Last week ended pretty well. I was very pleased at the number of final essays turned in. It wasn't at 100%, but it was much closer than in the past. Progress!!
Also, I shocked myself by taking time on Friday, one mere day after the turn-in, to grade two whole classes' worth of essays!! Shocker. But in a good way!
On Friday I taught my classes the Three Easy Steps of multiple choice (Preview and underline, Read and underline, Answer and refer back). I explicitly modeled this with an entire passage and questions. I marked up my copy, explaining why, and the kids did the same. They saw me easily figure out the answers and not get tricked, because I'd previewed questions.
It took a long time, but I think it was definitely worth it to work through the whole section. Because when I was done, I set them on the next section. And by god, nearly all of them immediately started the same process I had modeled! When they had finished, I asked them how they thought it went. Many of them looked surprised, or said, how much easier and faster it went. Whee!
It is December. What?! I looked at the calendar a little while ago and saw that there are only three weeks left of school before the break. Which means four weeks until I leave for Amsterdam. Yay for real me, boo for teacher me!
This week I hope to get in the last of the testing skills that I haven't yet worked on. Not only that, but reinforce the things we've already done. I hope to start doing online work with assessment, and I've already assigned differentiated homework. I'll try to do more of that as well.
Also this week I want to start timing them. I've got a ton of old testing booklets and a bunch of test skills books, so we've got plenty of materials to work with.
I'm not worried about interesting lessons at this point, because I don't have the energy and we just need to get through things. Three weeks this month, and then less than two weeks in January. Power through!