Wednesday, March 30, 2011
I teach 3 classes each day - I'm dept chair, plus I'm chair of the school improvement team, and I was the previous chair of the accreditation committee - so I balance the small number of classes with other important (essential?) school activities.
But the 8th grade students are all at a high school preview and orientation day today - so they're all at the high school.
And apparently only six of my students are NOT 8th graders.
One class was fine, I had a group of four, and they sit together - so they worked on the projects they've been doing, and things were fine.
But my next class had only two students. And they had been the only two yesterday, since the 8th graders went to a pre-orientation assembly (probably where our principals told them the schedule, how to behave, etc.).
Yesterday the two students wanted to watch youtube videos of the tsunami in Japan - and, since my dad is a coastal geologist, I've heard about tsunamis since I was 7 or 8 - so we watched videos, discussed tsunamis and the warning signs and what to do - and it was a pretty good class, given that there were only two students.
Today, I gave each one a mini-canvas from the art conference vendors - they sketched a picture on the canvas - I gave them a container lid as a pallette, squeezed out some acrylic paint, and gave them a very quick lesson on mixing colors (two primaries = secondary, white makes things light, etc.) - and let them play with the paint. They had a wonderful time. Eventually they finished, cleaned the brushes and pallettes, put everything away, and had a few minutes before class was finished.
I hope it made the day a little more special. While it's all well and good to pull the 8th graders for special events such as this, it leaves the 7th graders feeling left out. (Sixth grade is off by themselves, but 7th and 8th have mixed elective classes, although they have separate core academic classes.) So I wanted to do something that made the 7th grade kids feel like they got to do something special, and that the 8th graders missed out.
For all I know, they didn't really care. I possibly read too much into it, or project my own feelings from when I was in jr high.
But it made for a fun day, and I finished putting together some sketch books I had been working on. So it worked out, all round.