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Old 12-10-2011, 05:17 AM
 
Location: Whoville....
24,876 posts, read 26,042,435 times
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Things that make you go HMMMM? I've really been feeling like my students just aren't engaged lately so I decided to pick up the pace. A strange thing happened when, instead of trying to teach to the level I think they are, I started teaching over their heads....hands go up....questions are asked...And they're good questions... The pacing is working out to be a little slower than I'd like but my students are engaged...and complaining to the management .

I'm starting to think that I need to pace my lectures a bit too fast and aim a bit too high so they feel a bit uncomfortable with the material. Anyone else have experiences like this?
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Old 12-10-2011, 06:19 AM
 
Location: Northern Appalachia
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What level and subject do you teach?
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Old 12-10-2011, 07:27 AM
 
Location: Whoville....
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Quote:
Originally Posted by villageidiot1 View Post
What level and subject do you teach?
I teach high school college prep chemistry.
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Old 12-10-2011, 09:22 AM
 
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why not? You may have stumbled onto a universal truth. People perform up to the expectations you place on them.
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Old 12-10-2011, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Whoville....
24,876 posts, read 26,042,435 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theoldnorthstate View Post
why not? You may have stumbled onto a universal truth. People perform up to the expectations you place on them.
I think you're right but man are they complaining. We'll see how they do on the next test.
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Old 12-10-2011, 09:49 AM
 
Location: Happy wherever I am - Florida now
3,359 posts, read 9,763,925 times
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Good job! I found this to be true when I was subbing.

I incorporated a lesson on safety around the home and babysitting responsibilities, with physics and electrical theory to a classroom of fourth graders and they were so excited they were jumping out of their seats. A roudy class of eighth grade boys repeatedly jumping off their desks onto the floor all miraculously came back on their lunch time to hear how math related to a successful career in engineering the new exciting technologies and their future opportunity for economic achievement. I found that it had to relate in some way to their personal near future outside the classroom and then I could throw in as much as I wanted and still hold their enthusiastic interest.
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Old 12-10-2011, 10:53 AM
Status: "Christofascists are on a quest to cleanse" (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: The front line of SMASHING FASCISM
18,113 posts, read 18,692,769 times
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I have always wondered how you can teach "over their heads" in a college prep class?
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Old 12-10-2011, 10:58 AM
 
Location: Arizona
1,206 posts, read 1,849,561 times
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I know my daughter is only 9 years old, but I have always given her books, toys, etc..that were above her age level. I have found if kids are challenged they are more engaged.

Keep up the good work and let us know how it turns out.
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Old 12-10-2011, 11:07 AM
 
Location: Denver area
19,627 posts, read 18,972,855 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zthatzmanz28 View Post
I have always wondered how you can teach "over their heads" in a college prep class?
I thought that was interesting that that was the phrase she chose - it's fairly condescending. Many people (not just children or teens) will rise to the occasion of more challenging work. If it works then it really wasn't "over their heads" was it?
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Old 12-10-2011, 12:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp,. Or what's a heaven for?
Robert Browning
This is one of my favorite quotations that I apply to teaching, among other things. Then when I saw this video on Nightline, that I showed to my students, I realized, the learning occurs during the struggle. I teach my students that the headache that they get in my class is because they are physiologically growing their brains. If their head doesn't hurt, then they aren't learning as much as they should.

I think this is what happened when you began teaching over their heads. As I learned in my Methods of Teaching Reading in the Content Area class many years ago, you want the students to be reading at levels just above their current level in order to achieve growth. I think your principal was wrong last year to tell you to teach to the lowest third in the class. That just makes them complacent and they turn off. Your students are a bit more on edge now, and having to pay attention so that they make sure they understand. I hope it goes well.
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