Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Sub Way, Nas, and Connecting the Dots

Despite the mishaps (I actually lost a student, briefly, this week), and the irritation (I was called to a school that asked that I reshelve library books?) and the constant problem solving (how DO you find 3/8 of 40?) I REALLY enjoy subbing.  It has been truly educational.  I see into what goes on outside of art education and I see into the microcosms of individual classrooms.  I learn from good examples of teaching- using current song lyrics to teach language arts; so real and engaging! and from poor examples of teaching- no classroom rules, no classroom management plan?  
So, I find these truths to be self-evident: 

1)  Subbing for a teacher who is firm, fair, and consistent with their class is much easier than for one who is  not.
2)  Relationship building is essential.  The students need to know they matter to adults.
3)  Being serious is ok.  So is laughing when something is funny.

After a recently frustrating day in which I COULD NOT quickly, quietly get the students' attention for directions and transitions I remembered an idea that I had awhile ago and never tried...
By the way I HATE clapping at kids (kinda demeaning, no?) or flashing the lights (I am NEVER by the switch!)
SO, for a student population which enjoys being participatory...
I use the chorus from Nas' song, I know I can.  It goes like this:

I call-                     I know I can
Students answer-   Be what I wanna be
I call-                     If I work hard at it
Students answer-   I'll be where I wanna be
Then, in theory, students get quiet and get ready to listen.

I'm anxious to see how it works!

AND I found an AMAZING resource for challenging puzzles, connect the dot sheets, coloring pages, etc for free! Mindware Sample Puzzles
My plan is to pass them out at the beginning of the day and offer a small prize for whoever finishes first.  Like an as-needed time filler:)  No need to finagle extra time or rush slower paced students...We'll see how it goes!  Wish me luck.

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