I woke up excited about this lesson, and after today, I am even more excited for tomorrow. In my bones, I knew this was going to be good, and it has been so far.
After days of state testing, I wanted a lesson that allowed my students to move and speak. Sitting still and being quiet just ain't our thang! I was flipping through Texts and Lessons for Content-Area Reading and found the perfect lesson: Tableaux. This lesson contains everything I wanted for today and tomorrow - reading, collaboration, inquiry, presentation, speaking, and moving.
I put together a brief presentation to introduce the article and give instructions. I told them we were reading "Are you driving your boss crazy?" because I couldn't find "Are you driving your teacher crazy?" I used this as a springboard to discuss their future employment (some of my eighth graders are already old enough to work) and what not to do. I even talked about all of my former students I saw working at Six Flags last Sunday and how I believed some of them would make the mistakes in this article and not be employed long. Hook!
We then looked discussed the word tableaux and analyzed the Iwo Jima statue. My students, without prompting, told me that this is a French word because of the ending (and this is a Spanish-speaking school). I was also surprised that many of them knew the statue by sight. It's always a shock when I don't have to spend too much time on background knowledge.
Most of our class time was spent planning, preparing, and practicing (PPP). Within four classes, I only had one group off task . I may not always realize it, but my kids are usually following instructions and participating in class activities. For the most part, I stood back and watched the show. Isn't this how it should be?
I did have to leave early from one class, and a colleague covered for the PPP part of my class. Her feedback: My goofballs were being funny trying to figure out facial expressions and poses. I am filled with anticipation for their presentations tomorrow.