Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Creative Projects... how I love them and hate them.

Topic of the Day: Creative Projects... how I love them and hate them.

So, my students have a half day tomorrow. I hate these days because I need to come up with a lesson plan for 30 minutes that still covers what I need to cover. It gets hard to cover something in 30 minutes when you're used to 55. I always thought that talking for a shorter amount of time would be easier but I suppose you get into a pattern when you so something consistently.

Speaking of doing something consistently, my students all come in on half days (for the ones that show up) expecting us to watch a movie or have a free day. I guess that's what they're used to in other classes. I know this to be that case because when I walk around the school that's what I hear in some of the other classrooms. I know that other teachers do teach... but if a few teachers consistently have movies on a half day then the kids expect it from all of the teachers.

I cannot accept this. I want my classroom to be a place of learning, whether they like it or not. I need to drill the standards into them until they can recite them back to me. I will not accept a half day as an easy way out.

So what can I do for a half day to fill time with meaningful learning? I decided to do a Poster Project (Tm) where the students can pick a city from anywhere in the world and research it's climate. This would allow them some creativity, to learn about distant places, to tell me about themselves, and to LEARN ABOUT CLIMATE!

Unfortunately, it's not going so well. The kids are having trouble "coloring between the lines." If we do something creative in here, it's like they all go nuts and want to do everything without rules. I'm sorry, but there are parameters for doing the poster. It needs a title, yes. It needs a name on it, yes. It needs to actually have information about the climate on there, yes.

Ugh. Creativity will kill me one of these days.

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