Wednesday, January 11, 2017
For the last seven days before the winter break, I covered a science class. I had been warned the classes were difficult. Luckily, the teacher gave me a few tools to try and keep things moving along.
One of the days (and at a certain point, the days started running together), the afternoon classes were to answer 20-odd questions on photosynthesis. They were true/false. They got ten minutes to do the paper, and then we were to correct them together.
Many of them were playing around rather than doing the work, so I wanted to get them thinking at least while we were going over the questions. So, I pulled out the name cards. (I was so glad to have name cards. Not every teacher leaves those for us subs.)
I announced what number we were on, pulled a card, and had the student read the question and their answer. (I got volunteers, but I insisted on the cards. That way they all had to pay attention. Besides, they had a 50/50 shot at getting it right.)
Since many had not done the work, some of them made wild guesses when called on. (This is better than when they have to fill in answers. Then if they haven't done it, they'll freeze up or refuse to answer.) And there were a couple times when they gave a wrong answer that should have been obvious.
So, the class as a whole would laugh at them.
Which was not cool. Nope. Not at all. It's hard enough to be called on.
So, I made a blanket rule. If someone wanted to laugh at a student for giving a wrong answer, they could very well answer the next question.
That stopped the laughing right quick. (I only had to follow through on that threat once.)