If you recall, these were the skills I'm focusing on:
I started out with one period that I knew could handle the independent structure. This week I started it with two other periods and was really skeptical, but I thought I'd give it a shot. Well yet again, I'm glad I did because it's going even better than it is with the class I started it out in.
My plan for the two classes (which are a little lower) was to have them to up to C and then do a lesson/activity on D&E before moving on and the same before starting F&G. What happened instead was SO awesome. After passing the C quiz, kids grabbed D and started to work on their own. They had some idea so they would try, but ultimately end up asking me for help. Same thing with E. So what is happening is that each kid is getting pretty much one-on-one lessons once they are ready. It's working so well. Many of my kids have attention issues so they zone out really easily during whole class lessons. The individual lessons are more like tutoring and it is just working wonders.
When kids take quizzes they are psyched instead of being frustrated. They are so excited when they pass a level that they have been stuck on. When they hand in their quizzes they beg me to grade them immediately because they are so excited to see how they did. They working independently and checking their own answers. They are looking at old quizzes and finding their own mistakes. They are asking for help because they know that they aren't going to pass the level without learning the skill. Failing isn't an option, it just means try again. Every single kid is working on something that is at their own level and it is somehow not at all chaos.
All I am doing (during class) is giving out quizzes and working with kids individually.
I had a kid that took the one step equation quiz and got a 2/4. He went over what he did and fixed it and then asked me if he could be done because now it was a 4/4. I told him that he had do another practice set, retake the quiz and pass it all on his own. He whined a lot while he was doing all of this. The next day he finished his practice, took the quiz and told me I had to grade it right now because he knew it was good (love the confidence). I told him he got them all correct and he high fived me. He then told me that he really likes this kind of learning.
I've actually had a few kids say that they think this is a good way to learn. Might not sound like a huge deal, but I consider this very high praise coming from these kids.
In other news- I have finally earned enough respect from my kids to be able to have the, "I'm really disappointed and take your disrespectfulness personally" conversation with them and actually have it work. Score.
I also have a handful of kids that are making me awesome presents and acting like it's no big deal. And when I say awesome, I mean like way more awesome than target gift cards as presents. That's a big deal. Double score.