Sunday, March 19, 2006

One more week

Spring break is in one more week. This year we have two weeks for the first time. The kids are thrilled about it, me, not so much. I'm hankering for the summertime and warm weather, and it's just been rain, rain, rain here for the last three or four weeks. I'd rather have a longer vacation in the summer, rather than this longer one now.

Except. I'm going to Paris (where I hear the weather right now is also quite dreary). I've not been since I was backpacking at 22, and this trip will be, shall we say, a bit more sophisticated. I'm going with two friends (one I've had since junior high school, the other since first grade!), and we are going to have a fabulous time. That is, as long as I and one of the friends don't get too bossy. Me? Bossy, you ask?

Yes, I am. Is it the teacher in me, or was it one of the reasons I became a teacher? All I know is that I tend to tell children in Ross to stop running around, I comment on the language of teenagers on the street, and I have to bite my lip more often than not if I see a kid mouthing off to his or her parent.

Maybe I just like good manners.

Anyway, I am still working on my poetry unit. The kids are teaching each other this year, rather than me standing in front of them and lecturing. This is cause for fright, since I don't know how good a job they will do. Our standardized testing, the STAR test, begins two weeks after we return from Spring break, and I want to have this unit done by then.

What do you think of this idea? I'm going to ask each group (there are 7-8 groups in each class, responsible for one type of poetic form such as, Elegy, Sonnet, Ballad, etc.) to contribute at least three test questions for their form. If I do this in all three classes, then I should be able to put together a pretty good test, don't you think?

Gah. It's all about time. We'll be in the library tomorrow and Tuesday, and I've got to make up their schedule for them.

I'm going to go eat breakfast.


nobodyknows said...

How about this?

Have the groups create questions for each poetic form, but give them the answers. Tell them: "I want you to write 3 questions where the answer is "Iambic." I want you to create 3 questions where the answer is "End rhyme."

This will help you direct the questions toward what you need to teach and test.

OKP said...

Yes, it's a good idea. I agree with nobodyknows's idea. You could also consider that they come up with a multiple choice, a fill-in-the blank, and a short answer. Or an easy, medium, and hard question. Or teach them how to give sample bits from their poems and ask questions based on those: "Lines 4 and five in this selection contain: a) end rhyme b) etc." Look at AP sample tests for the kinds of multiple choice items you could ask them to put together -- give them some examples of how to make it challenging, and not: "T/F This poem has rhymes."