Trading Places

I am tired today.  Foot-dragging, eyes-drooping, body-fighting-every-step-of-the-way tired.  This tired makes me feel like I’d prefer each one of my chicken-heads to be silent and do all of their work.  I know a serious lack of realism when I see it, so I tried.  The end of first period came, the chillins’ were working, and the couch was calling my name.  I took my coffee to the couch and settled in for a couple of minutes.  

Miracle of miracles… they kept working.  They spoke quietly, asked me if I was tired, how my day was going, and if I needed a rest. I’ll admit to playing it up a bit–you know… hyperbole at its best.  Sighs, back of hand to forehead, my best woe-is-me

It came time for the classes to change.  The younger class came in, saw me sitting, and got a little bit giddy.  M. asked if she could teach.  I said sure.  And she did.  She went to the front of the room, gave the directions (as I whispered them to her), and made sure they had their supplies.  She worded things exactly like I do:

“Do you know what supplies you need?”
“Does everyone have their book?”
“J. can you please be quiet while I finish the directions?” 
“Check your neighbor and make sure they are on the correct page.”

We all looked through children’s poetry books and read our favorite poem out loud.  M. directed the class to applaud after each poem was read.  One student did not want to read, so M. asked if someone would read it for her.  C.  jumped up and did so with a flourish.  All the while, I was sitting on the couch as a student (albeit a student giving whispered directions to the teacher). 

After we read the poems, M. explained that we each needed to choose a poem to “copy” and write one of our own in the same style.  She even gave an example.  Then, we all completed the assignment.  Midway through, K. asked to take over for M.  K. wandered around the room and made sure everyone was following the directions.  Two students entered late, and K. got them on task quickly.  

What a fun day!  I won’t lie and say this was planned, or say that I have research to show that this is an effective strategy.  I will say that it was a fun lesson for all of us, and  a good way to keep things moving when I was just too tired to be entertaining.  

Here are some of the poems turned in today:

The Whale 
by M.
(based on The Elephant by Hillarie Billoc)
The poor whale,
Sitting all alon-ee,
Eating a piece of boloney,
While sitting on a stool,
Drinking in a pool,
While cooking on a grill,
While the krill is sizzing,
And the bees are bizzling,
Scooping up the honey
For your money.


Life Doesn’t Frighten Me
by K.
(based on Life Doesn’t Frighten Me by Maya Angelou)
A dark park
A bat with a cat
They do not frighten me.
A bad dad
A bar car
Does not frighten me.
Can it be,
Nothing really frightens me?


My Poem
by C.  
(based on Life Doesn’t Frighten Me by Maya Angelou)
There’s people in the dark
Playing at the park
Having fun for all.

Jumping up and
All falling down
Having fun for all

Rolling in the grass
Fast as a flash
Having fun for all

Going to sleep
Brushing my teeth
Having fun for all

Laying on my bed
Surrounded from hay
Having fun for all.
Sleep Dreams

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