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Tuesday, November 30, 2004

HOMEWORK

I had a great day with this 5th grade class. No discipline problems other than getting them quite down a few times.

I have found that the magic marker “HOMEWORK” technique a 6th grade teacher showed me (See the Saturday, October 30, 2004 blog entry) REALLY, REALLY works!

The magic marker tapping on the white board, indicating another letter was close to being appended to the partial word that would eventually spell “HOMEWORK” was more than enough to quell this crowd.

Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for the class next door.

This school was built during the previous “new age” method where teaching in an “open” space without walls was felt to be an enriching environment for learning.

When the schools finally realized that this didn’t work AT ALL, temporary walls were added between the classes, but they left pass-through ways between all four of the classrooms in this pod. This means you can hear the classes on both sides if the other class gets a little rowdy.

Within the first 10 minutes while taking attendance, I heard this teacher next door screeching at her class to settle down and be quite. I had to stop the attendance until she was finished.

I must have had a puzzled look on my face because a kid in the front row said “She always screams like that. Every Day!” The outbursts from next door reoccurred several times during the day.

(Note to self. Find out which class that is and append it to my “Never In My Lifetime Sub List”)

With each teacher tirade next door, the kids in my class would snicker, giggle and laugh.

I would then have to tap the whiteboard with the marker and like magic, my kids would quiet down.

Late in the day when I felt they were ignoring the warning signs, I finally printed the first “H” on the board.

You should have heard the stifled cry’s of dismay.

This was the only letter I had to print for the rest of the day.

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