September 5

ELA 20: Sept 5 “Back to Wolf Willow” discussion, questions, reflective essays…

  1. The Childhood Boundaries assignment was due today. (Some were ready to hand it in yesterday, and there was confusion whether it was due Thursday or Friday, but Friday was the absolutely understood deadline so any missing ones will not be accepted.)
  2. We began the class by having students contribute to our list of “Memories vs New Understanding”, with each one taking a turn at adding another example. There was a sort of Listening Activity when I asked them to underline and star a few specific passages that are important and may be used on an exam.
  3. We moved on to answer the questions attached in their handout. Everyone added answers and I wrote them on the board as they came up with them.
  4. We talked a bit about how a “smell” can bring back a strong memory. My example is from Kindergarten, oh so many years ago, when smoking was still allowed in schools. I shared with them that I don’t remember who my Kindergarten teacher was, but whenever I smell cigarette breath and the wax from someone’s lipstick, at the same time, I am absolutely transported back to my Kindergarten days. They seemed to understand what I was trying to explain, with a few grins and nods as they realized their own “smell” connected to a memory.
  5. I’ve mentioned a few times that they will have a major assignment coming soon. They’ll have to write their own reflective essay, in the formal five-paragraph form. To help them understand what is expected, I read aloud to them two essays written by students of mine last year for the same assignment. Each had a different writer’s voice and style, but the main parts were the same – memories and understandings of youth were examined by the writer and connected to their more mature understanding to come to a new awareness of their past. We’ll take a large part of next week’s classes to develop these essays and work on more formal essay writing skills. (Some seemed a little intimidated by the project but I’ll see if I can’t aleviate some of their writing fears!)
  6. We also did a Fast Write during today’s class. To help practice the skill of connecting thoughts in their head and being able to articulate them on paper, they just had to write for three minutes, on any topic, but the key is to not let their pen /pencil stop. If they had to repeat the same word over and over again until they mentally got out of the hump, so be it. They did really well!

It was a good week of classes!

Posted September 5, 2008 by Waldner in category ELA 20

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