Friday, March 30, 2018
Friday. Middle school. Fundamentals of engineering.
Their assignment was to sketch out an alphabet that looked roughly like this:
I projected the alphabet on a screen at the front of the room. But I could only get two to three rows on screen at the same time, so periodically I'd have to scroll.
About half the class was diligently working. The other half of the class was playing. (This is typical in middle school electives. This is typical in middle school required subjects, too.)
At about the middle of the room, there were two girls who were all about the games. They started off by finishing off their lunch. (The diligent workers confirmed that they weren't allowed to eat in class.) Then they were gossiping, checking out their phones, chatting with the others in class, and pretty much doing things that were not on task.
But they remained in their seats, so while I kept an eye on them, I didn't do much more than periodically remind them that they had an assignment.
As the workers finished up the first row of letters (after like 20 minutes), I moved the screen up...
"Hey, wait. I wasn't done yet."
One of the girls wanted me to move the letters back. She had only finished the "A". She told me I was moving too fast.
Hmmm... So, scroll back so the goofing off girl can get caught up. Or keep things moving forward for all the students that were making progress. Difficult decision...
When I wouldn't move the letters back, the girl asked if she could go to the library to print out a copy of what she needed.
(The letters were on the teacher's website. Those who had phones could access the example that way. The teacher didn't trust them with Chromebooks when she wasn't in the room. After seeing the classes, I completely understand why.)
She returned without the hard copy. The library was "too crowded" and she couldn't get access. Her friend then decided to try... And also returned without a hard copy.
Now, they could have worked ahead. So what if they missed A-D? They could still continue with the other letters on the screen instead of wasting their time...
Oh, what am I saying? It was all about wasting their time.
I went ahead and signed up for the A to Z Challenge starting April 1st. (I'm #514 on the sign up list as I write this.) Not that anything is really going to change. You'll just notice how each day goes one further in the alphabet.
And... Happy birthday, Chris. (Feel free to wish my little brother a happy birthday :)