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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Comparative fairy tales.

Hanging out in classrooms is fun.

I try to do it often.

Mostly, I fail at this endeavour.

There always seems to be pressing work to do.

This year it is easier for one simple reason:

My classroom is used by another teacher during my plan time.

This means I always need a place to hide.

So as often as I can, I try to go and hang out in someone else's classroom.

Last week, I went to my neighbor's room for about half an hour.

I sat at her desk and watched the lesson.

It was a great topic: comparative fairy tales for literary analysis.

The class reviewed the Disney version of Cinderella in preparation for reading the Grimm version.

My favorite part was the list of a couple dozen Cinderella stories from all over the world.

I enjoyed the whole thing immensely.

The best part, though, was watching the students.
The level of attentiveness was really impressive.

Almost every kid had their Chromebook open.

And they were all paying attention to the lesson and had the correct documents open.

I asked the teacher how she did that.

She told me it was just the personality of that class.

Lucky girl.

Then she also told me that her 7th hour was the complete opposite.

In fact, their collective misuse of technology had been so obnoxious that she banned it 100%.

For about two weeks, they did everything pen and paper.

Then she gradually reintroduced the use of their Chromebooks with a lot of structure.

7th hour is also the class she uses really specific protocols and consequences.

I thought that was a pretty brilliant plan.

I rarely have the discipline for such extreme measures.

It is so refreshing to see other teachers in action.

It gives me joy and insight.

Those are good things.

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