Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Skill of the Week: Making Predictions

Despite claims from a few students that they planned to be “wiling out” after the standardized test, the first few days of actual instruction have gone relatively well. I could have sung and danced when, on Monday, my class begged to do independent reading and then flipped pages in total silence until I forced them, thirty minutes later, to move on to writing.

Granted, the only books they want to read are about graphic sex and violence – a fact we discussed two weeks ago when we read a New York Times editorial about the ghetto-ization (in every sense) of African American Literature. But if my kids reading books like True to the Game and Homo-Thug mean that my classroom is silent and people are begging for reading time, then I’m willing to use that to build them up to bigger and better reading choices.

This week, we are reading – gasp – novels! My eighth graders are reading the book Speak. It’s about a high school outcast who finds her voice. I felt like a real Humanities teacher today when I tied the main character’s isolation into our Isolationism vs. Imperialism debate in Social Studies. This is what English/Social Studies/Getting Ready for High School class is supposed to be like.

My seventh graders are reading My Brother Sam is Dead and talking about the Revolutionary War – a more explicitly interdisciplinary choice that will tie directly into their Social Studies curriculum. They are making predictions about what will happen next. Most of them are pretty sure that Sam is going to die.

My Prediction: Math Test Prep!
Always another test around the corner. Two days next week are devoted to Math practice tests, and I’ll start helping out in a Math afterschool test-prep class next Tuesday. Always something to look forward to.

5 Comments:

Blogger Dan Morehead said...

Math aside, that sounds great. Happy for you.

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Blogger Dan-O-Mite said...

Great blog. I'm considering the fellowship, and it's nice to have such a great narrative to read to help me make my choice. It's obvious you're good at what you do, and that you care so much about a greater good. Keep it up.

9:47 AM  
Blogger Dan-O-Mite said...

Great blog. Thanks for the instructive reading. It's obvious that you're good at what you do, and that you really care about your students. Thanks for considering the greater good. Keep it up.

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