Thursday, December 1, 2016
Knitting in Class
11th grade English. 6th period. I'd been warned that they might be difficult...
(6th periods are strange classes. They're either the worst period of the day or they're odd. There's something about having been in school all day that makes them a bit punchy. And, all the athletes have their sport's class then. So, for some reason, that's when most of them let their freak flag fly.)
The assignment was to finish reading "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker. (The link goes to the actual story online. Worth a read if you haven't read it before.
Now, I say they were to finish reading it, but when I questioned them on what happened the prior day (with a different sub), no one could tell me what had happened. And since the next day they had a quiz over this story (and several others), I figured we'd better go back and understand the thing.
But, 6th period. Having them read aloud (which presumably they did do already)...
I made the executive decision to read the part of the story to them that they were supposed to have already read.
They were actually happy with this idea. And let me read without talking over me. Score!
I noticed out of the corner of my eye that one girl pulled out her knitting. As someone who knits while watching TV, I had no issue with this. I figured she could pay attention just as well.
I finished the page or so they should have read. Then we went on, and I called on readers. (I had index cards, so I could randomly select.)
A couple students heckled the girl. Knitting in class? She wasn't paying attention...
So, naturally, hers was the second card I picked. And you know what? She found her place and read better than some who were supposedly following along. (Well, there were several heads down on desks, so not really following along.)
Her turn over, she went back to her knitting. (She ended up ripping it all out. She didn't like the feel of the yarn.)
I need more knitters in class. Although, most of the time they have actual work to do, so they can't really knit...