So it’s been a few weeks since my last post. I don’t mean to go that long, life just seems to keep happening!
Lego League competition is on Saturday & I am not going. Yay me! I have finally been able to step back – sure it’s the last week of practice, but I’ll take what I can get!
It has been a miserable experience. The whole point of LL is to learn how to program basic robots, do a cooperative project & be able to present your project to an audience. They stress team work & what they call ‘coopertition’ which means friendly competition & being good sports. The coaches this year are not doing well with the coopertition part. I thought things were bad a few weeks ago, that’s nothing compared to this week. This week the teams were supposed to present for each other & some teachers from the school. Only Team A decided that they didn’t want their team to see Team B’s presentation because they didn’t want Team A to feel bad about how poorly they’re doing. I was not there for that discussion. I wish I had been. Heads would have rolled but at least the kids would have seen what their friends had done. The kids aren’t being competitive with each other – it’s the coaches. And it makes me sad. The kids have worked really hard. They have given many hours & have worked well together & they’ve learned a lot, but a few of the coaches have sucked all the fun out of it.
I am trying to find some positives to dwell on. I was able to get to know some really neat kids. I was able to see a few of the kids challenge themselves & witness how proud they were when they accomplished something hard. I saw kids that normally don’t have much to do with each other come together as a team. If I concentrate on what the kids accomplished – it was a good year.
Speaking of crabby adults. Let’s chat about E~’s Science teacher. We’ll call her Ms. Crabbypantsshouldhaveretiredyearsago, or Ms. C for short.
E~ is making progress in his organization. He’s still scattered but he has a system & it works for him, most of the time. E~ definitely has a bent towards procrastination, but he comes by that honestly Anyway, on Monday, Ms. C gave her 7th grade science class a project. There were 2 options. Option 1 involved reading from the text & doing some worksheets & taking a test. Option 2 involved reading from the text & choosing 3 other parts & putting together a presentation. She’s giving them ample class time to get it all done. E~ chose Option 2. He originally said it was because he didn’t think we would let him choose the ‘easy’ option but after a bit he admitted that it was because he thought Option 1 was boring. Anyway, yesterday I had an email from Ms. C saying that E~ hadn’t accomplished much during the week & she would like him to switch to Option 1 because she didn’t think he could manage the less structured Option 2. I half agreed with her – E~ does work better with boundaries & guidelines BUT he wanted to do this & his reasons for doing it were sound so I told her No, E~ would do Option 2. Then I sat down with E~ & we worked up a plan for how to get the project done.
All the time, I was wondering why Ms. C didn’t do that. All it would have taken was 5 minutes for her to walk through the parts of Option 2 with E~ & help him draw up a schedule. It wasn’t hard. He’d obviously done a lot of reading before I talked to him so he hadn’t spent the week in class doing nothing. Instead of telling him he couldn’t handle the work, why not help him figure out a way to handle the work? I’m not asking her to change her expectations but it would be okay to help him find a way to succeed.
Apparently, when she presented the project, she told the class almost no one picks Option 2 because it is too hard. My question is then why have that option? It’s not worth more points. If you don’t really want kids to do it, then don’t give it as an option. Or why not incorporate some components of Option 2 into Option 1? There are so many ways around this ‘problem’ that don’t include telling your class ‘you can’t handle it so don’t even try’. When I looked at the rubric & the options for this unit, what struck me was that with the Options, she is not teaching this unit. The kids are reading about it & doing busy work. That is the extent of instruction for geology.
Gah. I’m tired of complaining. Let’s find something else…
Have you seen Frozen? I went last week with my sister & T~ & my nephews. Super cute movie. So cute that we’re going again today! T~ turns 7 today & we’re going to take her friend El~ with us to the movie. Should be fun! I bought treats to stick in my purse so I don’t have to take out a loan for snacks. Good thing I’ve upgraded to a larger purse
Other potential news, Puerto Rico might be on the calendar for January. We weren’t going to go but now it’s an option & while it would make financial sense for me not to go, all reason flies out the window when I remember sitting here: