Students did pretty well on today's "Parts of the INB test." The lowest grades were low As, which made me very happy. I gave them five minutes before the test to quiz each other, and it was great to see how engaged and involved they were with their foldables. They are starting to really "get" the idea of the parts, the idea of the date stamp, and the Table of Contents. Today I gave our first Daily Date Stamps, and several students had to quickly fix mistakes they had made, such as taping page 2 of their TOC to page 3 (a LHS page) rather than to page 2 (a RHS page).
Not only does this process give students practice in following instructions (which middle schoolers sometimes have trouble with), it also gives them a chance to settle into the aggressive pace I am setting for the year. It also creates a culture of intrinsic motivation, with an emphasis on autonomy, even though they are following general instructions and interacting with their notes far more than they generally do. The amount of energy expended in handling their materials is really new for them, and nobody complains about writing brief reflections on a LHS page or redoing their table of contents.
So it was predictable that when I announced we would be having an INB Beauty Pageant on Friday with awards in a wide range of yet-to-be-determined categories, my students would completely flip their lids.
The time has been flying by, both for students and for me. It's a really lovely way to begin the year.