Saturday, December 04, 2004

Oh, what a beautiful weekend!

Hurrah, it's the weekend! And...I'm swamped.

Yesterday was test prep. I found a Princeton Review test Thursday night and made copies early Friday morning. (I woke up an hour early--not on purpose--and decided to just stay up, get to school early, and get all the prep done.) I had them not only give their letter-choice answers, but also explain how they got their answer. That way I can see who is going back to the story and looking, and who is guessing, and who is misinterpreting the passages. I also came up with two short answer questions for them to do.

So really, that took awhile (because they took so long to shut up and listen to directions), and there didn't end up being time (what an awkward construction!) to have a lesson afterwards. So I handed out an activity sheet, where you look at the picture and find all the things that start with "A" and then find those words in a word search. They seemed to get into that.

That's what happened with both Class A and Class C. Class B only has ELA one period on Fridays, so some of them didn't even finish all the test questions. Altogether, not a bad day, not a good day. Just a day. And a FRIDAY at that! Woo!

After school, I went with some colleagues to a literacy workshop in Rego Park. The workshop was a bit boring, but it was fun hanging out with my fellow teachers. They are nice. We got some ideas for lessons and brainstormed more.

Later, I went into the city to see Dar Williams with a friend. It was great. It was just her and her guitar on stage. She talked and joked with the audience just enough between songs. She played older, classic stuff and new stuff. Instead of lighters, she instructed the audience to hold up the blue screens of our PDAs and cellphones. Ha! Anyway, go buy an album of hers from her site, on the right.

My friend and I got some pizza and had an enjoyable discussion about life and friends. I miss stuff like that from college and AmeriCorps. So it was after 1.30 when I got to the station, set for a possibly long, boring wait. But, the F train pulled up right as I was coming down onto the platform. Sweet! I got in at 2.15 and went to bed at around 3. The night air is so cold and the walk seems so long that even though I can sleep on the train, by the time I get home I am more awake.

So then I slept until 11.15 this morning. It sounds awesome, but that's only seven hours. Plus, I didn't have time to get to school. I wanted to go in today and get some stuff done. Not sure what exactly I wanted to do, but I always find plenty. Oh well.

I have to start preparing for Monday night's science final test, for which I need to review the phases of the moon, the article Nation at Risk, the science standards, and the process of accurate experimentation.

Also, must put something together for the math "lesson" that we're supposed to turn in. I will turn in my poetry pattern lesson plan. I will need to make copies of students' notebooks, and write up an evaluation of the lesson.

We got news that the ELA classes will be doing a specific group project starting early next week, and get mapped-out lesson plans for the writing workshops. The reading workshops will be skills of the week, and I don't remember if there are any prepared lessons for those. But jesus, at least we will have some guidance and expectations! I am so excited and relieved.

This weekend I must think about the project groups. The lit coach said not to let them choose groups, but since I haven't done any group projects at all yet, I think I will let them choose their own this first time. Then when they aren't productive, I'll have ammunition when they protest my group choices for the next group project.

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