The Author

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I am a high school English teacher, and mother of two charming little ones of my own. I teach in a high poverty urban charter school, while I live in a typical American suburb that has frequently been rated one of the safest cities in the country. It is a paradox I struggle with constantly, but it is my life.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Kids are kids... Even Teens!

So, if you have never worked with high school students before, I bet you think that they are far too cool to go crazy over plastic beads, laffy taffy, and nerds. Right?

This semester, we are trying to do grammar Tuesdays, focusing on one specific serious grammar issue each Tuesday. I wish there were a more interesting way to do grammar, but certain things like irregular verbs just can only be taught with practice. So, practice we must.

In an effort to make it more fun, I have decided I will add games, giveaways, whatever it takes. So, since today is Mardi Gras, and my family (okay, my husband's family) is Cajun, I decided to have Grammar Gras today! Giving a correct answer in class won you a bead toss, and then when it came time for some independent practice, I put on zydeco music and wandered the classroom with a bag of Wonka candy.

I am not sure I have ever accomplished so much in one 35-minute period. We got through 8 irregular verb activities as a class, then re-wrote two full paragraphs in class. Although they usually try to chit chat as they work, motivated by candy... they wrote furiously hoping that their hard work and correct answers would earn them a Laffy Taffy, some Bottle Caps, or a box of Nerds. Yeah... amazing.

Okay, obviously candy as a teaching motivational tool cannot be overused, probably clashes with the school's universal nutritious meal program, and would not work if done every day or even every Tuesday, but it worked for today, and that made me happy. :-)

Is it sad that I cannot wait until April when I get to teach homophones? I've got the best Veggie Tales video to share. Next Tuesday is sentence fragments. Now, how to make that interesting?

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