Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Secondary School Topic: First Ten Minutes of Class

10-second review: Probably the worst part of the daily classroom routine is the first ten minutes of class. What to do?

Title: “The Newspaper: Medium Rare.” RE Dehnke and AW Ely. English Journal (May 1975), 39. A publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

Summary/Quote: “The halls of a high school are seething and vibrant before class starts. The visitor needs fast footwork sometimes, but we who like teenagers don’t mind. The high excitement of the young is infectious. They’re alive; they’re discovering the world….

“Five minutes later, it’s all gone. Through open doors we see rows of blank faces and limp bodies. Life stops at the classroom door.”

Comment: The author suggests filling that first ten minutes with reading the newspaper. I have filled it effectively by having students write for ten minutes on any topic of their choice. That night, I rewrite each paper—short, only ten minutes of writing—correcting mistakes in grammar. I have used spelling tests, each day a test on a particular spelling problem. I have used a sentence with problems including problems similar to the SAT Writing Test. Or I have used that first ten minutes to read aloud from a book in an effort to encourage students to read it. RayS.

No comments: