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March 11, 2015 / sharoncopy

DAY 90 and Day 3 of extension

Yesterday Kyle wouldn’t write anything. He sulked and said he couldn’t do it. Today he started out that way. I did what I had done with David Bratcher when he was in 3rd grade – I took him to my desk and prodded him to dictate and I did the writing on his choice of topic (Minecraft) with purple pen. After half a page, he accepted the pen and wrote a whole paragraph himself. “I don’t know how to write,” he says.

“That’s why I’m teaching you,” I said.

All of the kids were very excited about the library books and some were surprised to learn that there were books on subjects such as The Detroit Lions. That’s a success story in itself – get them off the computer and into a library sometime. They asked to see the books during their silent reading time. Many wrote more than a page of notes. I returned to the library to get more books for kids who had returned after being absent. One wisecracker seemed surprised that I said he had to use at least one resource that he could quote in his story – couldn’t just write it all from the top of his head. He said, “Isn’t that called plagiarism?”  I explained. I was surprised that he knew the word.

Now, the challenge is going to be: how to work with 26 kids to take their information and weave it into a coherent story and then fix all the grammatical and punctuation and spelling errors. I may end up typing them all myself – I’m not certain whether they can type or if there’s a printer there – have to check on that. I’m pretty excited to be teaching them to write, also. I’ve worked with other reluctant writers. 🙂

Miss Karen talked with them at length about classroom behavior problems. I talked about the rampant breaking of pencils and crayons and started picking up every pencil on the floor, saying, “Respect the pencil!” The best aspect of the day was that Charlie and another difficult child were not there. But I think we are getting a better handle on working together to lower the number of challenges – outbursts and arguments being the worst of them.

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