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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Summer School

So this summer I am teaching middle school.  The students I have now will eventually come to me in the high school, just not in this coming year.  I have really enjoyed this.  We have had so much fun and I can really see the learning taking place.  For example, both of the students have a love for cats.  One likes to draw them and the other has a fondness for all animals (although she did just get a kitten over this past weekend).

My biggest concern going into summer was how to engage them in something fun, yet productive and meaningful.  I honestly don't recall how I stumbled upon this idea, but I decided we would write a play.  Both of my students have been very excited about this and my para's have been too.  We are all getting into it and having so much fun.  I gave the students the task of telling me how many characters were in the play.  Where it would take place and what happens.  They also had to create the title of the play, the names of the characters, and design their costumes.  They think we are just having a fun summer, but they have learned so much already.

Both of these students really struggle with reading.  They see the first part of the word, maybe the first letter or two, and they will guess what the rest of the word should be.  For example  if we do sight word 'hand' they would read this as 'had, have, or even  hay'.  But with this play, they are both sounding out words.  They are really trying.  Now I will say neither one of them have lines to memorize.  We will be having a narrator tell the story, but both of them can recite the storyline to me without fail.

We cooked papier mache (math) and brought in art techniques during our costume designing.  Next week we will be writing out our invitations, and the last week of summer school we will be making refreshments to serve to our audience.

I must say I am super dooper excited over this and hope it all goes well.  It is a very short play, maybe 2 minutes long, but they have ownership over this and have created this whole thing.  It is so nice to see students learning (and to know I haven't completely lost my teaching touch).

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