A “typical” period in Mr. Coward’s class in “pictures” Part II.
After they have completed the warm up, we go over it. I use my wireless slate to circle the correct answers on the screen and write hints. I can also flip the pen over, and use the built-in laser pointer to emphasize (or annoy).
Next we will often be working on grammar/mechanics, going over pink homework sheets or proofreading something (usually student work) live on the overhead or grooving on some Schoolhouse Rock (-ism #10). Their faves are “Unpack Your Adjectives” and “Mr. Morton.” (I had one class one year where several members would cry during that one; they felt sooo sad for Mr. Morton, even after it all ends well.)
If it’s Wednesday, there will be vocabulary work. That means going over the homework, giving examples and usages, answering questions, and sometimes acting out the words. (OMG, they can’t cope when I undulate.) Then there’s the vocabulary pretest. A perfect score gets them out of that part of the test on Friday. It’s called being exempt (-ism #13), and in my class, it’s what they all crave.
I use the Raffle King to decide whether they can use the homework sheet we just corrected to help them on the pretest. We call it the Cheat Sheet. I have noticed that their scores on the pretest are actually better when they don’t use the Cheat Sheet, but they don’t believe me when I tell them that, and continue to do little dances and such to try to influence the King. I also use the pretest exemption thang for grammar/mechanics and spelling/academic words. It creates an incentive to do the homework and listen when we go over it, and it lets those kids that already know the words well test out of some work, which they love to try to do.
Then it’s usually time to read, discuss what we’re reading, test if they’re reading/understanding. This is where I do a lot of reading aloud, and pausing and questioning and pointing out, demo-ing the way I want them to read (and respond in KBAR). This part of the class is also where we might have an Open-Mouth Quiz, or a regular reading check. For many of them, I think it’s their favorite part. “Are we reading today?” gets asked a lot.
Next Post: Writing days, 120 seconds, and more cartoons.