I’m not going to lie–I was nervous my first week. Confident, but nervous. I guess it’s possible to be both in some ways. I mean I was confident that the week would go smoothly, but nervous about getting papers mixed up (so much paper the first week), names mixed up, locations mixed up. I was confident about the big picture…nervous about the details. That hasn’t really changed in the second week.
There are students in my classes who I can instantly name…there are others whose names still elude me, even when they are simple as an Emma or a Katie…even when they are much harder names than those. It bothers me that I can’t remember because I’m pretty big on names–remembering them and using them. We’ve done the getting to know you stuff, and I hope that’s made everyone semi-comfortable with English class, but I know names are the next step.
So far, I’ve been writing with my students. Everything they’ve done, I’ve done along-side them. I’m not sure if I can keep that up, but I hope I can…or at least I’m going to try my best to continue that. I don’t want the class to be a “you write, I correct” type of class. I want it to be a writer’s workshop type of class, or as close to that as I can manage with an odd split schedule. Today the class had a lot of fun revising my poem. Thanks to my camera projector they were able to do that without me having to re-write the whole poem on the board, and without my making a transparency. In the meantime, I was showing them how to use proofreading marks, add details, and add more description to my intentionally bland poem. (And the majority of kids love to write on the board!) Hopefully, that willingness to revise will carry over to when they work on revising their own poems later in the week. I’m not really worried about grammar and spelling at this point, which I think was a huge shock to them. I’m more interested in having them see writing as a process, something they can play with and manipulate, more then anything else at this point.
Somehow, somewhere, we’re going to have to talk about reading as well. Besides independent reading books they’re choosing and reading on their own, we haven’t started reading anything together as a class. I don’t think that’s going to happen until next week.
One thing at a time.