Thursday, August 20, 2020

Introductions


As we begin a new school year, I thought it appropriate for today's #ThrowbackThursday to revisit the beginning of the school year last year. Which was a different world compared to our beginning this year.

Last year I ended up covering a middle school English class for about the first three weeks. This year I'm continuing with the alternative education center's classes for about two more weeks. This year I get to do a bit more planning ahead, so that'll be nice. Last year I walked in cold, but I had a contingency plan anyway... 

Yesterday I whined about getting stuck with a vacant class. But this wasn't my first rodeo. Even when the sub caller told me it wasn't a vacant class, I prepped for the day as if it was. And that saved my butt.

Because while there was a school-wide activity prepped for the first day, there wasn't one for the second.

I decided to have the kiddos interview each other.

It was a simple activity. I prepped ten questions for them to ask each other. Then I gave them a sentence frame to insert their partner's answers into. Finally, everyone got a chance to read their sentence frames out loud.

The seventh graders did very well. The most popular wish was to ask for more wishes. I was surprised how many students considered Alfredo their favorite food. One student told how his partner had gone to Ohio over the summer. The partner clarified that he had actually gone to Idaho.

The eighth graders...

Yeah. Um. They finished interviewing each other. That was cool.

However, we did not have time for them to read their interview answers. Because, um, yeah, it took that long to get through the interviews.

Did I mention last year how horrible the seventh graders were? I may not have. But let me just say, um, yep, horrible. And this year they're eighth graders.

On the bright side, that means we'll probably go through half as many lessons. And hopefully, the honeymoon period will last until they get a teacher in to cover the class for the rest of the year.

Last year's horrible eighth graders are this year's ninth graders. Oh joy. And they did hire a teacher to take over the class, as I think I mentioned in my posts last year. 

I got a chance to chat with Mr. F much of the year (until we shut down), and he was happy with the group. He managed to get the difficult eighth graders to accomplish something. (He had been hoping to get a middle school placement.) He came in as a long-term sub for the first semester, then he was asked to finish off the year, and then he got offered a full-time contract. (I had told him that the class was essentially vacant, and he proceeded accordingly.) 

14 comments:

  1. I see you’re getting ready for the school year

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    1. We started on Tuesday. Where does the time go?

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  2. Sounds like you've got it covered :)

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    1. I was thinking the exact same thing.

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    2. I did, sort of. But, lesson plans never survive first contact with the students (to borrow a cliche. . .).

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  3. Your students are fortunate to have you. You can think on your feet.

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  4. How did they interview each other virtually? They set up their own Google chat or Zoom? Could you keep track of them?

    Betty

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  5. You guys do start early. Kids are still happy to be off until after Labour Day. Are the 9ths graders now in High School and do you still have to deal with them. Here, kids go to Grade school-Kindergarten to Grade 8. Afterward they pick the high school they wish to go to, at least that is how I know it

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    1. My area of California caved to the midwest. When I was in school, we didn't start until after Labor Day. Up until about two years ago, we were still starting the last week or August. The cave happened about two years ago and we moved to mid August. The arguments for were longer for AP kiddos to study and football season.

      Elementary is K-6. Middle school is 7 & 8. Then high school is 9-12. Although, middle school varies from district to district. Some include grade 6. My district does not.

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  6. Are you still online or have you gone back into the classroom? With covid still having such huge effects around the world, the media aren't reporting the details like they did for the first couple of months.

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  7. It's kind of cool to be able to compare so directly - the many benefits of you so steadfastly detailing things here. When we started last year we had no idea this was where we'd end up!

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    1. I know, right? That's why I was doing the occasional Covid-19 diary post. Because this is kind of my diary, and that way I keep track of it.

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