My time in the 6th grade classroom is quickly becoming a part of me in that I am connecting with the kids much more now. I feel like they trust me now and they are much more comfortable with asking me questions and having me help them. I feel more and more that this is no longer just a project, but something that makes me get up in the morning and smile while walking through the entrance of the middle school.
This past week has been very exhilarating for me in that I was tasked to lead an entire class period. What the students have been doing is getting involved in an activity called the “Global Read Aloud.” The whole basis is that schools all across the world that read one book at a time all together. Each grade level reads a different book and the middle school is reading A Long Walk To Water by Linda Sue Park. Basically it is a story about how Syrian refugees are leaving their homes for safety. This is teaching the kids about real world problems and adding personality to them to help them understand the concept of the book better. Throughout the first few chapters the students were told to reflect on what they have heard and answer specific questions on their reading, and they were surprisingly well spoken in their responses. The fact that they could see the characters and know they are real made them pay attention much more.
This is where I came in. T. Lisa had asked me if I could lead a class in an activity the coming week. I felt a rush when I heard this. Coming up with my own lesson plan had been something I was nervous about and didn’t expect to see it happening for another four years or so. Yet, here I was being offered an entire class to teach. What I was to do is teach kids how to write post cards both nationally and internationally. T. Lisa and I met together to assign different students to different schools around the globe and mostly the US. She told me that the better writers in the class should write to international schools, which made total sense. I assigned students to places and researched completely on how to write a postcard. What they had to do in their postcards was write a brief intro about themselves, ask a question about the book, and then answer it themselves because they would not get responses back.
When the day came that I would finally lead the class, I was quite nervous. I hoped that I would explain everything correctly, the kids would be engaged and also that I’d be able to help with the writing. All that worrying had dissipated when the clock struck 8:00 am, and everything went smoothly. I gave my introduction to the assignment, why it was important, what they had to do and then let them work. I went around the room and helped with developing questions and how to answer them, correct ways to form sentences and more literary work. They had to write drafts first before they put in a real postcard because they were rather expensive and didn’t want to risk mistakes. Most everyone got theirs done and ready to ship, but some where not quite so steady. Luckily, T. Lisa gave them time the next day to complete them which was very needed.
That, so far, has been the biggest part of this project and I am so excited to keep working. One thing I will be doing is sitting down with T. Lisa and talking about advancing onto another grade, which I believe I am ready for, but, all in due time.