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March 10, 2015 / sharoncopy

DAY 89 and Day 2 of Extension

Today I started a writing project with the class of 4th grade kids. It went fairly well – they chose a subject that they are interested in and then spent a while writing as much as they knew on the subject – this ranged from one sentence to two pages. I went in the tiny school library and found some books on their subjects and then left work early to go to the Redford Library, where I chose 27 books on the topics of football, dancing, skateboarding, hamsters, WWII, nuclear bombs, soccer, dogs, cheetahs, cats, inventions, Pokemon, and a few other subjects. I failed to find an available book on Minecraft, Skateboarding Video Game (didn’t get the exact title of it), or unicorns, so I will find something online to print off.

Acting like a real teacher, here.

These kids were pretty decent in the morning but in the afternoon, they were loud, disobedient, and difficult. It’s almost not worth trying to teach them anything after about 2 or 2:30 p.m. Hopefully as the week wears on (and today it was wearing), and I get the hang of the schedule, things will improved. I’m not happy with their (lack of) discipline structure, but I will start using what little they do have because there were times when it was totally ridiculous today, for me and the very tired teacher’s aide-gone-co-teacher.

I managed to keep my cool, and I remembered how when Cheryl Bogedain and I taught the 3 year olds we considered that teaching them to be quiet and sit still was a part of the SS lesson – so it is with public school kids who have not yet learned self-discipline. At one point, I sat next to Charlie while Karen taught the Science class and every time he spoke out of turn or used his pencil as a drumstick, I leaned over and said, “Charlie, please stop doing that.” I do think that he was getting tired of it – good! But when I was trying to teach, I couldn’t do that.  I feel very strongly that the kids who ARE paying attention deserve to get their lessons, so I am concentrating on them and if Kyle wants to go sit in the closet and not do anything for 2 hours, that’s the way it’s going to be. We will teach. Some will learn. I just wish we could send a kid to the office and they would keep him there instead of lecturing him and sending him back.

Tomorrow I will arm myself with “Think Sheets” for them to fill out, and send them to the office as frequently as necessary. Charlie won’t be there, at least.  Probably he’s ADHD or something but how am I supposed to teach a class when he constantly consistently interrupts, followed by 4-5 kids telling him to shut up and then having catcalls back and forth across the room?  If you have any wisdom, pass it my way. I told him privately that he was being selfish – not caring whether others had a chance to learn or not. I don’t know if that was right or not. I think Karen is just trying to endure for the next 8 days until the new teacher arrives.

The Science class was a pre-test – this curriculum LOVES to give pre-tests where the kids get a whole lot of stuff that they know very little about and have to fill out pages and pages – and seriously? In my opinion it was a huge waste of time. Just teach them what they need to know.  And what’s the deal with no textbooks – just using printed off sheets for everything? Honestly, give me a workbook anyday, for continuity. You can always adapt it or enhance it.

I’m going to find those printoffs now, and then read part of a book about Montessori that I borrowed from the principal. I hope they have a good chapter about discipline.

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