Friday, December 26, 2008

End-of-Term Reflections

Well, the semester is finally over. Grades aren't due until January, so as a way to take YET ANOTHER break from going over those insufferable finals - which really aren't that bad, I'm just sick of looking at them - I'm blogging! whee!

This semester was quite frustrating, but I think perspective will help. I had some wonderful plans that I didn't get to use AT ALL, but what I've realized from that is that I also need to have good back-up plans.

I've also gotten a lot better (believe it or not) about keeping my hands off the Darn Book. The result is that we still have no results for the senior superlatives, they're not going in the senior 'section' and who knows if they'll be in the book at all. But that's okay - the administration requested that we hand the vote-tallying over to them, so it's no longer my concern!

I still have a ways to go; it seems there is no way to have a book that is produced completely by students that does not itself act as a shining example of Things That Will Get You Fired. Most recently, I had to request an alternate quotation for the science page: apparently we ought not to use "I liked the dissection lab because everyone got to have an organism."

Ah, well.

What worked:

SSR, with responses - 2x week is my ideal, but it's a lot to respond to. And if I don't respond it's less of a conversation & the quality of THEIR responses goes down.

The character letter with follow-up interview

The one-line Julius Caesar performances

The tyrants/revolutionaries presentations (maybe have them create resumes next time?)

What didn't work:

Three mini-projects for Arthur - more half-assed work for me to grade. Forget that!

Small-group readings; the books I requested were never approved, and the books we have novel sets of were being used by other classes (I couldn't use 6 or 7 from each set at the same time).

Ideas for next term:

One starter sentence per week, focusing on different elements each day.

One-sheet short-shorts with questions for discussion in groups the next day. Easy, fun, meaning-filled stories. Put in envelopes & shuffle to randomize groups.

IIRC, I had another "ideas" post from back at the beginning of the term. I think one of my next steps will be to review that one.

Image thanks to


dkzody said...

I don't do the senior superlatives and leave that to our newspaper for the senior edition right before graduation. Much more up to date.

Melissa B. said...

There never seems like there's any end in sight, does there? At least you're at the end of your semester...we've got the month of January to go! BTW, I've got a holiday snap of a different kind for you on Sx3 tomorrow...please do stop by!

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