The classroom changes from year to year…

My students this year are quite different from the ones I had last year. Students are always different from one year to the next, which is the exciting thing about teaching – it keeps you on your toes. My belief is that a classroom must be customized to fit the needs of the students in it. So what might have worked perfectly last year might not work as well this year. Don’t worry, I’m still loving the flipped dynamic, but tweaking it for my specific group this year.

Last year, I had some of the hardest working students I’ve ever seen! Math may not have come completely naturally to all of them, but they WORKED! They watched videos 2 and 3 times without me telling them; they worked and reworked problems to prepare for tests because they knew how to study.

This year, I don’t have many students with the work ethic of my class last year. They are great kids, but they need to be reminded of the homework on a nightly basis and they haven’t quite figured out how to study effectively. So I have to be much stricter with checking PPTs and assignments, otherwise all problems probably won’t be complete. And we’re working on learning how to properly prepare for an assessment. To me, you have not studied for a math test until you have done a chunk of problems on your own – timed, without any notes out!

So right now, my focus is to help my students become more independent in their learning. I’m pretty strict in my expectations and I think my students are still getting used to this. I want so much to just play with the iPads and explore all the cool things we can do. But I don’t have the time right now. (Not to mention I have not had a full week with my students due to so many special schedules and holidays). Plus, we must eliminate some of these yucky algebraic atrocities I’ve been witnessing… So I guess I’m feeling the need to sometimes put the tech aside and focus on the fundamentals in my classes right now. But I can’t wait to get to playing with some of these ideas I have floating around in the back of my head :)

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