This chapter starts the 2012-2013 school year.
So far this year is overwhelming most of the time. While my duties have not changed the demands have increased. This week I managed to: Get the monthly reports for my building done and in, written the 3 tests I have to, given them and the 4th one, completed the data trackers, written next week’s tests, completed and sent out the accommodation reports at least most of them, got most of the bilingual dictionaries to the testing coordinator, rewarded the students who came to the Back to School Night, counseled 2 students (this will be ongoing for the rest of the year), attended 2 trainings and the f. meeting, attended the department meeting, planned for and taught my classes, talked to colleagues about ESOL students, met with my mentor, and started 1 on the online classes that I am taking (the other one starts Monday), signed up for a book study at the ESOL office.
Reflection: ESOL 1 – Beginning – “TO BE” verb. Tuesday – the sentences on the board confused them, we reviewed them as a group , it seemed to make sense to them – A. and M. got 80% on the assignment. I did break it down into AM/IS/ARE for I, he/she/it/you. CABLE – Political and Physical Map differences/Compass Rose/Scale/Key is still giving them problems. What I had been doing was not being successful. I put the T chart up on the board again, had them make a foldable of it. It still was not working so I added pictures – mountains, rivers, plains for physical and a heart with the name of their country for Political. The back had the pictures of the 3 skills. On Wednesday I printed up the test and let them use the foldable. They still did not understand. We reviewed it. On Thursday was SCORE day. L and J did not pass the verb test – they are improving slowly. I am still going to continue with the charts, the DLP, board work and so on. I know that this works – it just takes lots of practice for some newcomers to get it. J. is still in the silent phase and is still looking like he is dazed. It will take him some more time to adjust and he is starting to talk and answer questions. (other teachers say he is trying just not understanding – SPED maybe? I have to watch.) L. I know is trying but is not understanding the written word. It will take her months. Interrupted education is the cause. Not only is L. having to adjust to America, living back with her parents, but since L. has not been in school – L. needs to learn school and everything that it involves. Skills are somewhere around early 1st grade. Joie from ESOL gave me some materials to use. The CABLE test was failed by most. I am running out of ideas. I did take them out to the courtyard and used the sidewalk as the political map and the grass with the trees as the physical map. I repeated this on Friday and they seem to get it. We will see this week. Do different- labels for the courtyard, and use chalk to draw the 3 map labels. Also use other maps and have them id the parts. SPED lent me maps to use. If all else fails make maps out of clay or mache? Started on charts/graphs/timelines. I am getting bored with maps since we have done them for 3 weeks. I had them color paper plates with their favorite colors and turned it into a chart on the board and turned that into a bar graph. I have made a sample timeline to use with them. Do different – favorite foods, can’t do sports since they all love soccer and only 2 teams. Next week will be the map skills and charts/graphs/timeline. “TO BE” verb still with the pronoun chart and adding the names but break it down to they/we/you.
ESOL intermediate classes main idea and information stated in the text. Not mastering it. Part is the problem is that the 7th graders are still adjusting and not understanding that they are in middle school and it no longer works to do minimal work and get the grades. Progress reports should take care of this. The side conversations are continuing no matter what I do. I finally had to get mad and yell. The 8th graders are low but are mastering the skills. I am now pulling out the learning cards and making new ones to use with them. I am also going to move them into small groups and do a rotation. Lessons will be DLP, cards, and now adding poetry in. 2b needs the informational text worked on.
Intervention class- I am so not happy with this class and the students know it. THe behaviors are showing it. My original thought with this class was to do context clues and the matching MSA skills and writing. It changed into a RELA class and it was too much to plan something different for that class that they had not had on top of what I am planning for the other classes. I did a lot of thinking last weekend and on Monday at my training and decided to go back to my original plan. As D.Y. explained writing was low across the county and I what I was blaming myself for was not true. While I can take part of the blame for the 8th graders because I did not teach it much last year and what I did teach was based on something that was not being accessed in the same way or amount. What I did do would have been good enough but not with the new test. I am starting over with this class and will teach writing the way I know how to – I am going back to the ‘old’ way. The way that I taught it 20+ years ago. Common Core is taking it back to that type of teaching.
Personal note: the school retreat. While I would love to go, I don’t want to. I have to leave home for the weekend, leave K alone (I know she is old enough but), I am putting so much time in at school and at home that I am exhausted when I get home on Friday’s I sleep for 12 to 16 hours on Friday night into Saturday. I also have too many issues with people, that spending the weekend with them is too much. My body is not handing my hours at all. My hands hurt by the end of the week, my hips and back don’t want to move in the morning (it takes meds to get me to the point that I can shower) and at night I can’t walk. I do not want to show these people how much pain I am in and what it is taking me just to come to work. I am doing the best I can and am not sure if it is good enough.