It was "picture day," so we were on some modified schedule to leave time during 4th block for everybody to say cheese. I'm just getting acclimated to my 96.5 minute block schedule and what that means for how long for I allow for vocab, diagramming, grammar, reading or writing. Then today, first block was 10 minutes shorter than normal, 2nd block was 30 minutes shorter and 4th block was 30 minutes longer! And I had to take my 4th period to get their pictures taken. You must know how joyful this made me. Thank god for my friend, the other new English chica, who graciously gave up her planning to help me monitor my 4th period darlings. They behaved pretty well, only one fight and one drawn-on-in-permanent-marker-curly-moustache happened on the way from my room to the gym, and that one was so expected coming from my self-defined "theoretical anarchist." But, over all, I just never felt on top of things today.
One realization. My fourth period class, they really are pretty awesome. They really are engaged, and they really want to participate. My problem is, they participate all over each other. They want to be heard so badly, and I want to give them a space to be heard, so they just lose their little minds trying to get everything out all at once. They aren't "bad," and they aren't "negative." They are excited--which is so cool, but how do I get all that needing to be heard done in a half-way intelligable fashion? I don't lecture. They learn and teach almost everything to each other. I have them work in groups and partners all the time. Still, when it comes time to share, they just haven't been able to master talking one at a time, raising hands and waiting turns, and that's when it gets out of hand.
I dunno what the solution is, but, on some level, I guess I'd rather have this problem than the totally bored, apathetic stares (or the miraculous act of sitting up sleeping, how do they do that?) I get from 2nd period.