Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Woman and Her Fantasy (Football, that is)

It's officially football season! Which means it's also officially fantasy football season. How to explain fantasy football? Hmmm, well it will drive you crazy. It will change how you watch the wonderful game of football. It will make you second guess yourself and your team's composition. Basically, you build a team from all NFL players, hense the fantasy part and football collide!

I had heard of Fantasy Football and hype surrounding it before, but until this fateful year I had never decided to embark on the journey myself. I am dating a guy who was playing in 3 different fantasy football leagues (now 4, but more on that later). When I found that out, I responded with "Well, you play enough fantasy football for both of us!" About a week later, I was approached at work and asked about my football knowledge and invited to play in their fantasy football league. I very reluctantly agreed to consider it. After receiving the email invitation to play, I officially signed up and became part of the league. I was playing fantasy football! It took about two seconds of looking at the ESPN Fantasy page to realize I was going to need some serious help. So, I swallowed my pride and asked Jon for help understanding fantasy football...

Very kindly, Jon agreed to give me some helpful hints and walk me through the process of fantasy football. I made a list of all my newfound knowledge and was more than ready to tackle (no pun intended) the draft! As the draft date neared, it became apparent tat we didn't have enough players to fill our league up. So Jon was invited to play in our league as well (so now he is in 4 fantasy football leagues, in case you lost count). So draft day came and I had my list and was all ready to scoop up some amazing NFL players! Being first and foremost a Cowboys fan, I was pleased that Tony Romo was ranked as a Top 5 Quarterback. I was fearful of his constant inconsistency, but how could I resist?!

Seriously, look at those dimples! I will spare you a description and picture of every player I drafted, but I was pretty pleased with my team! I didn't realize how pleased until the season started. Three weeks in, and I am 3-0! I even played Jon this last week and somehow pulled off the win, and I scored over 200 points!

I must admit, I am kind of hooked. I already loved football, but I love it even more now. Don't expect me to be playing in 4 leagues next year, but I might be able to get my family into a little healthy competition...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Testing and review

Life is full of tests. Some are more formal, like the one I will give my students tomorrow. And some are informal, like the one my students gave me today.

Before tests, I like to give my students a study guide and an opportunity to review the material. This usually results in a review game. Yesterday during peer tutoring I asked a few of my students what game we should play and they overwhelmingly chose Jeopardy. My concern with Jeopardy had been students who aren't engaged, so being the on-my-toes teacher I strive to be, I came up with a brilliant solution. At least, I thought it was brilliant.

I made my Jeopardy and Double Jeopardy powerpoints and hooked my computer up to the now-mounted projector (isn't technology great?) and proceeded to divide my students into three teams. I directed them to place their backpacks on one side of the room and move the desks so they could sit in a group with their team to encourage participation. It worked for a while, until I realized every time there was a pause every student began their own conversation. After multiple warnings and whistle-blowings, I ended the game. Students ended the day studying silently at their own desks.

Most of my attempts at review games have ended in frustration and a headache for me. I want to help my students succeed, but they make it so difficult. So now I wonder, what review games are actually helpful? As a student (or teacher, if that is your profession) what review games helped you to grasp material? How do I get my students to focus and be respectful without losing my voice or bursting their ear drums?