Last week I taught the first fifth grade class in my rotation and the lesson was absolutely terrible.
I admit that I planned the lesson close to last minute. But I consulted with a fifth grade team member on the topic, googled for ideas, found something I liked, and went for it.
Haha. Queen of ‘wing it’ had her wings broken.
The topic is ready references used as resources to find information. A typical skill. And not something that I like to teach in isolation. But it’s hard to un-isolate a skill when you see students every 15 days.
Anyway, I found a link to an idea called Me Resource and really liked the idea of students putting to use their previous knowledge of ready references to create a reference about themselves.
I made a quick template, got copies, and prepared to wow my students.
Students came in and from the beginning we struggled. This class is about 4 students larger than my other classes and has students pushed in from another class. Immediately my seating chart was thrown into chaos because a student was hollering (not kidding), “I’m special ed and we have to sit together.”
I have never had students identify themselves as special ed and say they have to sit with a group. But apparently, these students all sit together for their special area classes so that the assistant from the second classroom can help all of the students.
I have four students at a table. And a chart.
And absolutely no advanced warning that this is a directive from the powers that be.
So I’m trying to get students who need routine situated in a place where there is no routine because the last time I saw the class (three weeks ago) we had a fire drill planned in the middle of the lesson and I barely got book check out executed.
So the Me Resource lesson was doomed to failure. I managed to get students into the dictionary as a resource and to create two entries of words that describe their personalities. Some students had time to draw a picture and write a caption for their page.
And then we did checkout and class was over. With just a third of the assignment completed. No Encyclopedia entry. No map labeled. No Thesaurus entries. Nada. We barely got names on our papers!
I scrapped the lesson and planned something less authentic to do with the next classes. I think the Me Resource will be a great one to bring to the grade level and suggest as a collaborative project. Perhaps a good September project for next year.