I just don’t know what to make of this year’s bunch. At first, they were looking good, mainly because they were NOT the ones from last year. Oh baby, I’m glad that crowd has moved on (well most of them anyway), and now the crabby eighth grade teachers actually have something to be crabby about. Hey wait a minute! I’m one of those eighth grade teachers this year. (I keep forgetting that, eighth grade or no, they are still very much in junior high. But they try to remind me almost daily that they can be just as out to lunch and gluey as seventh graders. But with attitude.)

The seventh grade noobs were still looking good as I was checking out our new subscription to DataDirector, and their state test scores. Less than 20% below proficient, as defined by the state. The year before, that number was closer to 30%. Ok so far.

They all had a planner on opening day. Oh yeah. We gave those out on that first day this year. Well, all but two of them still have it now.

The sit and stare phase lasted much longer than usual, which is usually a sign of a polite class.

But…issues have started to emerge.

The biggest one is making one of my best tools into almost a liability.

They can’t dagnab click. Jeez Louise, I can’t cope. How hard is it to point and click? Can’t they use a remote? I have never seen so much…

“Oh my! Why is my clicker just going forward on and on? How do I stop it?”

“You clicked F. That’s the fast forward button. Just press it again to stop. You might want to look at the buttons you are pushing next time. F wasn’t one of the options.”

“I wasn’t looking while I was clicking.”

“You might want to rethink that approach.”

…or when we go over a warm up or pretest and then look at the scores…

“My clicker juked me! I know I got 9/10 and it says I only got 6!”

“We probably have to work on our clicker skills a bit. That’s one of the reasons why I make you copy it also. You did copy it, didn’t you?”


“And your clicker did not juke you. You juked it. I believe they call that operator error.”

They cover up the little infrared LED’s so their clicks don’t register. They click choices that aren’t there.

“I tried to click E on number 5, but it won’t let me!”

“Number 5 is a true/false question.”

“Nuh uh!”

“Yes. It is.”

“Oh. All my clicks are probably wrong then.”

When they take the Friday tests, I have them both circle the answer on the sheet AND click it in. Then when we go over the test on Monday they can see what they missed, AND make sure they weren’t juked by their clickers. By this time of the year, we are usually down to one or two per week whose circling and clicking are off, and those are never off by more than one or two.

This year, fully half are still claiming discrepancies, some  as large as 10 points .

OMG. This ain’t rocket science.

We tried auto-forward, but I have quite a few who like to work backwards, and that really cramped their style. Plus, the rest couldn’t cope anyway.

“Wait. It just jumped forward. Did I press F again?”

“We’re on auto-forward. Remember? You guys wanted to try it?”

“I hate it. Can we go back?”

I think I need a clicker boot camp for this crew.