Friday, April 15, 2005

Oy, this week has gone fast!

I can't believe I've fallen so behind in my blogging duties. Bad!

There was no way that I was going to do a lesson plan Wednesday (the day after the city test), but I figured I could do something fun and a little academic too. I had checked out a book of annotated Grimm's fairy tales on Monday, and I brought it in.

I started class (both A and B) by asking the kids to remember things that happened in the Disney movie Cinderella. Once we got all that, I opened up the book and read to them the Grimm's version of Cinderella. I told them to fill in a Venn diagram about the two versions while I read. All the kids (both classes) sat utterly entranced. It's fun to read to them (or any kids), because with very few exceptions, they are so willing to just sit and listen. They were pretty grossed out (some delightfully) by all the violence in this one, but still wanted to hear it.

Our Venn diagrams were very well filled in. Lots of details they were able to pick out. The Disney version has a lot of similarities with the Grimm's, but there were way more differences in the Grimm version. I can't say "original version" because there are something like 700 Cinderella-type stories, all around the world and in all kinds of cultures. In fact, the very first recorded Cinderella story was in China in the ninth century. See, you learn something new every day. You're welcome! :)

Class C was only for one period, so we just played with words and stuff, and I gave an impassioned speech about the potential of the students and the excitement of teaching them things they haven't learned yet. Ooh, one girl told me that she used 'narcissistic' in conversation with her sister: "She looked at me all crazy, cause she thought I was retarded {before}. She gave me a hug!" Cool, eh?

It was an easy day. I think the students enjoyed it and they also learned something.

Classes that night were not bad. And we got to leave a bit early, at 9.

Thursday went surprisingly well.

I wanted to review elements of plot, since it's been awhile and I want to get back into the story writing. But instead of me just blathering at the board, I wrote up the triangle with five numbers on it, and told the kids to chat with their tablemates to fill in the elements. Six or seven minutes later, I gave each table an erasable sentence strip and a whiteboard marker, and they wrote one of the terms and its definition. Then we stuck those up on the board on the chart with magnets.

It was group work, they actually cooperated fairly well, and stayed engaged. And of course, who doesn't love getting a special pen and sentence strip?

Then I brought out the creative writing spinners and had some kids spin them. I told them to use those elements as their exposition, and so they needed to come up with the conflict and all the rest.

While all this was going on with Class A, in walked Mr Principal, Ms Supervisor, and a Special Visitor. Ay yi! But they seemed downright delighted at what they saw. Phew!

The day went well. Got restarted on all the fun literature circles again.

After school, I came home and didn't do too much. Read a bit, did some looking around online, didn't even watch too much tv.

Today was not too shabby either. What did I do? Hm. Oh, yeah. Did some discussing (hm, lecturing? no, mini-lesson) on ending a story. Gave them types to use and set them free to finish their group stories.

Now it's Friday!!

Tomorrow I'm volunteering with Hands On New York Day (used to be New York Cares Day). Gotta get up kinda early, but it will be the first volunteering I've done since January, if you can count one hour in a gymnasium. Before that was...May of last year, perhaps? Far too long, in any case. So I'm looking forward to it.

1 comment:

Nancy said...

You'll have fun! I used to do NYCares Day all the time, before I copped an attitude that being a teacher in itself is like NYCares Day, day in and day out. Har har.