Monday, March 3, 2014

Hello! It's Monday!

In case you have a life or something and didn't check AWC every four or five hours over the weekend, you may have missed a Weekend Thirsty in which Mildred from Medicine Hat let it rip on some reviewers and invites you to do the same.  We enjoyed some smackdown from a new contributor, Punxsutawney Phyllis.  There was the usual news and humor links that i put up too.

But that was the weekend and now it's Monday.  What does that mean?  Here's a reminder:

Share your thoughts that encourage us all to have a wonderful work week!


  1. It's the week before spring break, and we have a snow day today. Judging by the comments in the twitter feed, as well as past experience, I'm guessing I only had <50% of my students' usual attention this week, but this won't help. And then it will be the week after spring break, and then it will be spring (and Passover/Easter), and then it will be the end of the term. This doesn't look good.

    And the above is not exactly encouraging. Sorry. I promise to rest up over spring break and come back ready to hold their attention, somehow. If I can. Does anybody have any hints?

    1. How to hold their attention: declare the subject intrinsically interesting, present it in the most organized manner you can, and BOOM! you have their attention. You just have to relax a bit on what you mean by 'their'. Assume 'they' to be the population that understands that the material presented during the weeks before and after break, during 'Spring Fling Week', etc. is just as important as any other material, and so 'they' have come to class just as sober and willing to engage as always. 'They' are the rising tide that will raise the driftwood, and 'they' define the class far more than the silent few (or many) who just float along.

      At least that's what I tell myself. It's perhaps a bit of selective perception, but it saves me from the unpalatable alternative.

    2. "The rising tide that will raise the driftwood" -- I like that.

      One way that catches their attention is to start class with a question about the day's topic that they have to answer in writing. Once they have something written, they have to compare answers with another student. Then they have a stake in finding out what the "real" answer is. My classroom set up lets me circulate to look over their shoulders and (1) make sure they actually write something down; (2) tell them to put their phones away; (3) answer their questions quietly; and (4) look for common strands, including misconceptions, to address with the whole class and tie the lecture to. Your mileage may vary.

  2. Today was a snow day. It was announced AFTER I checked my email though, so I was about to walk out the door when a colleague texted me all happy about it. At least I wasn't already sliding my way down the highways...

    For the rest of it, I will have the joy of explaining to my students that their projects have not made it into the kilns yet because I didn't drive to school on a snow day to load the kilns just for them...

  3. Aww, I miss snow days. The best ones used to start the night before, with a thick blanket on the ground by bedtime and wind whipping around the house so you knew they wouldn't get the streets cleared by morning. You could gaze out the window at slo-mo flakes in the glow of the street lights and not have to wake up early, unless you wanted to lay the first sled tracks on the hill.

    Oh, right. We're supposed to be complaining here. My first-week bubble ended up being burst by the 30% of students who did the first homework assignment wrong despite detailed, time-tested directions. Happy Monday!