Celebrating Student Voice
After two days of state testing in Language, I explained to my #Crazy8s (8th graders taking 9th grade English) that we would be starting a personal narrative unit.
At 13 they are sick and tired of personal narratives.
I get it, but now what?
I know they are right. It's the go-to writing piece for everyone. I hate being lazy. My excuse is that I wanted to plan a new unit for them and doing something familiar would make that easier for me.
Shame on me.
Truth is. These are REALLY smart kids. Smarter than most I've had in advanced classes before and I'm struggling to challenge them, yet keep things fun.
So this weekend, our last at the lake, I am scrambling for new ideas. (Any ideas appreciated)
But I'm still celebrating. The fact that 13 year olds speak up and let me know this is not an engaging lesson is GOOD. It's their education. They should speak up.
So I'll keep thinking.
This week has also been demonstration speech week. And if you've read my blog before you know I love this week. I've written about it before (although I can't find the posts right now).
As always, I learn a lot about students (and sometimes other staff members!)
Lots of drawing lessons and braiding lessons and gaming lessons
But I've also learned about the care and feeding of Royal Pythons (UGH!)
How to make a weed wacker bike. This was an amazing project done by this kid (Totally Unacceptable). He had to repeat my class and we still have issues, but as the para in my class said, "Why don't we have class like this for kids like this?"
Yea, why don't we?
But the biggest celebration this week is for A. A tall thin young man, who seldom speaks above a whisper. He has a para who goes to every class with him. Speech class is his nightmare, his hell on earth. But it's required for graduation and we're doing our best to get him through the class. He has been doing his speeches just for me, out in the hall. Friday morning he came during his study hall to do his demonstration speech for me. He made a homemade lava lamp (pretty cool. He let me keep it in my room). At the end of his class later in the day, he put an Alka-Seltzer tablet in the bottle and showed a couple of kids how it worked. Others noticed and liked his lamp.
It was a small, but important step for him. And we celebrated!
And how was your week?