Summer School

So…I just spent the last 30 minutes entering what few grades I have (so far) for summer school. And I realized…this kinda blows. There are several reasons for the current suckage that is summer school with Ms. Midwest Teacher: A) I’m so much a big picture, initial idea person, that I don’t think stuff through the way I ought to. So, a trip to the library for background information that would enable students to give a presentation (on said information) — ended up with presentations that were less than stellar. It’s not a total debacle, but it’s close. B) I have SO MANY students who are failing already. C) My classroom doesn’t have enough structure (AND I’m sick, so my voice sucks) so I feel I’ve already lost control. I have about 58 students. Currently I have 12 students passing.

S&#%

I need to re-vamp things. Sad thing is, it’s Wednesday. We have exactly 20 days of summer school & today we finished day 3. How can I turn things around? Esp when my voice (which is normally one of my tools — it carries, and usually I don’t have to yell, but I think that’s a big part of my self-confidence in the classroom (b/c I fake it lots). When I can’t talk how I’m used to, I flounder) is out of commission?

Crap-tastic. I wanted to try some newer/more fun/engaging things during summer school to get students involved. Maybe I should just have study guides for them. (Boring — we’re trying to move away from that, as a district, for English classes).

But, hell, study guides would be easy points & maybe more of them would pass. At this point, I’m considering anything — I do NOT want to have 50 failures (which is what could end up happening) when these kids are here specifically to get their credits back on track. Oh, did I mention I have freshmen and the whole point of the program their in is to get them on track to graduate on time? Yeah…no pressure.

GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! Even if you don’t have any ideas…please just send positive thoughts and prayers my way, would ya? I sure could use ’em.

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3 Comments

Filed under summer school

3 responses to “Summer School

  1. I so feel your pain. Here are some things I did to mix up activities and try to help my Geniuses pass.I don't know what literature you're working with, but for, say, Huck Finn, I gave them 7 or 8 project choices and they had to do three of them. I also give booklets that tackle some aspect of the text. When we read Count of Monte Cristo, the booklet was on the 9 stages of the heroic quest. They had to determine the who, what, when, where, why and how of each step, and when they were finished, they had to write a brief essay (seriously brief – we're talking a five sentence minimum, which most of them stuck to) answering the question of whether or not Edmond Dantes was a hero.For the Crucible, I asked them to focus on characters – personality traits, motivations, what other people thought of them, what they thought of themselves. If your focus is writing or grammar, I would play games. We throw balls into hoops or baskets and earn points if they know definitions or parts of speech. My students said they wanted more group projects and more creative projects, so I tried really hard to add some this year. Not all were successful, and not all worked well. They created "trees of life" for Janie in Their Eyes Were Watching God, an American Dream game for The Great Gatsby, a "I will never forget …" chart for Night, drew maps interpreting directions given to Dantes in Monte Cristo, acted out scenes from The Scarlet Letter, and we put Medea on trial. There are some examples of what I did with my sophomores (the world lit) and juniors (American lit). What I also can offer you is my complete empathy and many, many best wishes for a smooth(er) summer.

  2. Thanks Cupcake. I like some of those ideas. Hmmm…*thinking*

  3. Hey Midwest, Good to see you. Summer school's a challenge. Positive thoughts coming your way! šŸ™‚

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