Just one of those moments

Today, we were playing catch up in my Honors English 9 class.  The snow day yesterday was a nice break, but meant rethinking what were the must do skills/content for the remainder of the week.  Priority number one was finishing up our study of Greek mythology.

To this end, I divided the class into four groups, assigning each group a myth or set of myths to read and summarize in a visual and linguistic representation on chart paper.  The students settled in and got to work.  Monitoring their work allowed me to see group dynamics in action.  One group made sure every group member had a job to do.  One group divided the task among the members:  some reading, some taking notes, and some working on the poster.  Another group read the myth together and then each drew a section of the tale on the chart paper.

Aside from watching the students engaging with each other and the material, I got to see one of those special moments — the kind an English teacher lives for.  One group of students were discussing a particular aspect of their myth; the discussion turned to argument and disagreement.  The moment happened when one of the students picked up her copy of Hamilton’s Mythology and told the others to just hold on.  At that, the other five students stopped and turned with her to the text.  They scanned and re-read until they found the detail they had been debating.

It’s a simple thing, a skill those of us who are readers and writers use without thought, but to see my ninth grade students step up and resolve a conflict by consulting the text was nothing less than miraculous.  It was a moment when learning was visible.  It was a moment of affirmation.  It made my day, and it might just have made my year.




Tomorrow starts 31 days of Slice of Life blogging

Scrolling through today’s Twitter feed, I saw a post from TwoWritingTeachers.org about the 2017 Slice of Life challenge.  I was intrigued and followslice-of-life_individualed a couple of links to find out what this was all about.  Here’s the info:  https://twowritingteachers.org/challenges/.

This was something I needed.  A way to make myself put butt
in chair and fingers on keys each and every day for personal writing.  So tomorrow, I and my fellow “slicers” will begin a journey…one of reflection on our own daily lives and on the writings of each other.  Let’s see what we discover.