I am so tired. Three nights in a row, my head won't shut the hell up so I can rest for an entire night. Waah!
I started Class A with Echo and Narcissus. I wanted to catch them up. They listen so well when I read aloud. I did a really quick version and stopped after the 'shun' lesson.
That took awhile, of course. We still did literature groups and practiced 'chunking'. Eventually we stopped that and did test prep practice. It was supposed to be short, like a 'warm up', but there was no time for anything else. Dammit. I suck at timing.
But you know what? One of the irritatingly chatty boys sat up front by himself (I talked to him quietly before first period) and did very well staying on task and being quiet. Loud E did really well, showing effort and initiative. At the end of our block, he said, "Ms C, this has been the best day ever." And he said something else too, I'm just old and can't remember. Earlier he told me I looked nice, but he and couple other boys do that a lot, and I think it's just to try and butter me up. This one kid who bugs me by talking instead of working (like calling out, look, I'm doing my work!), said to me today, "Ms C, you're my friend" and "Ms C, you look pretty today. I like your hair." I gave him a look and said, "Sucking up doesn't work on me. I don't care if you love me or hate me, do the work. That's what I care about." Heh.
For Class B, the do now was "define 'bankrupt' and use it in a sentence.' Easy enough. I gave them the definition of 'etymology,' and then explained the etymology of the word 'bankrupt.' As I revealed where it came from, kind of like ta-da, I looked at this one kid, and he had that kind of light-going-on, hey-that's-awesome smile. I tell ya, I loved seeing that, watching new knowledge dawn over someone's face. It was really cool.
I also showed them the updated word wall. I put up 'acrophobia' with the other phobias we discussed. I asked them if they could figure out what it meant. Had they seen the root 'acro' anywhere? I was thinking Acropolis in my head, but someone piped up 'acrobat,' which works too. So I drew a little diagram: a straight line representing Athens, and a big lump with the Parthenon on top. Did they know what the name of the lump was? No. Okay, it's called the Acropolis. What does 'polis' mean? Nothing, even though I KNOW they learned it in social studies. So I reminded them it means 'city.' (Right? Heh) What must 'acro' mean, then? Above, right. So what does 'acrophobia' mean? Fear of heights! Yay.
Like I said, lexicon expansion underway!
Also like I said, the timing sucks. All this fun wordplay means we don't get enough time to do our "real work."
Class C did the the bankrupt thing and the test stuff. Tomorrow they'll do chunking, I think.
Man, this test stuff takes up too much time for me. Tomorrow I'm doing context clues, maybe it will go faster. Then we'll have time for actual writing work.
Did I mention how awesome some of Class C was in the writing workshop yesterday? Several kids who haven't written in paragraphs ALL YEAR finally responded to some individual explicit instruction, and came up with fabulous stuff. IN PARAGRAPHS. I saw other kids finally get their drafts started, and were writing a lot. Helped a girl with writer's block, using format/plot elements to guide what to do next. Had a group peer- and self-edit, which looked productive for awhile. Then a few of them stopped working and were just lazing about. But altogether, I was very pleased.
We'll see if Classes A and B can do that too.
Tomorrow is the last day of third quarter! I can't believe it. We are finally heading into the home stretch. I'm trying to get ready for the onslaught of behavior problems.
Because even now, I am so frustrated with A and B. I feel helpless; I don't know how to make those last few shut the hell up. I think (knock on wood!) that most of each class is on my side, so to speak. They help me tell the noisy ones to be quiet, more colorfully than I am allowed to. Heh. I get to hear them say things like, "Don't you want to learn?" But when I have to stop and wait for the same two kids every two minutes, I find myself with no consequences to scare them, and I don't have a positive reinforcement in place either, other than getting a good grade for the day. I better work on that.
With that in mind, here I go to make phone calls to those houses.