The try and fly generation

I have been a very naughty teacher. My year 9s had a really mean teacher today but we sorted it out! I am looking forward to seeing how the story unfolds and I have a week to watch it progress now. Learning in action…for all of us. I accidentally set them 4 hours of electronic homework on their language learning system. I know it tells me how long it will take when I set homework on this syLanguage Perfect Homeworkstem. I was in a new section and I wanted to pick a variety of verbs. I had forgotten just how thorough this language learning system is. My year 9s are really on the ball with technology. They had no sooner come into class than I heard , “Oh, you have set us homework!” They check their emails.  Then I heard , “4 hours?” reverberating around the room.

“Mrs. Woods, have you really set us 4 hours homework?”

“Mrs. Woods!!”

So, I confessed. I explained I was in a new area of the system, that I wanted to help them learn their verb tenses and that I had picked some verbs so that they had some good practice and it wasn’t like usual…it had added up to 4 hours and I was a bit embarrassed. I believe very strongly in negotiating with students and working out reasonable goals with technology. The key word being reasonable. I could have cancelled that homework. I could have changed it but I decided it is a good lesson to learn how to manage ridiculous and unreasonable and still come out on top. We had a 5 minute discussion. I said the best thing they could do was show anyone that life could throw them something utterly unreasonable and they would do their best to make it work. I also told them that I was not expecting 4 hours of homework!

I gave them 30 minutes of class time and said I could then work out how I would manage my own learning curve and lack of attention to detail on the screen. 25 minutes into it I could bring up the class and what they had done. They had completed 4% and then I could see what each student had done and 3 of them had done nothing. One student had not been able to access her account. Not  on her iPad, not on the iPad I lent her and not with more expert help. Nothing was going to work so we struck a deal that she would do what she could at home and I would allow for the iPad problem. The two others really had done nothing. So this learning system tells me who is doing what. I can show that to the students. We can look at it and by now, they know how to advocate for themselves in terms of being assessed online. We had a plan. We had a week to give it our best shot, I would get the email with the results and we would talk about it. I have just checked their progress. We are up to 8%.year 9 French

These students born after 2000 are really up for a challenge. All you have to do is put in a negotiating safety net and some agreed rules and they will just fly…the try and fly generation.

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