First off, I know I need to go take a few more pictures of my school. I figure a weekend would be a better idea than in the middle of the school day so bare with me for this week.
Today I was introducing ratios to the class and I was so nervous this morning. It didn't help that the network was down so I couldn't print my homework worksheet when I got there. I had it ready to go last week, but made some changes over the weekend and no longer had a copy ready to go. By some miracle, it printed while I was in my room so I was good to go.
I was as prepared as I could have been, so I just had to get my act together and trust I was ready to get started. Now I've said a million times I prefer being in the high school, but these kids are pretty fun in their own way. They liked that I gave them some manipulatives to use during the class, even though they were just cut up colored paper to represent ratios. It amazes me how far something little can go with students. They caught on to the introductory information on ratios right away. I really needed to give them a little more credit than I had planned.
We were able to get through simplifying before I even explained to them that was the next step. I asked them to write down the ratio of desks to chairs in our room. The way the room is set up, each desk has 2 chairs. So while some students got up and were counting every desk and chair, which is what I expected them to do, some of the students told me that all they needed to do was count that there were 15 desks and they knew there had to be 30 chairs because for each desk in the room, there are 2 chairs. I was really excited they were able to catch on to how the ratios we were discussing worked so quickly. This made the other half of the activity with the manipulative go much quicker because I was able to have the students explain it to me rather than me having explaining it to them how to simplify their new ratio when they combined their colored papers with a partner.
The only down side to this was what I had originally planned as homework, became classwork. They did work really hard, so I didn't really have an issue not giving them any extra work tonight. This will definitely not be a usual occurance because I do want them to go home and work on more practice through their homework.
One thing that didn't go so great was the talking. They are an extremely talkative class and I'm not really sure how to cut back on that. I do not mind them talking when working with their peers, but getting them to be quiet while I'm giving them instruction felt near impossible. Anyone out there have some suggestions? I don't know a whole lot about their detention policies at the school, but since it's the entire class I'd rather not resort to giving out detentions.
All in all I think it went fairly well. The students seem to be excited I'm teaching, even saying they already wished I'd teach them every day until the end of the year. I guess I'm warming up to the idea of middle school aged students, but I do still miss my juniors and seniors. It's such a difference it's hard to compare them. I think I'll get the hang of things pretty quickly, which is good since I'm going to be observed for my midterm grade tomorrow!