From 12th to 9th... HELP!

Discussion in 'General Education' started by catnfiddle, Jul 10, 2013.

  1. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I'm switching grades for the first time in five years. What can I expect from the mindset of freshmen compared to seniors? I'm assuming fewer of my students will be parents and FAR fewer will be married.
     
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  3. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I've taught both and I really prefer freshmen to seniors. I don't know how it will translate to online courses, but with me the #1 key is to be upfront from the get-go that this is no longer middle school. Time to grow up and be responsible for yourself. You'll have more parental involvement than with seniors. Mainly because Mommies can't accept the jump from middle to high school either.

    Freshmen are younger, less mature and make more excuses.

    I personally shock their systems a bit by giving a real assignment in the first week with a real deadline. Then take off points for each day it is late (generally 20). I weight the assignment lower than the others in its category but they don't realize what that means at first. I usually have A LOT of students that turn it in late, despite my warnings and reminders. Few students turn in assignments late after that. The grade doesn't end up impacting their overall grade that much at all, but it does let them know what the expectations are. Most of my freshmen come from middle school thinking the due date isn't really until the week after report cards go home. @@

    So far none of my freshmen have been married or parents (except for one girl that just couldn't pass Algebra I so it kept her at Freshman status). I sure hope it stays that way!
     
  4. Ms.SLS

    Ms.SLS Cohort

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    In my experience, MANY freshman don't really understand the whole concept of "if I fail, I am not going to graduate." Thus, you have a higher percentage of students who don't turn in work/don't care.

    They also need a lot more structure. For my younger students, my homework is given on Monday, and due back on Friday EVERY week. I have a much better success rate with this type of structure than I did with daily or misc day homework. You may even need to give explicit instruction to write down the assignments in planner/agenda when you give them, depending on your student population.

    Parents will be more involved with, or at least more interested in, their child.

    Boy/girl emotions are more dramatic. They may not be parents yet, but there will be pregnancy scares/starts.
     
  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I definitely agree with both these points.
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I think that the issue is less about grades on the transcript than about not earning credit in 9th grade. Those credits are still necessary for graduation.
     
  7. Ms.SLS

    Ms.SLS Cohort

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    This, exactly. I don't know HOW many 11th and 12th grade kids I've had in a panic, because they failed 5 out of 6 classes their Freshman year and now have to make up a bunch of credits.

    If you're in an area where kids are actually concerned about transcripts being sent to college and are AWARE of that policy, you might not face as many challenges with student motivation just because it's an entirely different type of population that I've worked with.
     
  8. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I'm told that there is a ton of structure already built into the platform where I'm teaching. Instead of having live teaching sessions once a week, it will be every day for at least a half hour, plus team teaching with Science, Math, and Social Studies. I'll also have a SpEd teacher and Title I teacher (serving as a reading specialist) dedicated to my students.

    I hadn't considered the issue of students not understanding the risk of failure. My pass rate as a 12th grade teacher has been 80%, with students deciding to take Credit Recovery and "test out" instead of doing a semester of actual instruction. This baffles me since they're prolonging their stay in school, since we have a winter graduation. There will be the same Credit Recovery option for 9th grade. I should find out the pass rate for those students compared to 12th.

    How is student reading comprehension and analysis at that age? Can they read a question, understand what is being asked, and know where to find the answer?
     
  9. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    My 9th graders were much more like my 7th graders than my 12th graders. They still needed a high degree of structure, and they could sometimes fall back into their moody puberty-stricken behaviors of middle school.

    Some were capable of working great independently, and some were really good at analysis. Others still needed more time to mature.

    I was 13 when I started high school, but I was as tall as I am now. I have always been on the mature side, but people often treated me as MORE mature because I looked and acted older. However, I was still just barely a teenager.

    I had quite a few seniors in my freshman English class. Most of them had screwed around as freshman and found themselves short of credits come their senior year.
     
  10. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I assign a lab in class and the assignment is the write-up. Last year I actually made it worth two grades: a homework grade to start, which was basically a completion grade. Then I decimated the papers with my red pen, tore them to shreds over every little detail, and we did peer editing. Kids took them back home, made them perfect and got an actual lab grade for them. I find that freshmen especially have no clue how to write a formal lab report no matter how much instruction I give ahead of time. The feedback is very helpful and it shows them how high my standards are.
     
  11. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    The majority of my freshmen students are advanced so I can't really help you there. I do know that even in the few years that I've been teaching I've noticed a drop in motivation to actually find answers.

    For example, if I have a series of questions that I'm asking students on a study guide, they will expect the answers to be in the same order as the questions. They will expect the questions to be basically the same as the sentences in their books. This is more true with my lower-level students but I still find it to be an issue with my younger kids.
     
  12. Ms.SLS

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    I've found with younger kids too, they're less likely to make a guess unless they know the answer is 100% correct. They're not good with speculation - they want it to be black and white, right or wrong. Analysis is definitely a skill you'll have to build, patiently.
     
  13. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Sounds like I should have some workshops in deduction. I like the idea of asking students to feel safe guessing what might happen next in a story, even if it's totally wrong. That way, they can possibly write their own version of a story / chapter of a book we're reading. Ooo, the wheels are turning.

    One unfortunate hit I've noticed with writing skills in general is that my school has been so focus on the 1-3-1 style of persuasive / argumentative writing, students cannot write a narrative essay. I'm trying to teach this to seniors and it's a mess. Hoping I have wiggle room to add this.
     
  14. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Aug 22, 2013

    Classes start tomorrow. I think I have the first week of curriculum under control. These are student who almost exclusively have done online learning in our middle school. However, they're all panicking because the live teaching platform is new to them. Heck, most of the teachers are new to it as well (12th grade switched to it years ago so I'm the veteran). Fortunately, my class is the last one of the day, so I can sit back and observe the other teachers and their interactions with the students while helping them troubleshoot their technical issues.

    I've already talked with one of my new students. So polite and sweet!
     

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