Category Archives: 70s

What is an Acceptable Graduation Rate?

Since the 1970s some aspects of students and their lives are relatively unchanged according to a study by the Foundation for Child Development.

Reading abilities, graduation rates, and suicide rates have basically remained the same for teenagers since the 1970s. Also, math rates have risen despite the bad press math and science teachers continually receive.

To me, this speaks quite highly of the work teachers do since the social make-up of the classroom has altered dramatically. More special education students and ELL students are being taught in America’s classrooms meaning that challenges have increased without a reduction in achievement. Additionally, the internet and video games have increasingly competed with schools for time requiring teachers to change their methods. Continue reading

The First Day

Since my school corrects schedules during the first week of school, it is quite difficult to begin teaching until the second or third day. This means I don’t go over the classroom expectations until the third day of class.

Last year I decided that the first day would just be a fun day to help me get to know the students. I set a game show in my classroom with which some of you may be familiar.

We played The Match Game.

I loved that show as a kid. I used to laugh and laugh until my sides hurt listening to the banter and the answers to the crazy clues. The host, Gene Rayburn, really made the show what it was. His wit and rapport with the celebrities made this show just plain fun.

I collected actual fill-in-the-blanks from the show and had the students in teams. We competed against one another with some modified rules. It was great! We bonded a bit, I learned names, and the kids left feeling positive.

Before we played I showed them a five minute clip where insanity ruled and hilarity ensued, but what really blew the kids’ minds was that I downloaded the 70s theme song and played it while they came up with their answers. Of course, they thought I was a nut but what a blast! They talked about it all semester.

Plus, they had to think! Imagine that on the first day. The answers they provide have to be clever and usually humor is encouraged. Here are a few examples of sentences they must complete (keeping in mind they have to match their classmates for points):

“Hey, did you hear about Carla the Cannibal? She went to McDonald’s and ate ____________________.”

“In the delivery room when Ugly Edna was born, she was so ugly Edna’s mother asked for a _____________________.”

“Sid said, “I’ve got the world’s toughest banker. Last time I asked for a loan, he wanted my _______________ as collateral.”

This year I want to try a different game but am not sure what to play. It doesn’t have to be from a game show, but I want something fun.

Any suggestions?