Monday, September 17, 2007

Back to School - 9/27/07

Back to school!

Today was a bit of a whirlwind – got back in to town after being gone on tour for the better part of two months around 11am. Went home, dealt with mail, banking, and other random stuff, then headed straight up to school for our first day. Not the most ideal situation, but it worked! I was really happy to see my former 5th graders/now 6th graders – they’re a really cool group, I like working with them a lot and am excited about this year. I also had a group of 5th graders – all of whom I had pretty much never had, and a 1st/2nd grade mix, some of whom I taught last year when they were in Kindergarten. I like the continuation of being an after school teacher – in some cases, you get to work with the same students for years and years. I try to develop my curriculum with that in mind, setting it up knowing that some kids may have had you before and can build on what you already did, while others will be coming in new, and try to make it so that it will be equally engaging for both.

Today we got started with introductions, and I told them it was going to be an opposite first day – rather than me tell them all they had to learn, they were going to tell me all that they knew and all that they wanted to know. It went over really well – they got to work in big groups writing and drawing on the big scrolls of paper – something that is universally exciting, apparently – and came up with some really cool stuff. It took them awhile to grasp what I meant by ‘list what you know’, but once I got them started with my own stuff – brush my teeth, water makes plants grow, make my sister mad – they realized what I meant and took off.

Student work, 'what I want to learn' project

They surprised me with the ‘what do I want to know’ project – I expected them to stay somewhat reserved in their goals and expectations, but they took to it full force, listing everything from ‘spell better’ to ‘astrology’ to ‘be a lawyer’, ‘skydive’, ‘make money’ and of course ‘drive fast’.

What I Want to Learn project

Have a lot of work ahead of me – working to hire interns and a co-teacher, plus still have two tours going – but am excited about this year.

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