Wednesday, December 7, 2011

a little of this and a little of that

So, I don't have much of one thing to share. I just have a little of a lot. Stick around if you really care to know what has been going on in my wonderful life and in my thoughts.

It's almost Christmas Break. Yep. That's right. Almost break. There are seven official days of school left before break. Which is just crazy. Wonderful, but crazy. All I see is a pile of papers that have to be graded before then. Okay, that's not all I see, but I do see that pile. Funny thing about it is that as soon as it starts to shrink it magically grows. It's like it never stops. Crazy. What I want to know is how do you manage the mountain of papers? How? If you have a trick, please let me know.

In other news, the hubs is sick. Well, he's kind of been sick for a while now. But we finally found out what the trouble is. It only took about a year to find out. Or two months, either way, it took a long time. Thankfully he has a diagnoses and medicine to take and he is fixable. I must admit he called me the other day and it just was not good. I started playing the "what if" game. Not a good game. But I kept telling myself, "Just pray about it. It's ok. Nothing's really wrong. Pray. It's fine..." And it was. Is. It is. 

Also. I have a stack of papers to give back to my kids. There are papers in there from months ago. How do these not get back in their hands after they are graded? I don't know. It's like there is some super power that prevents them from getting their work back. Not really. But it is true that they don't have any of their work. At least, not most of it. Not good, I know. I just haven't figured out an efficient way to get their work back to them. I know now, at the end of the semester any way of getting it back to them will be extremely inefficient, but I just don't know what to do. Any teachers have any tips on returning work? But hey, at least the kids can't say I'm not looking at and grading their work. Cause if you saw the stack, you could see that I am. Clearly. 

I have started giving quizzes to my kids over the assigned readings. You might be thinking, "Well, duh. Giving quizzes is elementary." But I didn't really have that epiphany until a little while ago when I was thinking back on my days as a student. I remembered one of my professors used to give little five question quizzes every day of class over the assigned reading. I remember how even though I read for all my other classes the quizzes made me pay attention even more, cause you never knew what questions he would ask. So I started doing the same. At first the kids hated me. I'm sure some still do : ) But then after a while of giving the quizzes the kids started asking and even begging me to give them a quiz. ha. Yes. That's right. The kids wanted a quiz. Glorious. 

Anyhow. I know that's a really random assortment of thoughts and such. But thanks for your company. I just needed to warm up my fingers a little bit and get my brain moving. It's been a little while... I will do my very best to not be so all over the place next time.

1 comment(s):

kelseylynae said...

Hey Hannah… I am feeling your grading woes as well at this time of year. I don't know that I can quite be considered a "veteran" at this yet, but every year helps, as you'll soon find out. Here are a couple things:

1. When it comes to managing those stacks: clearly, as LA teachers there is some of it that is inevitable. However, I have learned that I can't possibly read everything my students are writing [if I do, then they aren't writing enough!!]. There are many times that bellwork gets thrown in the trash. Sometimes even little homework assignments do as well. I am okay with this because I figure that if I don't get it back to them right away on that stuff anyway, then nothing was gained from the grading part of the experience, but rather the actual doing of the assignment. Learn to be okay with this and it will help you out immensely. Obviously the bigger assignments and quizzes have to be graded, and unfortunately most of our stuff can't be graded in class [oh to be a math teacher! :)]. But just don't grade what you can get away with not grading and IF any student asks when they're getting that bellwork/assignment/whatever back, lie and say, "Oh, I'm pretty sure I already passed those back. I'll double check but look through your stuff too. If you can't find it, don't worry too much about it. I have you down for a grade for it." [They won't press the matter, I promise!]
2. Passing papers back: Two ways that I have gotten better about this-- a) invest in some trays if you don't already have them…where the kids can turn in their work. Leave the assignments in the tray until you know you can grade them. Once they come out of the tray they need to be graded and then left on the corner of your desk to pass back the next day. [I don't have any papers on my desk EVER unless I am currently grading them or they are ready to return]. Option b) have an additional set of trays where you immediately put papers after grading them. If you have assigned "helpers" [I always did with my 8th graders], assign someone for the week/month to specifically look at that tray every day. If they see papers in there, then they need to grab them at the beginning of class and hand them out. This way…you don't even have to worry about it and it gets done-like magic :)!!

I don't know if you really wanted advice. But there ya go :) HA! Longest comment ever left on your blog I'm sure!

And I hope Landon gets to feeling better. Miss ya guys! Enjoy your Christmas