Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Hey, not so fast...

The three day weekend ended with a start today, as I just returned home well after 8:30pm, after attending a meeting that I thought was a SIT meeting but instead was something else entirely.

Tomorrow is Back to School night, so it will be another late night. I'm doing my best to make it to the gym every morning before school - so far I haven't missed a morning since August 6th (during summer bridge) - so with my alarm clock going off a little before 5am, it makes it a nice 15 or 16 hour day.

With the 9th grade, it was one of those lessons that would have worked perfectly in a 60-minute class, but felt a little rushed at 50-minute. My design was probably a little top heavy, and I needed more time with the assessment portion of the lesson - that means I'll need to spend more time than intended going over their homework tomorrow. It was one of those assignments that I ended up having only five minutes to explain and could have used ten or fifteen, and would have liked to have them get a good start on it at the end of class. Every single class period, I seemed to work out the timing just a moment quicker, but something else happened to throw me off - a phone call from the office, a lack of understanding with the drill, etc. Usually I can make it work great by the 4th time, but, today, I ended up at the same frenzied pace for nearly every period.

Today's basic lesson:

I. Grammar lesson - 5 minutes (will be less most classes, but it's the first week of Daily Grammar Practice)

II. Introduction to literary concepts of Imagery (the five types), Figurative Language (the most prominent three types), and Parallelism (I wasn't going to do this, but the piece we used - Cisneros' vignette about little girl's grandfather dying and her comforting her dad about it - features it prominently) - 10 minutes

III. "Find these things in the passage independently" - 5 minutes

IV. Discuss - 10 minutes

V. Take notes on writing an "Observation/Effect" thesis statement, construct one for passage - 10 minutes

VI. Pass out homework, go over it, start doing it - 5 minutes

That's only 45 minutes, giving me about 5 minutes to play around with... but every class seemed to soak up more minutes in one area or another. I have to be a little less regimented tomorrow. There was so damn much stuff I tried to cover, and it might have been too much.

The tone of tomorrow's lesson needs to be more reflective, and less about getting through the material and instead focused on the actual understanding of the material.

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