Monday, November 17, 2014

An Apology To My First Hour #EdChat

This is really a letter of apology to all of the classes that get the first run through of a lesson. Today is just another example of how teachers change on the fly to make lessons better as the day go, but I feel bad for my first hour. 

Today, I had my students use TodaysMeet as their exit ticket. They needed to re-write a good topic sentence based on an old topic from earlier in the year. My thinking, which was terrible, was that I would give them a thesis I wrote based on a question they encountered earlier in the year. Even explaining it is complicated. Students seemed confused and had a hard time coming up with a new topic sentence because they did not write the thesis. Ugh. It was a mess, but my students did the best and completed the task. 

As the disaster was unfolding, I realized that I would have my 6th hour just rewrite one of their claims from the essay in front of them. It was so simple, I should have just gone with that in the first place. I managed to talk myself out of it and I'm not sure why. 

The good part is that I'm reflecting as I teach and making changes as they are needed. However, what about my first hour? Are they forever doomed to get the "not as good" lesson? I really wish I had a rotating schedule here so the I would see different classes at different hours so the first hour would always change. 

Anyone have any thoughts on dealing with the first lesson of the day mess-ups?


  1. I always felt this way. First hour were my guinea pigs, midday got the polished version, and sometimes the last hour got a more abbreviated or rushed through version. I, too, have apologized to my first hour, but traditionally, those kids were more awake and alert and somehow we always made it work anyway. Thanks for sharing your F.A.I.L.

  2. Yes, yes, yes! And also so true that the last hour gets an abbreviated/rushed version, or a version where I leave out something that worked well earlier! One thing I try whenever I get a chance is to either slow down the first hour class just enough that lessons happen first later in the day so the first gets a practiced version the next day. Whenever I get to do that it's great. :)

    1. Agreed. This post hit so close to home it hurt. I'm wondering if there might not be a way to systematize this, (similar to crop rotation) so that bi-weekly, or bi-monthly, a difference group gets to act as your guinea pig set.

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  4. We are on block and I always feel like one class gets the "better" lesson! I think that that's just the name of the game and it speaks to how great teachers are at adapting to the students needs. You have to be quick on your toes and know when to fold...kudos to you and your 1st hour! lol

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