Friday, December 3, 2010

Examining the Clues

The week after vacation can often seem kind of long, but this one wasn't too bad. My students are finishing up their Letters about Literature, revising science fair intros, and preparing entries for the four writing contests that are going on this month in our school, district, and local area. My class has seemed very workshop-like as students work through the writing process at various paces on different pieces, and I've enjoyed it.

Twice this week they have shown me again how, collectively, they are very different than the classes of the last couple of years by the way they have responded to lessons I've used in the past. For one, there seem fewer children in this group who are able to cognitively make the connections necessary to write any really successful letters to authors explaining how their books changed these kids' perspectives in some way. Then today, I gave them a quick activity where they read a mini-mystery and try to work out who the culprit might be, and oh my golly, they loved it! There was 100% completion. "You should make all of our assignments like this," one student told me.

I can't really blame them-- I like a good mystery, too. I've been teaching long enough to realize that the same activities don't always go the same way from year to year, or even class to class, but these swings this year seem wider than usual, and I've also been teaching long enough to know that understanding why will help me better meet the learning needs of my students, and so I'm on the case.

No comments:

Post a Comment