Thursday, August 18, 2016

This Never Works


For this week's #ThrowbackThursday repost, I thought I'd go back and find post #1000. On Monday I hit post #1900. Knowing how I miss these milestones, I figured post #1000 wouldn't be anything special. I was right. And for the record, this was originally posted on October 18, 2012

Either the 8th graders have changed or I have. I'm not sure which.

It was an 8th grade English class. The assignment was to read a short story out of their workbooks.

I like the way that the textbooks do this. It isn't just a story with questions at the end. There are questions that go along the margin of each page, and the students are required to circle things, underline things, and generally interpret the story as they read it. It seems more interactive.

The assignment was of the do-it-on-your-own variety. I explained the assignment to them. I went over how they were to look at the questions as they did the reading. And then I gave this instruction:

"I know I've never been able to talk and read at the same time, so I expect that you will all be working quietly on this assignment."

And they did!

This never works. Yet, this time it did.

Like I said, either they've changed or somehow I've managed to figure out how to get them to work silently. Or they're really scared of their teacher. I think I'll go with option 3.

I just lucked out with them, I think. I use that particular instruction a lot. It works sometimes. Sometimes it doesn't.

18 comments:

  1. Instilling fear helps with things like this. :-) I really like to read that students are still interacting with the written word. I love marginalia and all my books have scribbled notes. I feel I'm partnering with the author that way.

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    1. This is something that is more prevalent now. All English classes annotate articles now. It's a requirement. They're taught to circle things, write down questions, and mark up the text like crazy.

      It's a fairly new things, so the kiddos still resist a bit. In a couple years, it'll be the norm.

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  2. I think it sounds like a fun assignment myself :) Maybe they really enjoy doing these types of ones and that's why they stayed on target?

    betty

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  3. Hope it continues to work for the other classes lol!

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    1. It works sometimes. Some classes just won't go it, but those are classes that were going to be issues anyway.

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  4. Aww! So I think the answer is: you've changed. You've gotten more pessimistic over the years. lol. Maybe they would respond to that instruction better if you said it more positively (!!) and really believed that they would be quiet while reading?! … Well, I can dream, right? ;)

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    1. Well, there was a time when I couldn't get silence at all, so improvement.

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  5. I love your remark! I can't talk and read either!!!

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    1. I've had students argue this point. Usually, the argument falls apart pretty quickly, though.

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  6. How appropriate that your 1000th post is the one where the kids somehow behaved. I wonder what 2000 will be.

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  7. I'm not a teacher, but I could see where various personality types would enjoy the constant movement, and interaction. I find I absorb things better from an online course (I take them as part of my job) when I take notes. I don't refer to the notes that much. It's the process of writing them that helps me. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

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    1. Some classes do have more interactive assignments. And it's good to change things up.

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  8. Silent 8th graders? Were you visiting The Twilight Zone?

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  9. I can attest that being a teacher involves a lot of spontaneous moments of trying something randomly and discovering a new method that sometimes works :)

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  10. LOL at their teacher. I like the sounds of the textbook they have.

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