Last week I took over an English class for a teacher who is out on maternity leave. I don't have to figure out lesson plans on my own as all the English classes in each grade are doing the same thing together. This makes lesson planning really easy.
The eleventh graders are getting ready to read The Great Gatsby. The prior sub (who had done his 30 days so could continue no longer--our subbing credential won't allow us to work any longer than 30 days in one class) had started some of the prelim stuff, and as of Monday they were still getting ready to read the book.
Monday's assignment was to watch a video on the Roaring '20s:
Because distance learning and the way kiddos watch videos, I naturally assigned "notes" to go along with the video. And because I detest the listing of facts (which the students half-ass anyway), I decided to create some questions for them.
I made the questions pretty general. They were like, name something that was new in the '20s, name something that started in the '20s that we still have today, etc. I came up with four rather general questions.
But I decided that I wanted the assignment to be worth five points, so I needed another question.
That's when the influence of too many years of blogging kicked in. I realized what the fifth question had to be.
I had them write a random comment.
Most did well with that. Some tried to be cerebral and told me a fact from the video. Some said they liked or did not like the video. Some said something they found to be interesting.
And some didn't answer that question at all. And... I...
I mean, that was the easiest question of all. A gimme point. They wrote something, they got the point.
Yet, of the 10% of students who did not get the full credit for the assignment, it was because of that question.
(And, seriously? Before we started the video, I went over the questions, and I told them number five was a write anything question.)
I may have to assign random comments more frequently. Just because I'm contrary like that.