Sunday, April 13, 2008

Preparing for the EOC/EOG again

So much to cover, so little time to do it.

It is that time of the year again and our students are ready to play. They do not take EOG/EOC serious. I listen to them laughing and say stuff like, they can't hold me back, I have already repeated 8th grade. Some mumble a threat that they are going to drop out when they turn 16.

What can a teacher do? We are in grade 8. These students have been behind since they started school or before. I am not whining, but I am not a magician.

Both boys made it clear that they prefer doing activities to doing book work. Even though both boys wanted to avoid book work and would prefer doing things with their hands, that did not mean that they didn't want to do any book work. In Shop, for instance, Andy didn't mind taking notes about different kinds of batteries. I wrote in my field notes: "Why are they so well behaved in Shop?... Do they not mind doing the book work and notes because they get to do projects and activities, too?" I noticed too, that the Science and Social Studies teachers, who do a lot of projects and activities, don't do so exclusively. Again from my field notes: "'Activity-based' teachers don't always do activities. They still deliver content, and review, and take tests.

Motivating Learning: The Underachieving Learner's Perspective, Summary Report
of a Pilot Study by Mike Muir

We have trying this approach, but there comes a time that in order to pass the tests, specific content has to be reviewed and assessed. It is the law.