Monday, March 23, 2009

when you need a friend, call me

i had my first not disappointing lesson today! my students were assigned a short chapter, they pretty tired, and we had a discussion instead of a writing activity.
i planned it last night and i think this is a much better avenue than having specific product lessons. discussing is more their style, and seems to lend itself to what they actually have trouble with more than graphic organizers do.
i expect they will be hyper again tomorrow but i think my lessons for tuesday and wednesday are strong too so i have moderately high hopes.
a problem i am having is that E reads much more quickly than the other two, and J hates the idea of re-reading something. (he actually just dislikes reading altogether.) i keep explaining to him why it's good reading practice to re-read, but he rolls his eyes and looks around the room. i told him today that i just want him int he book in some way the whole time we're reading. i said he can scan, look at the pictures, or go back and re-read. as long as he's in the book.

also the student teacher i like was in today which made the room more pleasant, and the student teacher i'm not a big fan of was much better today.

and now, a cat story:
me: malcolm was a b.a. this morning.
i got out of bed and went to potty. malcolm followed me so i left the door cracked so he could come use the litter box.
he came in and sniffed around, and all of a sudden a tiny paw comes shooting between the crack in the door.
Sean: ha
me: molly was like spy attacking the air just inside the bathroom.. so malcolm went up to see what was up, and molly walked in. she took one swat at him and malc popped her one right int he face.
she looked shocked, then ran off.
she deserves it bc she keeps eating his food
Sean: hahaha
good good
that's how he got me to stop eating his food


Alison Miami-Face Schwartzbaum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alison Miami-Face Schwartzbaum said...

Congratulations on the good lesson! That's fabulous! It takes a while to get good at lesson plans (ps, i'm so screwed today, don't know what i'm teaching, no lesson plans, lacking motivation which is reinforced by the students' extra-apathy post FCAT (state test). Plus, the marking period ends friday and i have so much to grade and i am so sick of them. i just want to put on a movie and sleep all day/grade stuff/go on vacation and never return. who knew that in middle school your teachers felt the same way about you that you felt about them?!). right, so lesson plans are hard to do and they don't always come out how you planned and it can be so frustrating. i am so there with you. still, congrats! what was the discussion about?

When I read your blog and thought of a bunch of my own students--the ones who can't handle reading aloud because they read faster than everyone else/hate rereading. More often than not I try to give those kids an alternative assignment or something extra credit that's related to the book we're reading so that they have something to do during the class read-aloud (unless i'm teaching reading strategies and there is value in their hearing things aloud and processing as we read, but this is only sometimes). If you end up having a discussion with the rest of your class and he finds it interesting, he'll probably stop his assignment and pay attention. If not, he's still engaged with what you're reading and processing it similarly (you can give him the same discussion questions you're using as a writing assignment, different questions, or some kind of project where he'll have to synthesize some stuff and really create something new based on the story. I have one girl who write multiple choice questions based on chapters/stories we read).

Also, when my kids get crazy, sometimes we pause and take a deep cleansing breath. It's cute, in one class, if we don't do it when we get back from lunch the kids get all f'clempt! Also, it's less positive, but I often have a competition about which side can behave better (count down from 5, at 1, if someone is talking, their side if the room has to stay for 30 seconds after class). They don't like to lose things, so the group needs usually overtake the individual desires.

way to go malcolm!

love you!