I am exhausted! Thankfully, I’m not one to wear heals or uncomfortable shoes. Since I have a carpeted classroom, I even went one step further… I took my shoes off.
I have 50 General Chemistry students jammed into one smallish classroom. The table/desk arrangement is traditional: long tables with chairs. I meet with these students on Tuesdays and Thursdays for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Not much time with them and 5 days between meetings. Unfortunately, I can’t just assign a 10 minute video for each class. Instead, I assigned them 40 minutes videos and told them that they do not have to view them at one sitting. I did not group students in 3-4 as the tables are too difficult to move around. Instead, I suggested just working in pairs then compare their answers with a pair next to them. It seemed to work!
I began today by answering their questions from the video lecture. They had several. It was a great way to review the vodcast and really focus on what they wanted to learn. I followed this with a partner “vodcast quiz”. This worked really well as they were able to learn from each other without the pressure of a “first assessment”. I explained to them that this was “low stakes” and that I wanted them to hone in on what they did not really understand.
After finishing the quiz, students began working on the “in-class problem packet”. I compiled chemistry problems by chapter in one packet that they will work on during class. Here is when my running began. I went from one end of the room to the other. I stopped the class whenever I had more than one group confused about the same problem. It was great! We could focus on the tough stuff and I was able to address their confusion and provide them feedback immediately.
I had one student break out into song. Another provided a way for students to remember significant figures (Atlantic and Pacific… never heard that one so I learned something new too!). I learned most of their names ON THE SECOND DAY OF CLASS! The class was loud and their personalities emerged. No one slept.
I did miss visiting a few groups. I need to make sure I give all groups attention, not just those who are raising their hands. I need to make sure I ask each student if they need help. I think we will all be more efficient in this process as we get more comfortable. I am excited that I didn’t have to talk TO them today. And they had the opportunity to talk to ME.
Really excited for next week!!