Today wasn’t a typical school day. Instead of students, we had teacher professional development. Three women from Prosser came to conduct AVID training for the first half of the day. It was okay, and that’s stretching it. The first woman talked for a half-hour about how great the program is and so did the second and so did the third. (POW 2: Simple sentence with compounded verbs connected with ands.) It was excruciating. They did so little teaching that I wondered what kind of teachers they were in their classrooms. All I wanted to know was what AVID is and how to implement it in the classroom. After four hours of training, I’m still not quite sure what Avid is or how it is approached in the classroom. Why can’t they just do what they say they are going to do and train us? (POW 4: Rhetorical question.)
The second half of the day was spent on questioning strategies. This was infinitely more interesting and useful to me as a future teacher. I enjoyed the handout with the three levels of questions — basically from low- to high-complexity. (POW 3: Dash to emphasize end of sentence.) While I know to question with the goal of getting students to think critically, I need more tools like the one given in the training to help me accomplish it. There were a few other things that helped, too, like a structured word definition/vocabulary sheet to get kids thinking about the terms they are learning.
Overall, it was an okay day, though I felt like I could have learned more in the time I spent at the training, especially the morning half. (POW 1: Use However; POW 8: One sentence paragraph.)
Friday was another quiet day in the classroom. Not a ton of stuff happened, but during my class with students who are at-risk, I got to work with three boys who hadn’t started or finished a project that was due in class that day. They all responded well to my instructions and, with a bit of prodding and prompting, got going on their projects; however, one student who was more than willing to do the reading started to dawdle when it came time to write and draw a picture. (POW 6: Than; POW 1: Use however correctly.)
Eventually, while I was working with one of the other boys helping him come up with answers for the graphic organizer that he would use for the short writing activity, the one who had started to dawdle moved back to his original seat and then started chatting with the girl across from him. It’s a constant battle. (POW 7 Long sentence/short sentence; POW 6: Then.) How can I better prevent this kind of thing from happening? (POW 5: Real question.)