I had a great week at work. There are three very different events that made it awesome.
First, I was nominated for Teacher of the Year again this year, but I decided to take my name off the ballot so that someone else could be on the ballot. I am not saying I would have won if my name was on the ballot but I really wanted to give others the opportunity. It is enough to know I was nominated again.
Second, my class played the Urban Game. It isn’t really a game it’s an exercise in learning but they think it is a game. Let me take a minute to explain the game incase you have never played it in your world history class. When the students walk into the room the desks are set-up in pairs, with one piece of copy paper in the middle of the desk and two pieces of colored paper with directions and background information for the pairs. The timer was set for 5 minutes to copy the key, when the timer goes off they need to start reading the first paragraph and complete what it says. They had 5 minutes for that as well. If they are not finished when the timer goes off they have to just keep going. They are only told that the river needs to be 1-inch wide, the rest is up to them. With the first 10 minutes completed I start readying short blurbs about the industrial revolution and in those blubs are the directions for what needs to be added to their village next. There are 21 rounds to this game. My perfectionists hate this game because it goes to fast, my ADD kids love it because it is so fast paced and even though my ELLs say it is hard at first as it goes on and they find their rhythm they like it as well. One of the first things they put in their original village is a “nice house” of course many of them draw it way to big so other things have to be really small or they have to erase and redraw. By the end their paper is covered and we then talk about how fast the Industrial Revolution felt to the people of England when it first started. This also launches the lecture about the Industrial Revolution that they now can picture in their mind as we talk and take notes.
Third and to me the most awesomest of all. I know awesomest is not really a word but I used it once this summer and it is now my trademark word. Anyway back to the third item. It occurred this Saturday, I held an AP World History study session at my high school from 8am – 12pm and I had 8 students that attended. I believe that I have between 10 and 12 students that can pass the AP exam. All 8 of Saturday’s attendees are in the 10 to 12 count. It was so great to watch them work together on timelines, the Chinese Dynasties of the Classical Era and essay skills and to see them realize that they knew and remembered a lot more from the first half of the year than they thought they did. I am holding another study session this Saturday and I hope it is as good or better than this one.
On a scale of 1 – 10 I would give this week a 9.5, not a 10 because the one problem I had all week was the temperature of my classroom. It was so warm (above 70 with the fans on) that it flared my asthma.