Well, we are doing test prep now. Except it all feels like test teaching for the first time, cause nobody seems to remember ever having learned it. I got some supplemental curriculum recently, and decided to try using it. First I used grade 7 materials. Not such a good idea. If students know neither the vocabulary word or the context clue word, they are still at a loss. If you don’t know the words “seclusion” or “isolation” you don’t have much chance at figuring either out. In fact, after two hours of our working on this 7th grade material (with 7th graders), only minimal progress was made.
When I asked them to hand it in, Johan calmly told me that he had done nothing all period. I told him to give me his paper anyway, that we’d get back to it tomorrow. He is a boy who has productive days and non-productive days. I figured that today was a non day and probably tomorrow would be a better one. He rebelled at handing it in, said he had to cut his name off it. I was insistent, but quickly saw why he didn’t want to hand it in: he had spent two hours writing his name and making little decorations in blood. You heard me right. He’d written his name in blood. I calmly accepted the paper. The next day he did all his work and cut the bloody part off. So that was the beginning of the week.
I really haven’t much to say about the rest of the week except that the beginning kind of typified the whole thing. Sigh.