So, I have a whole bunch of shit to say about my first two weeks. Today especially. But it’s the type of shit that will require a rather specific mindset to write, and I’m not in that mindset this evening. I will get to it this weekend.
I’m currently trying to write my first quiz, as well as the review material that goes before it. And I’m wondering how easy do I make it. I have been constantly amazed at some of the stuff first and second periods have come up with, but I know that seventh period is definitely behind (mainly because it’s a shitshow in there, but again, I can’t get into that right now).
I was planning on modeling the quiz on this great shipping truck problem, since it ties into our theme and the standards we’re working on. I already gave the kids the exact same problem but in a different setting (pitchers of water at a BBQ) during classwork, and they did well with identifying what the variables equaled, but less well with matching the functions.
This is rambling. Basically my question is, how do I review for this? I want my quiz to have two or three vocabulary questions (Give the definition) and then this task, about which I will ask them several questions to scaffold the task a bit (I’m also cutting out one of the expressions). During my review, do I give them the words we will review and have them write them down, or just have them look up other words from the Glossary and hope they remember? Do I walk them through the classwork we did on Wednesday, albeit in a more constructive way, or do I see what they know on their own?
There are three issues. One: I was going to make this open-note if the students behaved. Two: My seventh period will not behave, and they are the ones that are behind. Three: I kind of want some kids to fail just to scare them into shaping up, but I don’t want them to fail so bad they give up. I am well aware this makes me a terrible person but I’m running out of other options in that class (plus I offer unlimited retakes if you correct your mistakes, so it’s not like a failing grade dooms the kid for life).
I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to lob them a softball that will set unrealistic expectations on difficulty moving forward, but I also don’t want to penalize them for my teaching deficiencies. It’s not their fault I didn’t explain things well the first time, or get good enough control out of the class so people could learn. I’m going to muddle about with this for a while and see what happens, but I appreciate any feedback.
*Edit: I’m using TERRIBLE math vocabulary in this post. “what the variables equaled” should be “what the variables represented.” Ugh.