Is it me? - Reason #1:
This past week I taught my ass off - "taught like my hair was on fire!". (An expression we seem to use a lot lately to mean we are really "gettin' it" in the classroom). I did my unit on Propaganda this week. I gave a pre-test to activate all the techniques they should have learned last year, and then reviewed it item by item with each numbered question culminating in the right answer. I did a detailed PowerPoint presentation WITH a guided FILL IN THE BLANK note-taking guide. Every three slides students were asked a series of questions about the last three propaganda techniques, given time to discuss said techniques with their neighbors, and then we had a class discussion where they shared their answers. Every three slides! After this, I showed five pictures of different advertisements and had them match up the propaganda technique with the add and then confirmed the correct answers. For the rhetorical pieces I gave an example sentence for each type, had the sentence copied word for word into their notes, and then had students read them aloud and tell my WHY it was a good example of the particular style of rhetoric. I mean, I covered ALL my bases.
Then I gave the test. And they bombed it. And let me share with you now, the test was EXACTLY the same as the pre-test - word for word. The graphics were EXACTLY the same as the images in the PowerPoint, I didn't even change the order. All I did was slap the words "Post - Test" across the top. That was literally the only difference.
Someone please explain this to me because right now, I feel like a huge failure and I just don't understand.
Is it me? - Reason #2:
I have been teaching persuasive writing since the first week of school. I have asked students to use a formula for writing their paragraphs that consists of five sentences. This is the "hamburger" style paragraph, and there is no cheese because that would make it six sentences and I just want five! I have given outlines, examples, and multiple chances to write five simple sentences in a cohesive paragraph.
On today's quiz I went so far as to outline right above the prompt exactly what I wanted in the introduction:
Sentence #1: Hook your reader with an interesting statement
Sentence #2: Support your hook statement with relevant information
Sentence #3: Transition to the "meat" of your topic
Sentence #4: Give a general statement about your topic narrowing down your focus
Sentence #5: Construct a direct thesis statement using the EXACT following formula "Topic+Opinion (no 1st or 2nd person pronouns) because reason #1, reason #2, reason #3. I even drew the following graphic: _____________________________________ because ________________________________________, ______________________________________, and ____________________________________.
I had three students do this correctly out of 50. THREE! What in the world could I have done differently????
Please give me strength, patience, and apparently I should pray for a magic wand to slap these kids upside the head with because you know that I'm at my wits end!
P.S. - A fight broke out IN my classroom today while I was on my required hall duty. Yeah - I have no idea what I'm doing it seems...Thank God for Fall Break!