Monday, April 27, 2009

NASA Time Travels

It's hard to get students to settle down when they enter the classroom. Questions like, "How many number one hits does Miley Cyrus have right now?" and "Who found hair in their hot lunch?" flood the airspace. English isn't always the most exciting subject, aka it's not science and they do not get to make exploding volcanoes to learn about adverbs, and getting them to be quiet can be tricky. I have found the solution to this problem, and it has to do with candy.

Everyday, the students come into my classroom looking for the trivia question I have written on the board. Sometimes they have something to do with the English language, and sometimes they have nothing to do with it.


English- What organ in your body stores food, and is also a part of speech? (your colon)

Nonsense-What country is Rihanna from? (Barbados)

If a student can answer it correctly, they get a piece of candy. Lucky!!!!!!!!

Today, my question took us out of this world in the sense that it was about space. Usually kids try really hard to answer these questions because if you answer it correctly, you win. This did not happen today.


Who was the first woman to travel in space?


Harriet Tubman

(this is incorrect, so do not take notes on this section)

My Comment: " I didn't know the Underground Railroad used time travel as their mode of transportation."


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Pungent Abbreviations

Assignment: Teach the rest of the sixth grade class about abbreviations. Give them some examples so they can become more familiar with the topic. 

No where in the directions did it say they must teach the class about abbreviations that would be specific to their age group. However, one group went above what I asked for by including this in their presentation.

Picture 25 middle schoolers, right back from gym, learning about abbreviations. The example written in the biggest and brightest writing is: B.O.

We all know what that means, but it is confusing when the full term is written: Body ORDER.

Hmm, I guess they are trying to master two things at this age: Spelling and Smelling.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Group Project/Group Prayer

When teachers assign group projects, they put themselves at risk. There is the risk that students won't be able to work well with one another. There is the risk that markers will be launched across the room during work time. There is the risk that students are more interested in entertaining the opposite sex than making a skit about adjectives.

The biggest risk is that students will finish early; finish early and have lots and lots of time on their hands. Time to do what? Time to fling rubber-bands at one another, time to gossip about the Jonas Brothers, time to harass every other person in the classroom. Welcome to the life of teaching middle schoolers. 

So, in order to combat the risk of students reaching the point of having 'extra time', I decided to talk with them before the last class day to work on their projects. We talked about what steps should go into the project, how detailed their skits and songs should be, what their class activities should be like etc. I then asked the students what they thought they should be doing if they had extra time. I was looking for them to say work on something for another class, read or practice their skits. Something along those lines. 

The answered I received?


Sixth graders can be so holy and yet, so off task.