Wednesday, September 30, 2009

In need of a title

Seriously, I have no clue what to title this one. Yea, anyway my observation went pretty well and the classes' personalities are starting to become crystal clear. And I also need to get them to read more nonfiction text which they will be doing in the next couple of weeks once I get the lesson planning done for them. Oh and I have to come up with emergency sub plans as well. I have two days done and Karlana was nice enough to send me some of hers. Stop by her blog when you get the chance, she writes on a plethora of different subjects and does it well.

1st period is your typical class, some kids who should be in honors and some who couldn't care any less about passing not to mention a few who cannot show up on time, ever. Academically they're doing OK but not great. I don't really have any meatballs though so it's a pretty good class to start with.

2nd period is my Excedrin class in spades, it already had more than it's share of chuckleheads and then they added 10 more students for a grand total of 41 kids. I am now on seating chart #4 and we've been in school for 5 or 6 weeks. Whereas 1st period is going to do group work, 2nd period isn't because they could not stay quiet for independent reading. And surprise, their grades as a class suck eggs. Rotten eggs. Looks like the Siberia seats will get some use from them tomorrow.

My honors class is what you would expect of honors students, bright kids who talk fast and work harder. Today they began their mystery box assignment and tomorrow when they finish "The Most Dangerous Game" they'll start "She Unnames Them" and then it's off to short story literacy groups. That's where a group will pick a story to read then fill out the elements worksheet and then will start creating power point presentations to teach the rest of the class about the story they read. I just hope all the freedom I am going to give them does not come back to bite me in the gradebook so to speak. I am also going to have them read some nonfiction work.

5th period is like 3rd period except they are a regular class but I only have 2 kids who are failing and their class grade is right there with the honors kids. They'll be doing lots of group work as well I think. I may just give them the same (or similar) work as the honors and see what happens. I am going to loosen the leash on them as well and see how they do. Library, here we come! Pray for the librarian if you can though!

6th period is between 5th and 1st. I think if I had them at a different point of the day they would really shine but it's the last class of the day and they are kinda done with school at that point but I have some GREAT kids that day. Their grades are pretty good as well.

What I really want is to have a class where there are no F's and few D's and with my honors kids and with 5th period I just may get my wish as I have only a couple of kids who are failing in either class.

I also need to mention that one of the nonfiction texts my students are going to read is by Mary Baker who wrote a very compelling article about why she no longer considers herself an African American. My honors and 5th period will read that one, discuss and write about it and my other three classes will read a shorter piece by Teddy Roosevelt talking about what it means to be an American without the hyphen. Credit goes to Saberpoint for posting it in all it's un-hypenated glory. It's shorter than the Mary Baker piece but has the same message about the importance of simply being an American regardless of where you immigrated to this country from. It's a message some of these kids sorely need to learn.

Speaking of Teddy, here is my favorite quote of his. Feel free to mention it next time you get called an '-ist' for criticizing the President...

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."