Saturday, October 18, 2014

Two funny stories from the classroom...

I am trying my best to really enjoy my students this year. It has been very engaging and busy in my classroom ( and my life) so forgive the long lapse in posts.

Here are two funny things that happened this week.

Grade 6 students were working on a skit assessment. Given 8 vocabulary words from the prehistory unit.. things like Paleolithic Era, hunter- gatherer, tools, distribute, hominids... etc.. groups of students were asked to create a short skit to demonstrate what scientists guess life might have been like in that time. The " narrator" of the group will tell the story since language skills were limited for these early humans.

Now this activity gives me a chance to see students work together and organize a task. It lets me hear their conversations about the vocabulary and how they are using it. It also provides an outlet for those  who like the "the spotlight" and this job especially with grunting and hunting is appealing to 11 year old boys.

But as you can imagine it is possible for beginning of the year sixth graders to struggle with this task.

During a particularly long scene where the "buffalo" complete with a taped sign saying "buffalo" was wondering around the front of the classroom, and some hominids were using tools (crushed paper to represent rocks and pencils with erasers taped at ends as spears) to hunt their prey, and the buffalo was experiencing a particularly long slow death.  I THOUGHT in my head really loudly "This is painful" ... but judging from the two "gatherers" who were plucking " berries " that had been taped to the whiteboard... I had actually said this OUT LOUD.

The girls giggled as I said " oh my gosh, did I say that out loud ?" and they said .. we think it is painful too!. Just a side note the following two groups' skits were actually excellent and just maybe we all understood how tough it was for early man.

The next incident was during my grade 5 students reading of a Time for Kids feature.  The story was about an 11 year old girl from Mexico City and her typical day. In the article the girl stated " Because we sometimes run late, my mom was doing my hair while I ate my breakfast" . I had asked students to comment, question or make connections and a 5th grade boy brought that up as an interesting part of the article. Since I figured he may not have much experience with mom "doing his hair" I wanted to make sure he didn't think she was getting it washed or anything. so I said .

"What do you think that sentence means ?"

He drily proclaimed.... "It means, she is definitely getting hair in her food and that is disgusting."

These are just a few tid bits from this week. A few weeks back I had to also regretfully redirect a student from listing " Chris Christie" as a "dictator" when we were trying to brainstorm government leadership examples and categories. However I may feel personally about his treatment of New Jersey teachers, he probably doesn't belong on the same list as Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein!

So, new administrators in our district, and no movement professionally for me on the horizon means I get to keep plugging away and exploring with new strategies. My new commute is a bit insane but so far so good .  More posts sooner than later I hope !

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