Friday, October 28, 2005


deductive vs. inductive

Inductive teaching strategies seem to offer more in the long run. Through inductive learning, students stumble upon the concepts themselves. I believe those that teach themselves are more affected by their studies. My experience in college was that the material learned through tutorials stuck longer than that thrown at me in lecture. Inductive learning, however, requires an involved and motivated student. For this reason, inductive teaching lessons were few and far between. One did work well, though. The lesson was writing numbers in scientific notation. The first half was constructing a powers of ten chart. The students built a general theory around a few examples after noticing the pattern.

Most of my lessons are deductive. They are quick and easy to plan and can be very effective. But a deductive lesson needs to be real good to stand out like inductive strategies. Every now and then I get bored with them and so do my students, but overall I think they work well.

I'm finding it hard to incorporate inductive strategies while teaching seventh grade. They need the strict direction that deductive strategies provide. You can't let two dozen 12 years olds loose with a lofty goal in mind. They need focus and a clear purpose.


classroom management evaluation

Classroom management, thankfully, is the least of my worries at school. I feel that I have things very under control. Students respect me and pay attention.

What changes have you made to your plan?

Well, having kids stay after class is a joke. I don't have time to deal with them as another class is coming in, and they don't really care anyway. So it's really just a series of warnings, then detention, then referalls. The number of referalls I've been giving has dropped significantly. Detention is working like a charm.

What parts of your plan have worked/didn't work?

Detention, and detention. Most students don't want it and will do anything to avoid it - even behaving themselves. But others didn't care because they knew they weren't coming anyway. I talked to the administration about the detention skippers and they stood behind me 100 percent. Any student that skips detention is over night suspended, which means the parents have to bring their kid to school. Since this happened, instances of behavior problems have dropped off significantly.

Has your philosophy of classroom management changed?

Not really. I still feel that a well managed class is part of being a successful teacher. The student is also most responsible for their own education. Teachers are simply facilitators. However, great teachers can turn poor students into successes, and vice versa.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


october update

October has come and is soon to be gone. I thought it was a good month. Nothing like Ben said it would be. In fact, I'd say it's been my best month yet. My relationship with my students are getting better and I'm finally seeing some improvement in my student's scores. I failed 60 or so kids and that seemed to wake most of them up to the fact that my class isn't going to be easy. Most of them failed because they weren't doing any work, not because they were unable. I gave a quiz last week and there were more A's and B's than any other grades combined. Classroom management is under control. The adminstration is very supportive of my decision to hold detention. If a student skips, he's suspended. End of story. I've started playing basketball with some students after school on Thursdays. It's a lot of fun to hang out with the students outside of the classroom.

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