Thursday, April 21, 2016

work now, play later

We had a couple of slow weeks at school, with the students were in standardized testing, when we weren't allowed to give homework or tests or quizzes.  My eighth graders had targeted review work, which basically amounted to a participation grade.  But I assigned a cool in-class project to my seventh graders, which had multiple parts and really let them be creative while still demonstrating that they had learned something.  Those things were due a while ago, as were my eighth graders' physics workbooks (that sort came before and after the standardized testing.)

For some reason, I just got out of the habit of attacking the grading asap, and I just let them sit around too long, which ended with my having to really power through huge stacks of stuff in order to be ready for this week's progress reports.  I have to stop scheduling project and lab due dates within a day or two of quizzes and tests, because then I'm just buried in grading and it takes me a while to dig out.

The trick, of course, is not to get behind, so today I graded all the reviews & quizzes, and put them all in the grade book, so I won't have to think about them again.  It seems rather stupid and obvious to be writing about this ("Do the work.  It's not complicated.") but I keep putting myself into this same jam, at least this year, when I seem to fall into a funk and don't do anything after school.

My life is really not set up to do nothing after school.  If I don't work then, I won't get done what needs to get done!

My students are still bouncing off the walls, and I'm spending way too much time taking their "points" away and emailing their parents about it.  Still, I have to be strong about this now or it's only going to get worse.  It's not for too much longer now, anyway!

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