I had a fun day subbing, today. I can sub and have a cold at the same time. Man, I hate my cough. I have been having such a hard time with it. Fortunately, most of the kids I sub are sick as well.
English was fun. It always is. We focused on writing strategies for the first third of the class. Many kids have a hard time writing. Many just don’t know what to write. Or so they say.
Step one: I had them simply sit still and think about the subject. The subject was “pets.” Easy enough. After sitting there, they started asking questions: “What if I don’t have pets?” “What if I don’t have a pet now, but I had one before? “What if I want a dragon/unicorn/dinosaur?” These were all great questions, so I suggested to them that they could write about any of those questions.
Step two: I had them make a short list, then write. Three or four simple ideas that have to do with pets. The kids had tons of ‘what if’ questions then. My answer was always “what if? Write about that or what ever you want.” They thought about this for a couple of seconds and then just started writing. Every kid in the class wrote for the full fifteen minutes. Most had more than one page of text. Some had up to three.
Step three: I had them talk about it. We then spent five minutes talking about what they wrote in small groups. The class exploded. Everyone was excited. Some pet stories were quite normal stories, but a few were about fanged toe-nails, barking tacos, seven legged snakes and other fantasy creatures. The fanged toe-nail pooped pepperonis. It was so much fun. Everyone broke into giggles through out the discussion.
Emotion is such an important part of learning and I am glad they reacted in such a positive way.
ps. I apologize to everyone wanting a comic. While I can teach with a headache and a cough, I can not draw that way. I hope to have something up tomorrow.