Friday, October 22, 2010


I teach Read180, and this year I feel like there are more restrictions on my time. Read180 was designed for a 90 minute block of time, where our class periods are only 70 minutes long. I've made some modifications to the schedule so that students get time on the computer, time to read, and the full class instruction I'd previously sacrificed so they would have that computer time. It's taken a little over a week to settle into the routine, and as long as I stay on top of the organization of it, it'll be okay.

Here's the difficulty:

Since the beginning of the semester, seven pairs of headphones have been destroyed. These headphones are at least $30 a pair. Two microphones have been taken apart.

So this morning I bought three new microphones--the kind that look like mini-boom mics. They have been taped to the table, and each student is now assigned a specific computer. I hate micromanaging, but $210 in headphones and we're two weeks into the second six-week period? I don't think we can afford that, really.

Students are also now asked to provide their own headphones. I rigged the tables so there is a headphone jack right next to the microphone, eliminating the problem of headphone wires being too short. Some of my students are a little incredulous, but I have provided them with everything else, including their composition notebooks, so I don't see this as such a stretch (they can get headphones in the library for $1).

It has worked out fairly well today, though students have until Monday to have their headphones.

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