another head smack

I’ve been struggling with spending waaaaaaay too much time prepping lessons lately. We ask or tell a story, and we learn about students as we discuss the story or the reading or the history, or when we’re actually doing an official Star of the Day interview.

The student whose job it is to keep track of information in the classroom sends or gives me the information in English (or in Russian/Spanish that I then need to correct), and I create slides with the story/info and required support terms that the class may have forgotten by the next time.

What’s wrong with this picture? I remembered, right after giving a presentation yesterday, during which I said, “We always follow up with Write and Discuss.”

Well. I have been forgetting to stop after we’ve done a story to do Write and Discuss. “Write and Discuss” is not asking the students to write it. It is asking them all the questions referring to the story, possibly digging for new details, as I write it on the projector or shared slide, so that they can read it and process the repeated input at a slower pace. That takes time in the class, during which I have recently been instead adding new information. Without this part of the class, I spend a bunch of extra time on it after the lesson, when I should be planning instead!!

It’s still very useful to have those notes, as that person can supply whatever the class forgets, and I can use it later, but wow. I pledge not to take the entire load from now on. Thanks, ABC Boot Campers, for letting me remember.

2 responses to “another head smack

  1. Yeah!!! Not only does it lighten the load on the teacher, but it is excellent teaching too. I used to worry that students would be bored as I did the daily end of class W&D, but then I found how effective this moment is when phrases they have been hearing all class finally come together in full written form, strung together in full beautiful sentences rather than short oral phrases.


  2. Indeed! I don’t know how I could have forgotten (and thanks for continuing to remind us in your posts)…but I just now had the very best time (it’s been a little difficult) with my 4-5 combo kids, because I promised that we would create a Blooket, adding questions after every four sentences in a story we were reading. We ran out of time, because it took so long to keep looking back at the story and coming up with questions and answers. “Darn!” They kept wanting to read through again…mwahaha…so we played Blooket for three minutes at the end of class with just the questions from those first four sentences. Perfect. Now I have a complete plan and complete buy-in for the next time.


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