I love playing the role of stern/strict teacher :) . Usually, on Fridays we review concepts we've learned previously in the week, and I do a bit of "Friday Flashback" to algebra 1 or geometry concepts to keep them fresh in their minds .... and I most often don't assign homework. Well, I figured since this week we had 2 days of benchmarks, and only 2 instruction days (MLK on Monday), I'd teach today AND (gasp!) assign homework. It was too funny the looks on some of their faces .... "but it's Friday....", ... "do you have the days mixed up?" ... and all the while I'm up in front playing the disbelieving teacher saying, "yes, and we're in school and Friday is a school day". ... I have to say that I have great kids this year in the sense that they'll work for me. I don't have to babysit too much and they're mostly all on task.
I had another success today with FINALLY teaching a concept (reteaching! / reviewing!) successfully. They were to "review" simplifying monomials/exponents ... and it's never a review but more like a, "when did we ever learn this?" type of scenario. Well. Today I gave each kid 10 foam colorful blocks and had them clear their desks and only have a pencil / "fraction bar" on their desk, and we went through the various representations ... (of course I read them the riot act about the fact that I'm giving them 10 pristine foam blocks and I expect 10 pristine foam blocks back) ... said with a stern face and ominous voice (tee hee). .... I did give them about 20 seconds to play with the ("what are these class?" ... "no, not foam blocks, not toys, ... they're learning tools" ) foam blocks, and then we got to work. .... That's not to say there wasn't the requisite pyramid building and trading for "better" colors and "look miss, a rainbow" going on, but I guess it was pretty harmless, and they seemed to learn the concepts given that they could work the problems on the handout afterwards. ... okay, so in the tradition of a typical teaching month/week/year, now I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop and have a crappy day come up soon. ... I can wait.