Thursday, December 2, 2010

Day 349- Good Story

I'm in the middle of "reviewing" foreshadowing with my kids.  I'm using my quotation marks (and in real life, my quotation fingers) in this situation because many of my students act as if they are hearing all information for the very first time. 

Whether I am "reviewing" or reviewing or teaching, I'm pulling out all the stops to keep everyone interested as the semester winds down and they imagine themselves being on Christmas Break instead of in my room.  In order to get them thinking and talking about examples of foreshadowing that they have experienced in one way or another, I decided that I would model for them with my own story first.  Strangely enough, I have come to find that they actually seem to like when I tell stories, and they are interested in hearing about things that I never dreamed would interest them at all.  It's curious.  Anyway...

The story that I thought seemed fitting today was about our scary highway experience last week.  I had all kinds of foreshadowing prior to the Great Spin of '10 that made it a good example.  I was hoping that they wouldn't end up looking bored and disinterested before I got to the end.  Beyond that, I hoped that they would actually get the point and that my story would light the spark for many other stories and much discussion today.  I have learned in a number of classes that accessing prior knowledge helps people to make connections by connecting our synapses, thus solidifying information into our brains in a much stronger way.

Sooo... as I looked around the room while I spun my terrifying tale, I was totally stoked.  They were listening intently... no one was drawing or tapping or sleeping or shuffling papers.  They were actually glued to my every word.  Is that possible?  I guess so!  The most exciting part was that my spark did light the fire.  My students were having excellent conversations about foreshadowing all day long, even the classes who usually gaze at me with glazed over eyes.  The absolute best thing was that they really seemed to get the concept, and they were able to generate their own examples and identify examples in the stories of others.  If they can hang onto this concept with this much clarity, I will be a happy, happy lady.  Happy students + happy teacher= happy test scores, yes?  Boy, I hope so!

Thank you, good story, you made my day. 

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