Friday, September 23, 2011

Haiku Vocabulary

Mission: to learn a bunch of new words

Secret mission: to make it kinda fun

Method: write a haiku describing the vocab word without using the vocab word. Write your name and the word on the back.

Who is Chuck Norris?* [on the back: VIRILE: adj]
Big, buff, hairy chest--look out!
What a manly man!

The next day, all the kids put their haiku on the desks. Have the kids circulate, trying to guess the vocab word before flipping the paper over to confirm their guesses. Heck yeah, it's kinda fun, because 8th graders are hilarious. The kids see the same word three or four times, but each time it's framed in a new way. Painless studying! Bonus points for the teacher if she plays some ragtime as background music.

(*actual vocab haiku written today by one of my new Seminar kids, J.)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

"On Top..."

Soooo my study skills class....the people who'd run it last year smiled at my enthusiasm. And maybe my tail was pretty bushy and my eyes a bit bright.

After a goal setting, getting acquainted, power-outaged first week and a nebulous homework-wrestling second week, things are just now starting to have a shape. As I went over to J. to see how he was doing, his grin echoed his words: "Hey Miss M, I have all my work done!"

Beaming back, I said, "Is it just me or do you seem to have it all together? You on a roll or something?"

And sincerely his eyes widened, his expressive hands went up, and he confided: "This is the first year that I've been on top of things. I hope I can stay there."

Me, too, J.: It's my job, my goal, my passion.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday's 9/11 Remembrance

One thousand students
In the morning sun, quiet,
Respectful: I'm warmed.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Mullets and Music: Teachers as Illuminators

The Best Principal in the Galaxy sent this link of Dr. Jeff Goldstein to her teachers today: click here

I'm thinking about the metaphor of teachers as light. Some students have dark home lives, dark thoughts; some think their future is dark. The photo is of Helen Keller and her awesome teacher, Annie Sullivan, who became Helen's eyes. Well, I, too, am in the enlightenment business! I want to let my light shine. How I pray that this is The Year for my students, if they haven't already experienced one, The Year their eyes open wide, a year of social, emotional, and intellectual delight: oh, let there be LIGHT!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

sometimes it's the little things

It's an unlooked for September miracle: the old new* TP dispensers were replaced with new new ones--lo, two-ply TP!! And the angels sing.

*I have no idea how this was funded--the replaced dispensers were only around a few years--hence my use of this oxymoronic phrase.