Things have been going mostly well. This week in class the students first had to show their shield and explain it to the class. Then I put them into groups and gave each group a story to learn and turn into a play by the end of the week. Sadly, I decided against Chaucer since some of my students are just no where near that level of English yet. I found a book in the school library that had European folklore in shorter and easier versions. The three stories they are doing are Beowulf, the Sword in the Stone, and How Finn Found Bran. To make sure they understand that these aren't the original, I also printed out excerpts from the original text of each so they could see how much it has changed.
I gave a quiz yesterday about everything we learned last week. Since their first monthly test was oral, this was the first "test-ish" thing we had done in class. I felt so teachery. Some students did very well, others poorly. Out of a possible 20 points, the lowest score was 9. One thing that amused me was the answers to the question "Why did knights use heraldry?" When I got multiple students during the test who confessed they forgot what heraldry meant, I told them it was the same as the coat of arms, what they drew over the weekend. I got a surprising amount of students that wrote that a coat of arms was what knights used to "protect their arms". Grading tests was funny. I also had a student that mixed up "herald" and "halberd" so he said the definition of a herald was a long pole with a blade like an ax. Ahh... medieval humor.
I asked the school for funds for projects for next week. Stuff like cloth for clothes, ingredients to make food, and wood... for my pipe dream hope to make a trebuchet. I haven't really gotten a clear answer as to if I'm getting anything and if so, how much. I hope I'll get enough to do something fun. I think doing something with your own two hands is one of the best and most interesting ways to learn. I still remember how confused I was about DNA until we built models in class. It all clicked. Then again, I am a tactile learner.
Class C never ceases to amaze me. Today when I passed out the stories and pointed out the fact that this was their classwork and homework for the rest of the week (aka, more done in class means less homework) they all immediately started working. The room was silent. Ahh bliss. I'm glad that every day I teach Class C, they are my last class. I end the day on a positive note.
So my bike broke again last week. The pole leading to the seat bent. It was my own dumb fault. I tried to bend it back with a hammer, which resulted in a twisted piece of metal that could be taken for abstract art. I bought a new pole and seat at Decathalon (kinda like Dick's Sporting Goods) and put them on last night. I was so excited to have it fixed and I was going to go a'riding around today. And know what? It's raining. BAH.
I hung up the shields my students drew and they have been getting a lot of attention. It makes me smile every time I see people standing in front of the board and looking at them.
I also am going to ask my students if they want to have a student design a coat of arms for the whole 10th grade and then put them on a t-shirt. The senior students started screen printing t-shirts as a business idea. Such a lucky twist of fate should not be ignored. I am going to ask the students starting tomorrow if they would want to buy t-shirts so I can get back to the seniors about whether or not they are getting in a huge order.
This post talks A LOT about school stuff cuz I've been busy with it a lot lately. It's been on my mind a lot.