This will be a quick post because it’s the holidays!
Before we broke for the Christmas break I gave my classes a schedule of the rest of the semester. They each got a hard copy calendar of events. I gave hard copies of the major assignment that was due the first day back. I posted it all online, and gave them access to all the notes, and even classroom “chalk and talk” notes were typed and posted. I went over things with them repeatedly in class, inviting questions, concerns, comments or queries. (Yes, that’s a redundancy, in multiple ways, but I use the QCCQ phrase as a indicator I am done talking on a subject! It’s become a bit of a silly signature in my classes.) I was more explicit in the last two weeks then ever before in these classes as a response to their growing nervousness as the end of semester approaches.
One of the deadlines for the students was on January 4th– yes, in the middle of the break. This was a concession to the nature of the assignment being an interview with someone over the age of 50 about a story that happened prior to the students’ birth. Many students wanted to use the opportunity of seeing family over the break. I agreed to be electronically available after Jan 1st. They start presenting their stories the first day back.
I don’t know how I feel about the results. Mostly it’s been quiet online. I have received a bevy of questions from a select few of my students. I already have a number of interviews submitted and electronically conferenced with those students.
One student has asked a series of questions, and forgot a book at school (I posted the epub of the novel in response). A lot of the questions I’ve fielded were already answered. So, if I hadn’t been around, the holidays would have been a waste for this student. But, obviously his focus was flaky in class. So am I helping or hurting his learning? Not sure, but at least I KNOW what’s going on with him. I think I prefer this to having a student come back unprepared and assuming it was because they didn’t care. He cares enough to seek help, but now I need him to care enough to find it on his own first!
So here was tonight’s Facebook communique that prompted this post. I am both pleased and exasperated. But you know what else? I MISS school right now– one week off was enough for me, and I am raring to get back in the classroom. :)