Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Irony


7th grade English. I ended up covering the class for two days.

On day one, they had a story to read. I decided (for various reasons too numerous to go into) to have them read this story on their own and fill out the story map by themselves. Silently.

Yeah, I knew it was a bad idea. But I insist on silence when kiddos are reading because if they're talking, they're obviously not doing the reading. So, I tried for it anyway. And things went really well with the first group. The second group needed a bit of a push, but then they also worked silently.

Then I had the third group.

The room never got loud, but the kiddos didn't do a very good job at sitting still. Or remaining quiet. I spent much of the period shushing them, to diminishing results.

The next day they had a vocabulary assignment.

I wasn't about to insist on silence. It wasn't that sort of assignment. And I was really dreading having to deal with the third group. Groups one and two did so well the prior day I figured they would work well, but I braced for chaos and mayhem with the third group.

Group one worked silently. And I didn't even ask for it.

Group two... They wouldn't sit still. Well, I don't mind a bit of movement, but I do mind students who won't remain seated. And I didn't mind talking, but they got kind of loud. Boisterous. And not much was getting done in the way of the assignment.

Sigh. I was so not looking forward to the third group.

And then something strange happened. Group three... worked. Not silently, but not loudly, either. They... were pretty good.

Yeah, I wasn't expecting that.

21 comments:

  1. It must be a pleasant surprise to get something you do expect, especially if it is a positive result and not a negative one :)

    betty

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    1. Yes, so nice to get a class behaving better than expected.

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  2. Liz, this story reminds me a bit of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, with a new twist the Sub Teacher and the Three Classes. :D I'm glad to hear that at least one class hit a nice balance with you. ;)

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  3. Sounds like my son. He has a tough time working in silence. But if you add a little noise, he gets things done.

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    1. When a classroom gets really quiet, someone will ask to put on music. Pretty much every time. And if I have access to do so, I will. I know how uncomfortable silence makes most people.

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  4. As long as they were working, that's what matters.
    What's up with kids who don't obey when you say sit and be still? I guess they are just different from when I was in school.

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  5. Times are VERY different. I don't understand kids these days at all! But I am glad that each day you at least got a little cooperation!

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    1. Kids no longer get how to be silent. I think it has to do with all the noise they're inundated with every day.

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  6. It's the little things. =) You really have to count your blessings when you're pleasantly surprised, eh?

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  7. Maybe they were taking turns. On day 1, it was the third group's turn to drive you crazy. Then they had the day off and it was the other group's turn. This way they spread the work around and also do a little more to drive you crazy.

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  8. Looks like Group 3 were the underdogs who came out on top in the end!

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  9. Expect the unexpected when you're dealing the 7th graders. lol

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  10. Ever since I made the decision about being extra strict about them leaving their seats I've found behavior management so much easier. Good on Group 3 for stepping up to the mark.

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    1. Yeah, the roaming is what gets to me. I don't mind the occasional getting up to blow a nose or sharpen a pencil, but at some point it becomes must-go-across-room-to-tell-friend-something, and half the students are milling about.

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  11. As a Drama-ery, there was almost never any silence - maybe Mime. And other staff would visit and wonder about the noise, but I never had any trouble distinguishing between rabble and useful. I never minded the madness of noise at school, but at home I dove into some silence.

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    1. Ah, but a drama class should have more milling about. And the room you're in reflects that. I don't mind a bit of noise normally, but there's a good working volume and just general chit-chat. I can tell the difference.

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