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8th Grade Apathy
Old 12-13-2017, 03:23 AM
 
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This is my first year teaching middle school math after 20 years in the elementary classroom. I am teaching the same 8th grade curriculum to 8th grade and 7th grade accelerated. 80% of the students in my 8th grade have very poor assessment grades; they do their classwork which is all online and includes assistance if needed. I also get VERY low participation from this particular class, especially as compared to my 7th graders. I offer after school math help weekly, and almost all the students who show up are 7th grade. I get maybe 2 or 3 from 8th each week, if that. Our 8th grade has 4 math levels - mine (which is the lowest), pre-algebra, algebra, and geometry. Essentially, the 8th graders I have are the lowest level in the grade. Several of them are behavior problems - not awful, but disruptive and off task on a regular basis - and a few are severely below grade level across the board. I'm in a Catholic K-8 school and the middle school students are the only ones grouped by ability for their classes, so I am not used to teaching a class like this. I'm so frustrated and feel like I'm whacking my head into a wall with them every day. The Pearson Realize series that we use has very few resources for reteaching and remediation which is super frustrating, so I am always searching online for additional resources. I am sure that a lot of this is due to their low level and the fact that they are all one foot out the door already. I just needed to vent and hear from others who have experienced the same.

Thanks!!!


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Old 12-15-2017, 01:54 PM
 
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I struggle with this too! I wish I had a solution. I teach an elective, and I see more F's in my 8th grade classes than with my 6th or 7th graders. They really just don't care. I'm too am constantly searching to find more engaging activities for them, but nothing so far has worked. Since it's a semester class, I get a fresh start come January. But . . . I'm worried it will be the same.

I welcome any ideas!
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subasaurus subasaurus is offline
 
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A few ideas
Old 01-15-2018, 01:55 PM
 
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-Ban cell phones from the room until the end of class.

-Give them some incentives... Candy for good work, praise, toy prizes, etc..

-Have fun with them. A little humor can go a long way.

-Play games. Math Jeopardy? Smarter than an 8th grader? Family Feud?

-Fun math videos on youtube

Some of those have worked for me in the past. Let's face it, 8th graders these days have the attention span of a cat. Too much Instagram and not enough thinking or listening.
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Old 01-28-2018, 06:46 PM
 
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I'm with sabasaurus. Kids are definitely virtual learners. You have to 'show' them what you're talking about. They're alot of outside resources (youtube videos) that you can use that will help them out. As for your 8th graders, they're just as frustrated as you are because 'they don't get it'....and unfortunately, don't care if they want to. What I do is to learn each and every student's personality, strengths and challenges and then come up with something that they can be engaging for them. For me, I have kids who are having trouble with their multiplication. So, I used the old-school School House Rock videos and they loved it. Technology is challenging and rewarding but creativity is pure supreme!
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