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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Class Meeting

This meeting was led by Rebecca.  Rebecca facilitated all agenda items and was responsible for involving all students in the conversation while Mrs. Tulloch documented the discussion. 

Noise Level - We have been really noisy; particularly with our substitutes.  Maybe we need to more strictly enforce the point system for the rest of the year.  We could start whispering and control the noise, particularly if a friend we want to talk to is on the other side of the room.  Madi suggested that the expectations increase for month-end incentive and Rebecca thought that would push students harder to be quiet.  Ellen expressed concern that it was not just the noise level that was of concern when a substitute was in the room but also the defiance being shown towards Mrs. Eisener by students.  Rebecca and Borna felt that some students were taking advantage of Mrs. Eisener - particularly in terms of group work.  Adam G. felt that the substitute teacher was being underestimated and that she didn't know what she was doing when in fact she was following a plan.  Sophie felt that students were just being quiet for a reward and then as soon as the reward was received, students were back to their bad habits.  Madi felt sorry for Mrs. Eisener because she has been so nice and tried to reward the class but that she wasn't receiving the respect back that she deserved.  Borna felt that there should be bigger consequences for students not doing what they are supposed to be doing.  Threats should not just be made to be sent to the office, without follow through.   Students need to understand that substitute teachers deserve the same respect as regular classroom teachers.  Students should not give teachers attitude -- regardless of whether they are visiting or the regular classroom teacher.  Students should have to earn being able to sit by their friends rather than simply choosing where they want to sit.  In the morning, students see it as a right to talk when a substitute is in the room.  A substitute teacher is not a `ticket to talk`.

Transitions:  We are very loud during transitions.  Students are using lesson time to talk to friends.  Madi feels that it is taking away from our outcomes and our learning which ultimately impacts our grades and our learning in grade 7.  James felt that if we waste time in transitions it will make the end of the scool year tougher because we will have a lot to fit in at the end of the year.  This really impacts us!  Borna feels that there are some people who don`t have something to do during transitions so they simply make a lot of noise, move around, and disrupt.  Ellen felt that Mrs. Tulloch has been telling us since December that we have to work on our transitions and still we are and have not followed through to do anything to work on our transitions.  Jayden felt that we should be sent to the office more.  Sophie felt that in the long run, it is going to end up hurting students because we will be taking time away from the outcomes which means we won`t properly be prepared for future years and challenges.  Katherine felt that even the blurt outs continue to be a huge problem!  Borna felt that when we transition between subjects students get out of control as the teacher prepares for the next lesson.

Work Expectations:  Rebecca said that a lot of students figure that the little pieces that don`t get handed in, don`t really make a difference but when this happens on a regular basis it becomes a huge problem!  The names continue to be on the list for outstanding work and students do not pass in the work that they were expected to complete.  We are putting a lot of pressure on the teacher to find assignments that haven`t been handed in on time and may not even have been passed in at all.  Students are given time every week to complete unfinished work and also have the opportunity at lunch and at recess to stay in and complete assignments.  It is students` responsibility to take advantage of these opportunities to complete work on time.  Sophie reminded the class that just because a name on a checklist is crossed off, doesn`t mean that you get a mark if you don`t actually pass in the work. 

Job Responsibilities: Rebecca started the discussion by mentioning that the jobs have not been changed recently and many students are tired of their responsibilities.  Rebecca felt that certain jobs could be eliminated and other jobs could be expanded to better meet the needs of our classroom. Borna also mentioned that there was quite a disparity in the workload between some jobs such as between "complimenter" and "word of the day".  Madi mentioned that the "passing out" people are always working!  Jayden and Ellen had quite a discussion about the intent of compliments and whether they should be personal or about work that we do in class.  Borna suggested that we add a really fun job to the list to encourage more people to read more in their Home Reading Logs.

Classroom Cleanliness:  Our classroom is not too bad, in Rebecca's opinion; however, there are some people who are leaving their garbage around on the floor.  Mrs. Tulloch's desk is not big enough for all our work.  Rebecca reviewed the responsibilities of the clean up inspector.  Adam W. suggested that the complimenter people become the clean up crew.  Borna suggested that we should be getting bonus points for doing our jobs.  Ellen felt that every once in a while students were throwing garbage on the floor -- without naming anyone in specific.  A vacuum cleaner in the villas would be very helpful; students wondered if this could be something we could buy with our STEM money?!  Ellen felt that the vacuum would not be a good "Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math" investment for Bedford South. Students were very creative in trying to make a mathematical connection between the robotic vacuum cleaner and STEM.  Gen suggested that perhaps we could mop the floor once a week to improve the cleanliness of our classroom. 

Bayside:  Rebecca felt that this was an exciting discussion point that everyone would be keen to talk about.  Mrs. Tulloch answered many questions that were already addressed in the letter.  Mrs. Tulloch has asked that students focus on their work and save further Bayside specific questions until the rest of the forms are sent home and we get closer to the date.

Other:  Adam W. suggested that perhaps students could be in charge of this month's incentvie.  Jayden suggested that students could perhaps be given four or five choices to select from.  Many students expressed an interest in have a class talent show as our monthly incentive.