Thursday, December 06, 2007

Wednesday Wars

Busy day today. Worked with 8th graders on their folktale lesson. The kids were so focused on reading a variety of folktales from around the world. Overheard one girl saying how great it was to be able to just sit and read picture books during class. Another was so excited to find similarities with folktales from the same country. Now we start with researching the countries or origin.

I also got to work with 6th graders on VoiceThread. I gave them minimal instruction -- just had them watch me create a short thread. Then set them loose. They are working on skills for a digital storytelling project. So, no great projects today -- just a chance to play with the site and learn what it can do. So many of them begged to be able to do more at home. You have to like that -- begging for homework!

Today's podcast features one of my very favorite books of 2007. Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt is such a wonderful story. Of course, it doesn't hurt that he was bringing me back to my own childhood.

Life during the 1960s were a bit different than we are used to now. On Wednesday afternoons, while his Catholic and Jewish schoolmates leave school to attend religious classes, Holling Hoodhood, the only Presbyterian in his seventh grade, is alone in the classroom with his teacher, Mrs. Baker. Holling is convinced that Mrs. Baker hates him. After all, if it wasn't for him, Mrs. Baker would have the afternoon to herself. But she is stuck with the only kid with nowhere to go. To fill their Wednesday afternoons, Mrs. Baker has Holling read Shakespearean plays. Much to Holling's surprise, he finds he really likes Shakespeare! And he looks forward to their Wednesday afternoon discussions. But he still thinks Mrs. Baker hates him.

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