One of the many amazing things about being part of this amzing twitterblogosphere is the “pressure” to push myself to do better. For example, this week’s MS Sunday Funday topic is helping students who are behind in math. Now, of course I want to push my students to do better, of course I provide opportunities to my kids to make up work they missed or didn’t understand or need help with, but could I do better at this? OF COURSE! So when I see this topic on the list and I read the amazing things that others are doing, I know it is time to come up with a better plan to do this in my classroom.
I think the problem is that it is frustrating to put plans in place to help kids, set up times for them to get extra help, show up early, stay late, make extra copies… only to have the kids not show up. I have tried several different things over the years, but nothing has worked so far for me and for my kids.
Here is what I have come up with based on what has worked this year, what I think will work the best, and what I have read from the other blogs that have been submitted so far this week. We have two 30 minute homeroom periods built into our day each day this year. We have never done this in the past. This time is designed for several purposes, but this exact topic is one thing that this time was built into our schedule for. I typically have a few kids in during each homeroom period to make up or retake assessments or to ask questions on what we did in class if they were absent or didn’t understand. But there are still more kids who I encourage to come in, but they don’t actually get to my room. I think what I am going to do is set specific topics for each of those homeroom periods and post those topics outside my door. For example, 4th hour today- area of triangles. These will be current topics we are working on in class that unit. I will also start to require students to come in for those days to get help then retake assessments when they are ready. Students always have the option to do this, but I haven’t required it from them in the past. I really just need to force these kids to get help, even when they aren’t advocating for themselves.
I will let you know how it goes!