Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Feels like Monday and Friday at the same time

Tuesdays feel like that; being at school after the craziness of Mondays sort of feels like starting over, but also like being really tired and ready for a break.

The Amazing Race season 6 premieres tonight! That is exciting. But Scrubs is on, too! Why the quandary, networks?

So today was not bad, actually. The students got a new seating chart.

Class B is much easier to deal with when I have them first thing in the morning. Thank god for small favors. I introduced poetry to them with a poem from the book of the month, called Brown Angels. (You know, that is very easily mistyped as Grown Angles. Totally different concept. Hee.) For writing workshop, on the spot I asked them to discuss in groups the patterns they found. (I had planned to gloss over them quickly and briefly.) They all did. Ms F was in the room with me, and that might have helped keep more of them on task, but every single table was talking about patterns. That was a first. The students found a lot of patterns, and had a few that I didn't even notice. That was a great example of teaching through inquiry, and they reacted to it very well. Hurrah! I was so proud of them, and impressed, too. I'm glad that the lesson worked out that way, so that they could explore the poem and get excited about it.

When I talked about rhyme scheme (this one goes A, B, B, A, C, D, D, C), though, they got confused. That's okay, it's a pretty abstract jump. They understood that the first line rhymed with the fourth line and the second with the third, so that's what counts.

Tomorrow will be a writing workshop to use this poem as a template (all the patterns they found will be part of the template). God, I hope it works. I have an example that I wrote, to show them. It shouldn't be too bad. Some of the kids seemed excited about poetry, and some exhibited interpretive thinking. That gives me hope.

Also, Ms F said that she really liked the lesson, it was interesting and the kids were engaged. It would make a great observation lesson. Too bad no one was in my room today.

Well, I had Class A right after lunch and thank god no one saw that. They were all talky and whiny about the seats, but I didn't take any of their crap. I only had them for one period, so I wanted to do the reading and writing sort of together. It took like half an hour for everyone to get the stupid heading and poem written down. I read the poem to them. And quite possibly, that was it. Let's all hope that tomorrow is better. I have them 2nd and 3rd periods.

Ooh, this is interesting. For some reason, they chose today to move kids around between classes. So one of my worst kids in Class A got transferred to Class B, and three new kids arrived in Class C. The kid in Class A, we'll call him T, was in Class B near the end of the period, seeming kind of embarassed and unsure. Like five minutes later, he decided that he didn't like the whole thing, got up, and walked out of the room. He said he was going to talk to the Dean. He was already gone and so I couldn't do anything but note it in my anecdotal book. I'll have to find out what that was all about.

Sadly, Class A isn't really any different without him. There remain two extremely disruptive boys still there, and three regularly very disruptive boys. God help us all. But the Dean gave me some anecdotal/progress sheets about problem students. I'm gonna fill out a bunch, and hopefully something will change for the better. There are too many kids that are great students getting completely shafted because their classmates are out of control. It's starting to bother me a lot, how those kids aren't doing anything, aren't being pushed to improve and increase their skills. It's time for what they call differentiated instruction! Ay.

Class C was a little bigger, and still chatty. I come down hard on them, and they totally look all guilty and remorseful (unlike A and B, who mostly just sulk). But they are still my easiest class. And sometimes I actually really smile or laugh in that class. I just can't help it; it's the end of the day, and the kids are actually really sweet.

I left at 2.45, and was home just after 3.30. So much afternoon left! I had nachos (mm, pepper jack cheese is the greatest!) and some fresh green beans (they were called string beans at the store) boiled and lightly smothered in butter. Yummm.

On Sunday I gave myself an online shopping spree on Amazon.com. Since I got a little money for my birthday, and my bills won't be as nasty, I decided to give myself a break and get some stuff for me. Um, since I didn't just buy myself a digital camera. Yeah. But really, I have been so frugal with stuff just for me, and jesus, it was my 25th birthday! I deserve it all.

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