Tuesday, February 01, 2005

live report from...richard where are you reporting from?...okay austria...

I experienced (aka sat through) another professional development yesterday. Yawn. I say yawn because we discussed taks again for the third prof. dev. in a row. We get it. The kids need to take TAKS seriously. That's why I'm going to offer a joint to every kid who passes TAKS. I think this will be the best incentive yet. But the point of this blog was to rant about my lesson today because I'm narcisistic and I rock. *

So we're running behind in the schedule of "where we should be to prepare for TAKS" and I decided to throw two small sections into one. The task was simple: I give a group of four students a prompt addressing a question, complete with the page number to look up the answers, and they manipulate the information into a CNN news report, a poem, a rap, or song. Something where they can teach the class and be creative.

While the smart slacker kids were instantly bored (skits are sooo juevenile, not that they made them creative or funny but sat around and complained), the rest of the class struggled. I mean, they struggled. I had to model how to write dialogue for them. We engaged in discussions of what a reporter might say in his breaking news report. They wanted to write a rap but couldn't think of words that rhyme with Congress or Vienna. I'm like, people, pick another word! Like meeting. Or plan. Or date. Ultimately the lesson worked but it took all freaking period. At the end of the day I find myself at the usual cross roads: I love group work but I don't have the time to do it. I'm on a strict schedule (it's called teaching to the test) and my kids have no reading and writing skills.

What's a teacher to do?

*please do not report me to the homeland security or dep. of education. i'm not really going to give my kids joints. even though they offer to sell me drugs all of the time.


Blogger Pigs said...

While your group work sounds Teacher of the Year worthy, your incentive plan would probably be much more effective. I'm still getting arguments over at my blog to my proposed teacher incentive plan. Seems people don't understand it. Hmm.

4:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always hated hated hated assigning group work for so many reasons. I never thought to offer the kids joints. I think that would have turned my teaching career around. I do have one piece of good news for you. In Virginia the state tests are called SOLs. . . I can't help but wonder at the poor soul who thought that was a good name for a test. I was so confused when I kept walking into classrooms (I'm a sub, used to teach English in Oregon) and they'd have a big sign that said SOL with a number by it. Apparently all the teachers have to tell the kids what SOL they are covering with each lesson.

Carrie (www.queenoframbles.com)

7:06 AM  

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