The night before Day 1
I really wasn’t sure this was going to work. I started to doubt that my personality would mesh with WBT. So, I pretty much memorized the first minutes script laid out by fictitious teacher “Mrs. Maestra” in the WBT “Teaching Teenagers” manual. I stood in front of the mirror and rehearsed the introduction of the scoreboard, rules, etc. I went to bed nervous, but excited about “committing” to WBT. If I was going to do it, I had to be all in.
- Class #1: 7th Grade Advanced Math (25 students): I had this group last year. They came in excited to see me and as if they knew what to expect. I went through my introduction, mentioning that class would be much different this year. They totally bought in. They all know each other well, so they got right into TEACH/OKAY with enthusiasm.
- Class#2: 7th Grade Math (30 students): I’ve never taught a class this big before, so that was my main concern. They were a bit loud as they came bounding in. But then, the curtain rose and my performance began. They were all over it. This class has great personality, and they worked hard to reduce their HW!
- Class #3: 7th Grade Math (24 students): In previous years, my classes after lunch have always been rowdy compared to the morning, so it caught me off guard when this class was very quiet. They didn’t pick up up on the routines as well, but seemed to like it. The old me would have been so excited about a quiet and compliant class, but now I’m hoping to liven these guys up a bit. I have a handful of partners who aren’t really into TEACH/OKAY and don’t seem to be talking to each other. I might move some seats around to see if I can get some better match-ups.
Thoughts on the week
I was the only math teacher to give HW on the first day. Also, I worked the scoreboard so that I was ahead by 2, meaning they had 2 extra homework problems — just like Mrs. Maestra =). I would think this would turn the kids off, but it didn’t seem to at all.
On day 2, when I truly started teaching, I found myself slipping back into my old teaching style and forgetting about the scoreboard. I also didn’t plan out exactly when I’d use TEACH/OKAY, and then I barely used it. I knew I had to be more intentional so it will become habit.
Today (day 3) in the advanced class, I had students working out problems in partners after my instruction. I caught a boy arguing with his partner about an answer by using the gestures he learned for the definition of absolute value. It was hilarious. Then I gave the whole class a point because I saw gestures being used during partner work.
I need to use the scoreboard to tighten up on routines next week. I also haven’t rehearsed the rules all that much, so I think we’ll do that on Monday as a review after the weekend. I’m thinking I’ll have them do it in funny voices since rule rehearsal has seemed to drag a bit.