Thursday, November 10, 2016

What Number Am I?


8th grade English. They were reading an article debating whether or not school should start later in the day.

Reading something together as a class has some special concerns for a sub. Since I don't know the kiddos, it's hard for me to pick readers. I prefer a randomizing agent of some sort.

Some teachers leave cards with student names. This day I was out of luck, however. But I did have a class roster with numbers.

After the first kiddo (a volunteer) read, I said, "Pick a number between one and thirty-six".

He did. I found the number on the roster and read out that name. (While I could have them pick a student on their own, this can become problematic depending on the day. These classes were a bit wound up, so I didn't want to add in that excitement.) A couple times students picked numbers of absent students. Then I'd just go one up or down.

I thought my system was rather transparent. Apparently not.

When one reader finished a paragraph, the rest of the class started calling out numbers. The reader would pick one. And invariably, the reader picked would be surprised. As were the students calling out numbers.

"But I'm 21..."

The boy pointed to the number etched into his desk. I hadn't realized the seats were numbered. But no, I wasn't going by seating chart.

Even after this, they still shouted out numbers. Ah, 8th graders.

21 comments:

  1. Students always find ways to make life interesting!

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  2. When I was in elementary school, the teacher would have us put our name and roster number on our homework. So, having a last name toward the middle of the alphabet in 20 or so person class, I'd frequently end up with something like 9 or 11 or so. In other words, I can see how going by numbers wouldn't necessarily be random to the students. Maybe next time you could have them all write their names (or numbers, in that case) on a sheet of paper, collect them, and have them draw those names/numbers from a bag? Or you could use a randomizer like one they do for blog giveaways? ;) If you have access to the internet, that is. Idk. Just a few ideas for next time, if you need them/want them. :)

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    1. Some teachers do that, and in that case, they would know their number.

      The issue with the randomizing is all of that takes time. And that's time that they use to go crazy when they're already wound up due to having a sub. (When they're not wound up, popcorn or finding volunteers is much easier.)

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  3. I say if that works for you, great! Knowing how I was when I was a kid, I would have been slightly confused.

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    1. Yup, that's what it was. Confusion. On top of the problems with reading with that group.

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  4. I think you found an interesting way to involve the students in the learning process. Good for you!!

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    1. Having students pick the next reader is an old technique. I can't take credit for it.

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  5. lol at least you kept them on their toes ;)

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    Replies
    1. Which was the point of the randomization.

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  6. That sounds like a fair way to do things. Of course it won't occur to eighth graders that you have a different numbering system.

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  7. I remember when I was in the 5th grade, the teacher used cards with our names on it to call people to read, answer questions, etc. Some of us "smart" kids made cards with all our classmates names and put them in order of how the names were called out so when we knew it would be our turn, etc. She must have gotten wise or just did it out of habit, but every so often she would shuffle the cards so we would be out of order until we reordered our cards, LOL :)

    Whatever system works, I say work it!

    betty

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  8. I think relief teachers provide an extra challenge for students to investigate and evaluate how best to annoy us. Somehow it enhances their education but inevitably sends us to the funny farm.

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    1. Oh yes, that's so true. Luckily, for the most part I've seen it all, and it rarely gets to me. Well, most of the time.

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  9. I second Alex, at least they were enthusiastic! Reading out loud was something I tried to avoid in class. Never been a fan of public speaking.

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  10. Always nervous about making every kid read. I hated it. So sitting there waiting for my number to come up would have kept me quiet....good plan.

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    1. Yeah, it's hard to know who's going to balk and who's going to jump right in. If I randomize, I'm not picking on anyone.

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  11. Replies
    1. Fair-ish. No system is ever completely fair.

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