Saturday, September 11, 2010

Day 267- Challenge Students

UPDATE: Justin and two of my other students all got big parts in the play.  They're incredibly excited and are toting their scripts all around.  It's sweet :).

We've been working with our 8th graders on all kinds of writing skills for the past few weeks.  This is reinforced by reading examples of good writing together, dissecting them, and then practicing these skills again independently.  I asked them to go home and write last night and told them that it was extremely important that they complete the assignment so that we could work with their pieces of writing today in class.  It worked.  This year's group is infamous for turning things in late or not at all, and they have lived up to their reputation.  Not today.  My kids came to school today with their writing.

I was not only pleased that they all went home and tried out their assignment for class.  I was also delighted at many of the things I was seeing.  Their writing was funny and brave and full of detail and personality.  They're taking my stuff seriously.  I like it.

My challenge students really impressed me.  Challenge class is just another name for my advanced class or "the kids who did well on the standardized tests."  It's the top kids in the 8th grade.  These kids came to class today on fire about writing.  They were trading their pieces before class and reading them.  They were so very excited to share and to learn and to revise and to add new things.  We went over a few new concepts, and they were thrilled to get a chance to write some more.  I spent much of the class period conferencing and got through almost everyone today.  They were so eager for feedback that they lined up like little puppies wanting to share and learn and absorb.  It's a magical thing when a classroom is buzzing with students chatting about their actual work. 

I have my work cut out for me with their spelling and grammar and a few other things.  However, the level of effort and enthusiasm over the past few days have been more than encouraging.  They're jumping on my bandwagon.  Woot woot!

Thank you, challenge students, you made my day.

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