Saturday, August 30, 2014

Spooling up to a frenetic start

Whoooo, that was a brutal week. I feel so behind already. However, my cadre of  household helpers has been super so far. Burden lightened. Now, how much are we willing to sacrifice for the privilege? We'll meet tonight about the budget.

In other news...
My favorite class has not gone as well as expected. First, at 22 it's MUCH bigger than I am used to (yes, I said that). Second, I can't gauge where my audience is. It's full of master's students, so I cranked it up a notch, but they don't talk back... so I might be blowing them away, intimidating them, or boring them to tears.

For example, I asked, "Did everyone read the first chapter?" Nods and hands.
"Ok, what stuck out to you, what was new and what did you know already?"
*crickets chirping*

Ohh, this is going to have to take a different tack...


  1. Cold call. If you do it in a way that seems safe-- in that you validate them even if they get wrong answers etc, they'll be more likely to volunteer information in the future. When I get a silent class like that I pick on 2-3 new people each period until the entire class is participating. Silent people get cold-called again.

  2. With grad classes I used to start every class (1x-week) with an applied problem based on the reading and previous class. I'd drop it off and leave for 15 mins. When I came back, they had to have come up with a solution and present it to me. It was a good way to have then review what was done the following week, encourage them to contextualize the reading in terms of what they already know and to find out where there are gaps in understanding.