Friday, October 30, 2015

Everything Old is New Again

Time flies over us, but leaves its shadow behind -Nathanial Hawthorne

Where does the time go? I missed an entire year of reflection on this blog - I hope it was a good one! So in the hopes of keeping up with posts this year, I begin.

My psychology class has really taken off this year and the kids are the most attentive, willing, interested ones I've worked with in a long time. I really enjoy this class and am looking into an online text license for next year. Maybe go AP...

I designed an Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition class and, now in its second year, we are off to a solid start. Exam preparation will be key as I learned in a summer seminar. Last year 3 of 10 earned scores of 3 and 4 - enough for college credit. Not bad for the first time around. There are only 11 students in the class this year so the stakes are pretty high.

I've also got senior English students in a general education class. One of my goals this year was to stay consistent in my routines and add some elements to the class so at this point we've done 7 weeks of spelling tests, a lengthy poem by Coleridge, and have begun a Bronte novel. I'd say I've stuck to it fairly well.

Reading novels is always a struggle, specifically with what to expect of the kids in terms of reading the material outside of class. Some will do so willingly, others cannot even read the title. My strategy thus far has been a one-question quiz the day after kids read only one chapter of the book. Accountability, but not tedious testing. My reaction is mixed. At this slow reading pace, we won't finish this current book until early December. But perhaps it is more accessible this way. No matter that I have paperbacks, Kindles, an online audio link with text, and do reading in class, so many still do not make an effort to actually read it no matter what the format. Keep on keepin' on I suppose.

For now, I look forward to watching my students learn and grow as they always do.