Saturday, October 27, 2007

Weekend Reading Assignment

It looks like it’s going to be a great fall day around here. My house had three days of rain…not the drenching kind we really need but more of the “fits and starts” kind of rain. I’m thankful for any, however.

Dear Son is home from school (laundry for me), Dear Daughter is busy with her social life (driving for me), Dear Hubby is at church participating in a work day (I get to control the TV remote), and me……

I have a deadline to meet with a paper that MUST be written and what am I doing? I’m preparing a blog entry instead. If you’ve spent any time around here I think it’s fairly clear that I like to write, however, I have to be interested in my topic. The topic of my paper is merely a summary of an eight week course….it should be fairly simply for me to do, but I’m sooooo disinterested. The assignment is a pointless rehash of things I’ve already said. I’ve thought of several ways I could structure the assignment, but unfortunately I’m not the teacher this time and as a student apparently I have no control….

Too often we see kids in the classrooom who are disinterested. They do everything they possibly can to avoid starting an assignment. Often this is due to a lack of knowledge or skills, but more often than not it is simply because the assignment doesn’t challenge or motivate the student. I think the solution is flexibility. Sometimes when I have a child who is avoiding an assignment I sit with him or her and we take a look at the particular standard and narrow down what it is the student should know or be able to do. From there I ask the student to come up at least two ways they could prove to me “they know” or “can do”. Once that is done I take a look at the choices…sometimes we have to tweak it a bit or two….and then I ask the student to choose one of their solutions and get on with it.

A little power and some choice will go a long way sometimes.

Just a thought…..

My first link for this weekend’s reading assignment is a happy one. Sometime ago I posted a lengthy recap of the Genarlow Wilson saga. Yesterday I watched on televison as he was finally released from prison and walked into the arms of his mother and sister. Yes, this young man made a poor choice, but poor legislation by the Georgia General Assembly (even though their intention was good) is at the heart of this matter. Georgia blogger, GriftDrift has the best recap of all issues concerning Wilson’s odyssey.

Speaking of my homeland the Georgia Carnival which I normally host here was hosted this week by Rusty at Radical Georgia Moderate. He did a great job and don’t hestiate to wind your way through a Georgia Carnival thinking it’s all about Georgia and won’t be interesting. There are many postings about other subjects; however, Rusty’s recap of our water woes is a most excellent round up of what might end up being a war with Alabama and Florida.

Did you know that two cabinet members were killed in an explosion in the early 1840s? I wrote about it earlier this week over at American Presidents.

I was also infected with the 10-20-30 virus, but I’m better now.

If this doesn’t give you enough to read the Education Carnival is a must see, and an article regarding America's oldest natural history museum begs for more research regarding the various collections it still holds.

As for me…..I still have that dang paper to write. :(


Anonymous said...

Your thoughts on flexibility in assessment are really interesting. Maybe you should do a post that expands on that sometime! As someone interested in teaching high school, I think those ideas could possibly be adapted a little bit, but I think you have an excellent point about what we sometimes perceive as students' laziness.

EHT said...

Hi Matt! Love the son is named Matthew.

Thanks for the visit. As I wrote the post this morning I thought the same thing about posting just about flexibility. I've done some research on the issue and have used it with students with success. I'll try to post on it soon.

BTW....I finally got that paper done I was avoiding. Now on to the fun stuff---laundry and carting Dear Daughter to and fro.

CaliforniaTeacherGuy said...

Go. Write. Now. LOL

EHT said...

Hey CTG....I got it done. Yay!

Rebecca Mecomber said...

I know precisely what you are talking about. I homeschool my four children, and we are always writing something! My eldest daughter is a born writer (she even has several blogs dedicated to early American history and the founders), but for the other three, it is more a task.

Making the assignment interesting, even personal, is crucial! We try to write about things "local" and thank God New York has a lot of history! Sometimes assignments are just dull and such requires another lesson: self-discipline!

By the way-- beautiful template! I also love your "Georgia On My Mind" template.