break down? break free? breakfast?
Last week was "Spring Break". We had Thursday and Friday off so I drove home to Minneapolis. My students get big eyes when I tell them I went to Minneapolis for the weekend. To most of them it may as well be an alien planet instead of an eight hour drive.
It was an excellent break. I saw my little brother perform in the famous Passion Play at Holy Name, which was huge and impressively elaborate and well done for a group of over 100 9th graders. Such a different world from the one my students live in.
I also attended Chelsea's birthday cocktail party at their incredibly great apartment in Uptown. It was wonderful to go to a party and mingle with NEW people! Like-- people I've never seen before or talked to before! I love the TFA South Dakota corps, it's a pretty fabulous bunch of people, but I miss meeting new people. Especially new people who aren't teachers :-P
I'm SO ready to be home for the summer. I was ready to just stay home until August in fact.... There's still a lot of work to do and fun to be had here in SoDak this spring however. For example- teaching something for the rest of the year! eep.
Luckily today at school was pretty easy since tons of kids were absent or on an incentive trip and the rest were pretty mellow. I'm not really sure what I'm doing with my classes for the rest of the year. For the next two weeks we're doing a test prep packet to hopefully get them a little more reading for state testing. After testing... I don't know. I'm so far off from my original long term plan that it's pretty useless to me now. My options are-- Read Romeo and Juliet. Read "Absolutely true Diary of a Part Time Indian." Do a poetry unit. Read another short story, then have students pick another novel of their choice to read and have them do some sort of project with it that would demonstrate mastery of literary elements. I'm leaning toward the last option, because kids have been really engaged and doing really well with independent reading the last few weeks and they wrote some great book reviews. I'd rather let them do more of their own reading than try to get them all to read the same thing. They read and work at very different paces.
I think my curriculum next year is going to involve many more projects which can be completed independently or in small groups and can be at different levels for everyone. Whole group instruction just isn't effective here.
I'm scatted and rambling... ciao.