So let's see. Today went okay.
We did another period of verbs. This time we worked on verb tense. I made a little chart with infinitive on the top, and below it in sort of a timeline, from left to right: past participle, past, present future. I wrote sentence prompts to help them connect: This year so far, I have...; Yesterday, I...; Today, I... or Every day, I...; and Tomorrow, I will....
Then we practiced with a couple verbs, at least one regular (to play) and one irregular (to eat). I prompted them to complete the sentences. They seemed to have the toughest time with present tense and conjugating using third person singular (he/she). Grr!
Then we went to the grammar textbooks for some individual practice. (Do you know, they all went straight to work? For all the times I get irritated at some chatter or noise, nearly every single child at least attempts to work. I do like and appreciate that.) The first exercise involved writing the underlined verb and identifying its tense. Then we went over it quickly, all together, and I think nearly all the kids got them all correct. Next was putting a verb into a specific tense. That was tougher for some of them; I went around and prompting them to look at our notes and chart to figure out what the future tense always has, or whatever.
Then, because I never do reading workshop, because I am a terrible teacher, we briefly mentioned elements of fiction, and I said that today they would be reading and analyzing character. I gave them a graphic organizer (four square)(a fellow teacher came up with this, and I really like it): in the middle was the main character's name; top left was physical traits (no one knew what that meant!!!); top right was personality traits (I pulled out my character trait chart and we discussed how we all have them, many of them, and our behavior or actions 'prove' them); bottom left was friends and family (describe one of each with one physical and one personality trait); bottom right was that character's secret, problem, or conflict (we reviewed some of Harry Potter's problems).
So then they were to begin reading and filling in their organizers about their book's main character. It went only so-so. Serious problems with following the directions of the thing! I'll have to read a short story to them and model filling it in. I thought about doing that today, but it would take too damn long.
Tomorrow they will begin with a quick exercise to review what they've learned about verbs so far, but nothing new. We'll do helping verbs and linking verbs next week, I guess. Then we'll do some more character stuff for reading. For writing, they will work on a fable packet that I found on abcteach. It's got three fables, and then six pages of Bloom's taxonomy/increasing questions, including vocabulary/context clues. Sweet!
I stayed after school to get my bulletin board up. Normally I work on that stuff at lunch, but this week, like I mentioned, I've got library stuff going on, not to mention the book room.
Once that was all up, I decided to correct the homework, since it was about verbs. They were supposed to write about their day and underline the verbs. It was bad, very bad. We'll have to redistribute and revise them; I think their comprehension level has already increased a little.
So that took until 4.45! Holy cow.
Now it's seven pm, and I'm watching recorded episodes of Designing Women. Julia Sugarbaker is my heroine, with her fabulous accent and articulate temper.