I’ve been at my school now for a few months now. I feel like I have “hang” on how to balance grammar and lit, social studies, follow a system for math, and science… well, science is always a fight. But yeah, I feel like the I have a rhythm with the quizzes and tests and I feel confident / I know how to review with my kids so that they do decently on tests (standard, benchmark, or otherwise). I’m also glad because even though now things are getting tough with social stuff, academic stuff, and you know, just middle school stuff are getting in the way, I think my kids and I click pretty well. I FEEL (and obviously, I’m biased) like even with the punishments I deal out (our school is so merit- / consequence-based.. welcome to Charterland), my kids understand why I do it (because I tell them). and they seem like they get it. One thing I try to consciously do is after something hard, I talk to them individually or as a class and try to end with an encouragement. [/introspection on classroom discipline]
Anyway, I’ve been having students SSR for about 15 minutes after lunch. Yeah yeah, I know there’s no research supporting it. BUT, it honestly gives me a break because lunch time is so short (20 minutes, but realistically about 15 min). BUT, today I decided to switch it up a bit and bring in some creative writing. It’s honestly quite frightening to see how difficult it is for my kids to write since that’s really the essence of college. As I said before, the main school focus is tests since that’s California’s focus. HOWEVER, I’m finding time where I can bring writing and different genres of reading into the mix.
I really wish I could up my vocabulary … ack. So much. But, anyway, right now, just working on writing.
Here’s a cute excerpt.
(Prompt = write about a special place in your room)
On my cozy bed my sister was playing And when I heard something crack it bed to mine. I launched her so hard that it had broken the bottom of my bed. Then I got in an argumend with her. but I did not maked her cry.
This kid has some sophisticated vocabulary (launch, cozy) and can use some more complicated sentence patterns. Capitalization, spelling, grammar. Issues. But a pretty decent narrative for an 8-minute writing piece.
This is my student who is slightly awkward, can do really well, and then also goes weeks without completing homework. Has a sister in special-ed that he has to help… and his parents don’t let him come to tutoring because they can’t pick him up. Although right now, he gets so many detentions (from not doing homework), that he might as well just be in tutoring.