Obviously, I have not been posting with the same regularity or frequency intended; however, life is going on in the classroom and there are some stories to tell.
For example, this was the answer to a test questions that was recently turned in: Q: What advice did Cosimo de Medici's father give him on his death bed? A: "the advice given to Cosimo by his father was to stay away from paparazzi and reporters."
Really!? Because I thought we were studying the Renaissance!
I shared my distress with a colleague and she wisely replied: "Cosimo's father was probably appalled at seeing a previous incident on TMZ and didn't want that happening to Cosimo again, thus inspiring the profound bit of insight on staying away form paparazzi and reporters."
A few days ago a seventh grade student "called" a certain red pencil as they were being passed around for grading. I quickly jumped on that: "Excuse me. You will not be calling anything." The student's witty response was: "What if I have to call my mom?"
We recently started our poetry unit. As much as I enjoy teaching poetry, with 7th and 8th graders it can often be similar to pulling teeth. In an attempt to teach the students how to break the poem down and analyze it, we read the poem several times looking for different things. After the first reading, I always ask for the basic/literal/surface meaning of the poem
Me: Ok, what is happening in this poem? What is this poem about? Students respond like clockwork with a barrage of answers: "Death!" "God!" "Jesus!" "Life!"--none of these answers have anything to do with the poem. This is where I stop and remind the students that we are not in Sunday School, and trite, one-words responses will not work.