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I am a retired English teacher and department head, the mother of three, grand mother of three, and have been married to the same man for 42 years. I subscribe to Dr. PM Forni's concept of Civility. I was born in South Philadelphia and grew up in the 'burbs. I love soft pretzels and cheesesteaks, the Phillies, the Eagles, and San Diego. I love being Mom, Aunt Kathy, Nona Kathy, and Teacher. I spend a lot of time in my gardens in the spring and summer, and in the winter I plan what I'm going to plant. I also am an avid reader and photographer.

Translator!

Friday, December 8, 2006

About two weeks ago the music theory teacher and I decided to team up. We took two of our classes - my 12 English honors and her music composition class and put them in one classroom. After all the students composed a few short paragraphs on a choice they had to make and its ramifications, I would teach a group of poems that feature choices. I decided to use "Traveling Through the Dark" by Wm. Stafford, "Mending Wall" and "The Road Not Taken" by Frost, a soliloquy from HAMLET, "To be or Not to be," and "Choices" by Nikki Giovanni. I read the poems twice - w/o comment, and the students checked them against their literary checklists for literary devices. (Discussing the literary devices (metaphors, symbols, alliteration, anastrophe, etc. invariably leads to the literal and then the figurative meanings of the poems -- if not I ask some pertinent questions.)

Today we finished all the poems. The students referred to their compositions and were asked to choose one from their group about which they could write an original poem about a choice or choices. They've begun composing the poems and will finish their collaboration on Monday when we'll go downstairs to the music rooms for them to set their poems to music! My colleague will take it from there....

The kids have responded excitedly to this -- better than I had anticipated as it's been a 'nutty' kind of week. (At one point I thought we owed it to the National Weather Service to give them a call and tell them SOMETHING was coming our way - the kids are great barometers.) I've been coming home exhausted, but it's a good fatigue. Still, I'm really glad tomorrow is Saturday!

3 comments:

Mary Beth said...

Hi, Kathy--thanks for your response to my comments about NCLB. I'm here in Kyiv for only a year, and it will be hard to come back to the testing situation in the US. At my school in Ffx. Co., ESL teachers are used for at least 6 weeks/year to test children in small groups, to give them every chance to improve their test scores. What a crock. Happy holidays! Mary Beth P.

KathyL said...

Hi Mary Beth! You're quite welcome! A crock, indeed! This is what happens when politicians get involved in education. Idiots all! I'd like to see them do what we do - for just 10 minutes! The kids would bring them to their proverbial knees!

Have a wonderful holiday. Kathy

KathyL said...
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