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I am a high school English teacher in an urban high school in Oklahoma City. I am a member of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 2309. I am a Democrat, a union activist and a worker for social justice. I also am a Christian (Congregationalist). I play chess and coach our school chess team.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Second day of teaching: better than the first


Today I had the students write a poem. More specifically, they were following a "poem pattern" known as the "I Am" poem. The pattern gave the students a lead in phrase followed by a suggestion on how to complete the line. For example, the first line of the poem read: I am name two things that describe you. The student could complete it by writing, I am a loving and caring person. The rest of the poem asked them to name things that concerned them, that made them happy, that they look forward to, and so forth.

Most of the students took to the assignment well. Many of the poems I read revealed things to me about my students I could not have imagined.

Then I had the students exchange their poems with someone. They read each others poems and picked out a line they liked in it. They wrote the line down and wrote why they liked it. My purpose in doing this comes from the fact that I am trying to engender a more postive atmosphere in my class and in my school than often exists now.

Tomorrow the students are taking a reading test, the first of many they will take this year. I am not certain how well that will go over, but I will give it my best effort.

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