After A Vacation

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12 thoughts on “After A Vacation”

  1. This is a great activity-it rarely fails (if students are ready for it) and students like writing on index cards (and I like using the physical cards.)

    Another reminder that I’m trying too hard.

    I had to look up what WBYT meant…then I read that post. For someone that moves too fast all the time, I am reminded that my students need me to slow down more than I want to. When I first started teaching in a classroom 15 years ago, I felt that I couldn’t have any moments of quiet, that I had to fill every single minute. I realize that I still feel that need. It’s hard work for me to slow down to the pace my class needs.

    My Spanish 1 class this year especially needs me to go more slowly. They come in and they are so wound up that I’ve been starting class with a minute and a half of silence. Then I breathe deeply with my bouncy student so that he sees me do it and also breathes deeply. It’s like teaching middle school again.

  2. There is a lot of wealth disparity in my school. Some students go on amazing vacations and some are barely getting a holiday meal. Any advice for modifying the activity to make it better for students who really didn’t get to do anything fun over break? Maybe two lies and one truth?

    1. I have done that before, and it has worked marvelously. Usually I’ll notice a kid stuck on their card, having written only one thing, and when I ask them how I can help they say they don’t know what to write. Then I tell them to make up two things (or three!), and tell them that they’re my secret weapon and to make the lies ridiculous. Then, when interest starts to wane I can use their ridiculous card to close the activity and make it memorable because it was so tricky.

      I did this activity on Ben’s advice (literally scrapped all of the other plans I hadn’t planned because planning is a waste of my time), and it worked really well for all of my classes, keeping their interest for basically an entire 40-50 minute block. Bear in mind that these are elementary (3-5th) grade students not used to sustaining focus, but since it was about them they were willing to play them game.

    2. Sometimes I have students just make up one thing they did (and I read it), and everyone else has to guess who made it up, based on what they know about that student. I, too, work at a school with more than half students on free/reduced lunch, so most students work over break and/or watch Netflix/You Tube.

  3. FYI I did 3 lies and 1 truth to shake it up a bit. I have students who live in poor conditions and wanted to see if this gave different results from 2 truths and 1 lie. Most of what they wrote was pretty tame (“got a new cell phone”, “binge watched 5 shows”, “went shopping”, etc.). In most of my classes we had fun. It was great to laugh with them on the first days back.

  4. Yup. And I’ve know some teachers here in DPS who like to play 4 Truths and a Lie. Just more fodder for the CI. Use that activity all week if you want.

    And you can even use all the information you get, if you’ve got the story writer taking notes, on and around the Star. Any CI you get, as long as the Hub A folks are doing their jobs, fits right into your program.

    You can trust your CI Car to the Star. Hey I’m a poet and don’t know it.

    Just make sure to drive that car slowly. They always fake like they are getting more than they are, and it is your job to err on the side of the speed of sloths.

  5. I’m going to try to do it all week for sure. Tomorrow I was thinking of doing what you suggested in a previous post, typing up the students’ entries, projecting them, and then asking the class who did those things. Good idea getting my story writer involved and doing the Star. I’m thinking of how I can make this week as easy on me as possible and that sounds like the ticket. We have 90 minute blocks so I’m always trying to fill minutes.

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