I just returned from my weeklong workshop, and now I feel more secure in teaching BC this year. Except it won't be strictly BC, I think, because of numbers, I may have a "stacked" class of mixed AB / BC students together. Maybe I'm being totally unrealistic, but it was either that or no BC, and I wanted the challenge for the kids (and me) that signed up for it.
The workshop teacher was mostly a lecture type of teacher, and she commented that since BC goes at such a fast pace, she doesn't feel she has time for explorations or "fun" activities or such. So in that sense I didn't get any "fun" ideas directly from the workshop. I did get some teaching-mechanics ideas from her.
She seemed to like Staedtler MEDIUM nonpermanent pens for her overhead. She found them at art supply stores, and I liked the fact that you could buy individual ones. Purple, here I come.
She also had a teeny water bottle (3" high?) with paper towels nearby, to clean parts of her slides instead of using her fingers all the time.
When a kid asks something she didn't know, she said, "I don't know. I haven't thought about it. What do you think?" And that seems to get good discussions going.
On the overhead, do scratch work on the side in a different color to keep everyone on the same level and the "not so quick" students will have a point of reference instead of not asking and feeling stupid.
Her homework policy is to walk around the room for a quick check and chat with the students (with grades given and such). The main thing about that (instead of collecting it) she feels is that they have to look her in the eye and tell her they didn't do the homework, and she felt this got more of them to do it. Also, it builds a sense of community and the kids felt acknowledged.
I thought of having an activity or several activities where the kids analyze a multiple choice question. I found that last year, the kids all thought the MC questions were easy because they found their answer and moved on. It didn't occur to me to ever teach this skill that the test makers know what types of mistakes they make and will have such answers. So my activity is for them to do one problem and circle an answer. Then give the right answer. Then they have to go analyze the other choices and literally figure out what types of mistakes would have gotten that answer. With this hopefully they'll build an awareness of checking work and being careful on MC tests.
I'm thinking of having a suggestion box up front for various comments students want to make but don't have time for in class. There'll be a template of what's acceptable/needed ... mainly date, period, and maybe name, and comment. Maybe I can also have a Whole Foods kind of wall where comments are displayed and responses shown.
Some (rough) poster ideas of ones I want to make and display in my room:
"What do you do when no one is watching? Do the right thing."
"Get more sleep"