  I would rate myself at a level 7 mastery, methinks.
I'm starting to get more and more comfortable in my new surroundings, and, now that I have the above pieces in place, I feel like I have a more solid foundation.  Stay tuned for more, especially on the SBG front.

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