What I’ve learned this week? If you want to see what your kids have learned, you might have to make them do several projects and papers…and they might hate you.
Okay, maybe they don’t hate me, but my American Seminar kids sure didn’t like me by the end of this week.
I had them work on a project for Anne Bradstreet and her poetry. This was a fifteen point group project: talk about your given poem, read it aloud, and analyze it. Piece of cake. Nope. Wrong. They did terrible.
When students don’t put effort into what they’re doing and it’s obvious, it’s time to make them do it again. (At least that was my thinking). After pretty much failing the majority of them on the group project, (yikes…but I really did!) I made them write a single-spaced, 1-2 page paper on their given poem. To read more about how that went, and the entire process, click here.
This was a learning experience for me. I realized that sometimes I need to be clearer with expectations. I also realized that despite how my students feel when I give them another assignment, I have to do it anyways. I’m their teacher not their friend.
Coming up with secondary assignments wasn’t too difficult, but I also realized the importance of having back-up plans for every single thing I do. After reading their papers, I realized the students now had a very clear grasp of the poems and their components. Even though this might have been a not-so-fun lesson learned, it did help the students to have an even deeper knowledge base. Hopefully they won’t hate me for too long!
Goal for next week: less group-work and focus on more individualized, fun learning. And get the kids to laugh a little, and not want to kill me so much 🙂