Friday, April 13, 2007

Real Teaching Today

Today was slightly better than the last two days.

The poetry lesson that I did with my first graders went much better with the kindergartners today. Just like yesterday I read the kids three poems about rain. This time we made a web about all of the things that they think about when I say rain BEFORE we read the poems. The kids touched on pretty much all of the things that the poets did. This got them ready to imagine what they were hearing in the poetry. Then, I had them write their own poems about rain (which I didn't do with the first graders).

For K and 1 we have "poetry paper" which is paper with lines centered on the page that are only about a third of the width of the paper. The students wrote their poems on these lines. Although my kindergartners don't understand the rhythms and line breaks in poetry yet, their writing sounds like poetry because they don't always write in complete thoughts anyway. The lines force them to write with line breaks so it looks like poetry too.

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The last two periods of they day I had a coverage of fifth grade. I've covered them before and they can be quite a handful. Today I went in armed with a plan. I gave each student a post-it to earn tally marks for a treat at the end of the period. This worked well for me as I've always struggled with behavior management on coverages. As for the lesson, I did a poetry lesson that I've done both this year and last year with various grades. First we read a poem called "Winter Eyes" that looks at winter through the senses. (I Do) Then, we brainstormed our own ideas for looking at winter through each of the five senses. Next, we re-write the poem about winter using the first two lines of each stanza and changing the last two. (We Do) Finally, the students choose a season other then winter and make a graphic organizer and then write their own poem in the same style of the poet. (You Do). The kids did really well on the assignment and it was fun working with them.

Two full periods of teaching! Too bad I couldn't have spent it with my own students.

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