Thursday, November 15, 2007

weather, hearing, and crankiness as a thesis

One of these days I'm going to do a teacher research project that shows the correlation between crazy weather and hearing challenges which I believe results in cranky teachers at least 95% of the time. Up til now I only have observations. As we are learning in third grade science, research questions come out of observations. I believe I have some real science ahead.

Today in reading workshop (though there was evidence much earlier in the day) everything I said seemed to be lip synced as there was no action taken after any of my polite requests or comments. In fact, as I continued, my comments got less polite. "Please, find a good learning spot," "Please, don't trade books," "Please, stay in your seat," "Can you use a soft voice to conference?" "You must be reading or writing about reading; that doesn't look like either," "Don't bother her," "What are you doing?" I had a literature group with me and the students who were independently reading and know after 13 weeks of school that "reading is thinking" and that it is to be done quietly, among other things, heeded none of my requests. I finally raised my voice to one boy. I don't reach that decibel level too often . You think that might have brought some collateral results; but no, everyone kept right on keepin' on. It really made me cranky.

At the end of the workshop, I gathered everyone to the front, praised some students who had commented brilliantly about the cover from "The Green Book" and then pulled up the list of "Guidelines for Reading Workshop" the class had authored earlier in the year. This made the students a little cranky. After all they knew this stuff already. Having the chart and seeing the response to it, students looking sheepishly but, generally positive, reminded me that maybe little guys needed repeat lessons once in awhile. Maybe the expectations for independent work weren't part of the focus enough when we introduced our new novels today. I still think it was weather but, maybe there are just days we (teachers, too) need a little reminding about expectations.

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