Students will be able to identify steps to write a short answer response – A.P.E.
A: Answer the question
P: Prove (“because…”)
E: Explain your proof with evidence
Thanksgiving week is basically a wash for both teachers and students; everyone is desperately awaiting the break. We still go a half-day on Wednesday, but most people aren’t going to be there, either physically or mentally, and teachers don’t want to start anything new that will promptly be forgotten over the first long weekend we’ve had since Labor Day. Ergo, planning today was…well…virtually nonexistent. I actually gave my students two assignments that I had not actually read all the way through before doing them.
The first was an excerpt from the play Anne of Green Gables and the second was a Kurt Vonnegut short story I picked because it was in the interactive reader and didn’t involve making copies. It wasn’t until kids started asking me about the short answer response to the Anne piece that I bothered to skim it so I wouldn’t give them bad information. It was a bit embarrassing. When some finished the short story early, I’d ask them what they thought – without any real ability to respond. When they asked, “Are all his books like this?” I answered, “Yes,” assuming Vonnegut would be very bizarre to my tenth graders no matter what I had them read. This is when my students’ habit of imprecision was helpful to me: when they asked, “Did he have to do that?” I answered, “Yes.” Who “he” or “that” is was not specified, so even if I told them wrong I could say it’s because they weren’t specific enough and I misunderstood their question. Did my teachers pull stuff like this on me all the time and I was just too stupid to realize it?
Teachers across the school are unapologetically letting their kids play games or watch movies because…well, it’s not like anything meaningful would get accomplished either way. I already made my kids turn in two assignments for grading today – “Your class is so hard, Mrs. H!” Better call the waaaambulance, kiddos. While I won’t be putting a ton of energy into teaching something new, we will not be sitting back on our haunches watching the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special. Probably because my kiddos don’t know what it means to sit back on their haunches, because they don’t know what haunches are. Hint: you won’t learn it from Charlie Brown.
Tomorrow is as yet unknown…I may capitulate to the movie craze and have my kids watch Star Wars. NONE of them has seen it. It’s a travesty. Last week I tried to make a SW reference when we looked at the state’s rubric for grading their standardized test essay. The rubric kept making reference to “command” of language, so I confessed my secret (totally made up on the spot) dream about wanting to be Han Solo and command the Millennium Falcon. They should also want to be Han Solo. They could have “poor” command of language, and settle for being C3PO, who I wouldn’t ever put in command of the ship. They could earn a “2” and be Luke, allowed into the control room but really only able to push a few buttons, as he has only “adequate” command of the ship. If they have “sufficient” command of language, they are Chewbacca, a co-pilot, and earn a 3 on their essays. What they really want is “complete command”, and rock the Han Solo with a 4. I thought this was a cool analogy for a very dry academic lesson, but after telling this whole story…they’re like…”Star Wars like on Family Guy?” OMG. THIS is our future??!
|Pumpkins, straw, Star Wars. Which one is not like the other?
Quote from my husband after previewing this post: “I weep.”