Sunday, November 29, 2009

Saxum Volvens: Keeping Up the Momentum

We return to school tomorrow after a five days away; before that we had only a two-day week. Needless to say, the students will not be their sharpest when they come into the classroom. What to do?

Keeping up momentum in the classroom is very important, if the teacher wishes to keep the students learning and the material flowing along. The best way to push that stone on which moss is beginning to grow is the catch their attention with something interesting and then ease into a review of the last subject covered. Then slip something new and tie the two together.

My plan? I found a couple interesting clips from YouTube/eClassics... we'll start there.

As a general rule, I do not give homework over breaks from school. I know from experience as a teacher and a parent that many other teachers don't feel this way and a five-day break from school is the perfect time to assign essays and reading and worksheets and... Guess what, most of it doesn't even make it out of the backpack until the evening before the big return. What kind of quality work does that promote? At that point, the notion of learning anything is gone and the need to complete the letter, but not the intent, of the assignments take center stage.

This time of year does create issues with momentum. Fall Break, i.e., Thanksgiving, is over and Winter Break, viz. Christmas and the Holidays, will soon be upon us. There will be many a distraction in the next three weeks, then a two-week break, then wintry weather, then exams, then wintry weather... I wonder if Sisyphus is looking for a replacement soon?

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