Friday, December 1, 2017

Ass...ign...ment


Seventh grade science. Friday before the week-long Thanksgiving break. Their teacher had left them a simple assignment: they were to label all the parts of an animal cell, state what each part's function was, and color in the cell.

Unfortunately, this was not enough work to keep them all busy all period.

(I suspect that many of them rushed through the assignment. They tend to.)

Because this happens frequently, I have a list of things that I tell them to do if they finish early. It includes things like reading a book, getting ahead on homework, studying for upcoming tests, etc. Stuff that older students would automatically just do. But at that age, they haven't yet figured out that extra time is time they can use to get ahead.

After getting the "What do I do if I'm finished?" question and repeating the list several times, I figured it was time to write the list on the board. Not that I wouldn't have to still answer the question, but at least then I could point.

I turned to the board. Opened the dry erase marker. Began to write "Assignment" on the board...

(As long as I was writing things down, I figured I might as well write what they were supposed to finish first.)

I got three letters in when a student called out to me. I turned...

I heard the titters behind me. 7th graders. 12-year-olds.

Um, yeah. That was going to get ugly. I turned back to the board, finished writing "Assign", and turned back to the student. I got about five more questions before I could return to the board and finish writing "Assignment". I got about halfway through the cell page explanation before I got called away again.

It took several tries before I got to "What do I do if I finish early?", and then a few more before I had a full list written. Because 7th graders.

And I was so glad I had that written for later classes as I referred to it frequently. Because even after pointing it out and reading it to them, they still asked what they should do when they finished. Because 7th graders.

18 comments:

  1. Of course! And no surprise three letters would make them chuckle.

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  2. Reading a book.....oh, how I wish someone would tell me to read a book. What a relaxing break that would be!
    Youth is wasted on the y...you know the rest.

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  3. BTW..."titters"...hee, hee, hee.
    Yeah, the junior high school boy still lives in me somewhere down deep.

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  4. My senior needs to be reminded of what she needs to do if she finishes an assignment early!

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  5. I kind of remember that cell diagram from school, but I couldn't do it now without a refresher course.

    When I finished early I had no problem finding something else to do and it was not usually school related. I usually tried to get through school stuff with the minimum effort. Still, I managed to make good grades throughout my school years and the teachers generally liked me. I was a fairly model and non-disruptive student.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  6. Wow. They almost got one by you. (full sarcasm mode there)

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  7. That would drive me crazy being asked so many times lol

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    Replies
    1. This is why I generally front load them with info. And then I growl at them later when someone asks me something I've already answered. Unfortunately, in this case, I hadn't told the whole class.

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  8. YIKES..... I really could not do what you do, I do not have the patience for a job like yours.

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  9. I'm with Pam. ~grin~ It would have driven me nuts just listening to my fellow students ask that question. I would have been halfway through homework from another class. Free evenings for books and music was my constant goal. Be well!

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    Replies
    1. Ah yes, the joys of no homework. Something I was constantly striving for.

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  10. My go to response is to tell them to ask another student because otherwise I will throttle them.

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    Replies
    1. After I've told the whole class, certainly. But when they're left to their own devices, things go horribly awry...

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