Okay, another week has passed. The CELDT testing is finally all but done (We tested 105 students this past week), and I’m ready to settle in for the long haul. I’m making a couple of changes to my class and my approach to my class and we’ll just see how it goes.
The first change, (back to a minute of behavior) is I’ve moved a student out. I’ll omit the details about which kid it is, just suffice to say that moving him is a very good step. I’m so lucky in that regard. My daughter teaches ELD in the classroom next door to me, and this boy is in her Spanish class and behaves very well there. (He told me it’s because he sits with girls, pretty ones that he behaves differently there. When he said that, and I paused to think it over, the girls in my class just shook their heads and said “No.” ) I knew that my daughter has a student who should have been placed in my class originally, so I asked her if she would trade. She was willing, so the deal is done. That takes care of one. The other two, well, we’ll just see what happens when one has left. I just decided this week that our classroom will no longer be held hostage by these kids’ antics and I’ve stepped up the decisiveness. But enough about that.
The other thing I did this week was return all the ELD curriculum that I am so uncomfortable teaching to the library and check out all new (old) curriculum, the mainstream anthologies that I taught from for all these past six years until last year. I never liked it so much until I had the new stuff which had little actual literature – only little excerpts of literature, which aren’t good for much except building grammar and I don’t know what else. I am able to create my own pacing this year, since Common Core has us all grappling with new ways of doing things, so I’m very excited to do that. (Darn! Now I realize what I should have been doing last summer instead of laying around so much!) This weekend I’m going to create a more concise daily schedule and a week or two of curriculum built around a story and an article that corresponds to the story. I suspect that if I up the rigor, the interest level will also increase. What a concept!
I’ll keep you posted.