Thursday, September 20, 2007

Bonnie Mincu, "Autumn Gardener"

Day 13, September 20, 2007

Today I introduced two activities that I've never done before -- and I thought they worked reasonably well. First, I told the students about the daily job called "Positive Note Taker". I've done this for the past few years, but this year the student note-taker will type the notes on my laptop. For about 15 minutes in each class, the assigned note-taker will sit beside me and record the contributions and positive actions of the students. He or she will type these directly into "Gradequick", on each student's page -- just quick notes like "9-20 -- Anna compared Dill to a character in a movie". It was quite successful today. The note-takers did an capable job, the students were eager to contribute (perhaps to get their comments duly noted), and I think the note-takers felt distinguished to be such an important part of the class. The beauty of it is that, when I print out a progress report for the students, their daily contributions will be there for them to read and take home to parents.

I also introduced the "assistant teacher" role. Almost every day, I plan to have one student be the assistant teacher for about ten minutes. At that time, I will sit at the student's place and play the role of a student, and the assistant teacher will lead the class in the discussion. Today I was very pleased with how well it worked. Hannah, in particular, was delighted to get a chance to be an assistant teacher.

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