This week has been really interesting, and again another week where I haven't been in class for a full 5 days (CRT on Friday).
Ryan has had awesome days and terrible days. Last week I gave all my students 'spots' or desks to sit in instead of letting them sit wherever they wanted, as they weren't being responsible and looking after classroom equipment (including Netbooks). Ryan took his spot and really made it his own. He bought over the labelled container he keeps all his stuff in, started putting things in his desk, set up three walls around him and decorated them with his own work/books (including moving the teaching station to make his third wall). This has worked really well for him, and I am so impressed that he has taken his 'spot' in a positive way and made it his own. I took this photo of him one day when I randomly noticed he was wearing the ear muffs (something we have tried/failed at many times) and was quietly working away.
TALK ABOUT MANAGING SELF!
Paul really surprised me again one day when during a DMIC session, he said to his group "I know it, I'll do it", and took the piece of paper and solved the problem. For context, the boy sitting next to him is the top maths student in the class, and yet Paul is the one who solved it. I love that because his friend is giving him the chance to succeed and lead, even though he could have solved it himself. This boy (the friend) understands what I have been trying to do with him, and is trying to do the same. I also LOVE IT because he is leading and participating and contributing in a maths lesson, without ANY teacher input.
Side note - he also got it right (adding fractions with different denominators - BOOYAH!)
He then later tried to help other groups explain their maths thinking because he understood it and others didn't.. He wanted to get up in front of the class and explain where somebody else had gone wrong in their maths thinking. AMAZING.
Another time, I was working with a group of about 10 boys on an inquiry task. The task was a group task to sort (compare and contrast) different natural disasters - there was no reading and writing involved, only sorting and explaining/justifying. In the video (although you can't see their faces so you might not notice), both Paul and Kian ask for a picture in the beginning, then discuss with their friends where it should go and why.
ACTIVE PARTICIPATION ANYONE?
I find that with Kian and Paul, they are more involved with group/whole class tasks when they don't involve reading and writing. This makes sense, as they are both lower (ability wise) than the rest of the class and know it, so are scared to make mistakes or say something silly. To try and get them to participate, I think reading the text with them before hand or giving them a different text (in groups), so then they could access the information without feeling awkward, shy or scared.