All new vocab goes on the board. I don’t care if everyone in the class understands and recognizes the item except one person; for that one person, it goes on the board (and I’m sure at least one other person is grateful).
I very quickly ran out of room on the board, but I squeezed things on until the bell rang. While the students are filing out, I carefully noted down everything on the board on an index card, and used it for review, spot quizzes, etc., the next time. This also reminded me of what we had done in class.
I had been recording my classes with a lapel mic and a voice recorder, but I did not always remember to switch it on. Plus, the recordings have been piling up unedited on my hard-drive, waiting for me to get around to posting them on this blog. (I want to see if students will access the recordings and/or find them useful: it could be a way to “revise” before the final exam.)
Then there were a couple of classes when I had to leave in a hurry because the next teacher was waiting to use the room. I had no record.
Today, I spent the last 10 minutes or so of class giving a dictation of sentences that included most of the key structures and vocabulary that we had covered (I wiped the board clean before giving the dictation).
I did not do it as a “dictee” a la Ben Slavic, i.e. I just dictated the sentences and collected their papers.
Over the years I’ve used several different ways of keeping track of exactly what the students and I did in class, but I have yet to be completely satisfied with any one system.
I have used hanging files to keep the loose-leaf handouts and student homework, but what about extra copies of handouts that I need to keep for the inevitable few who were absent that day and will (guaranteed) ask me for the handout the following class?
I also want a good system for keeping a record of what we did and what handouts/materials were used in each class. The best I found was a 1-page template that listed what we did, my comments and notes (on how the activities went down, high-points, low points, problems, etc), what handouts I used, what background music I used (so I don’t use the same 2 weeks running).
I think the reason I didn’t stick with it was simply that I didn’t match it with a satisfactory complementary system of keeping all the handouts and extra pieces of paper that go with each class. I usually end up throwing everything into one file for that class, but it quickly becomes unwieldy. I also keep my attendance sheets in that file.
Anyone want to share a system that works for them? I’ll post the template I mentioned above, when I can figure out where it is.
Dan Meyer is checking out Elgg, Drupal, and others. Dan works fast, and thinks fast. He scribbles notes to himself and lets us read them. Watch Dan go. Go, Dan, go!
Where would we be without it?