Thursday, July 30, 2009

Summer School--Working out of my comfort zone!

Summer school begins next Monday. I am excited to be with kids again (other than my own!) I'll be taking a break from the middle school level as I will be the lead teacher for the group of students entering 4th grade in the fall. My own younger daughter will be a 4th grader this fall and she is quite a character. I seem to remember her sister being rather strange at this age as well, so I am interested to see if it is a phenomenon with 9 and 10 year olds, or if it is just my girls! (As an example of her silliness: last night my 9yo used a key to unlock my head, opened it up and said, "My it's very dusty in here. You must not use your brain very much! Let me just clean it up for you." At which point she, blew on my head and then closed me back up and locked it tight!)

I am a bit nervous about working with these kids as I've been in the middle school now for 16 years. I think I will have to make a conscious effort to slow down in my teaching. Right now my plan is to work in a genre study on folk tales and then work with them on strategies for reading expository text.

On the first day, I want them to be involved in setting the norms and guidelines for our work together. After that, I want to have them set goals for themselves. I am hopeful that they will be able to do this, and I know that they are going to need more scaffolding than I have to use with my middle schoolers. But I am not quite sure what that scaffolding should look like. I plan to try using a mind mapping activity to get them to think about how they want to be different at the end of our work together. Then perhaps to put their goals into words, I will use a close paragraph that they can fill in.

Please share any words of advice or wisdom!

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