Help with class of 7th grade...!

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by peachacid, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. peachacid

    peachacid Companion

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    Feb 27, 2012

    I am a new addition to the charter school where I work as a reading coach. Part of what I am doing is pushing into the various language arts classes to provide support for the teachers and the students. For the most part, this is going really well. However, the seventh grade LA teacher is a student teacher, and she wants to be the only teacher in the room. So, I am working with two 8th grade teachers in their "enrichment" block, for which they have 7th grade. The block is two separate periods put together; one teacher has the first, and the other teacher has the second.

    Now, these kids have basically been sitting around doing nothing the entire year. Enrichment is supposed to be a place where they get extra instruction in reading and math. Instead, they fool around and talk. One of the teachers is almost as new to the school as I am, and the other has been here all year. He's been letting the kids do whatever.

    I am really struggling with getting them to actually sit and try. The first day, I brought books in from my public library for them to read, and two of them sat there and refused, while the others got books and proceeded to talk instead of read. Their attitude seems to be, "whatever, I can do what I want". They aren't graded for this block, so they have no reason to behave.

    Any tips? Pointers? One of the teachers will work with me to structure the time, but the other is really laid back and chats with the students. I don't want to step on any toes. Has anyone had success with a creative lesson for seventh graders?
     
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  3. TeachOn

    TeachOn Habitué

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    Feb 27, 2012

    Stuff some kind of (perhaps) metaphorical sock into the laid-back chatter's maw and work with the one who seems interested in actually teaching something.

    I would find this very frustrating. Dealing with it I'm sure requires a level of tactfulness which is well beyond me.
     
  4. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Feb 27, 2012

    Try a high-interest novel with Literature Circles.
     
  5. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    Feb 27, 2012

    So you are coteaching with the teacher who lets the kids do whatever they want? Are you allowed/supposed to introduce new material, or are you just helping with homework from their classes?
     
  6. peachacid

    peachacid Companion

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    Feb 29, 2012

    The goal for the period is to enrich the work they do in other classes...so we are supposed to do things like literature circles, etc. I decided to focus on the teacher who is willing to work with me, so she and I have been collaborating. We had a discussion with them the other day about PSSA scores, and how our district as a whole (and their school) have not been doing well. We're going to have them generate questions they'd like to ask teachers, put them together in a survey, and put the survey out there to get results, which they'll then interpret. I'm just going to do something in another class the time when the other teacher has them. That way they'll work hard for us... I feel a little like it's giving up, but at least they'll get some work done.
     

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