First “Kids Say” of the School Year!
This is the first “Kids Say” (the darndest things) post of the new school year! We are currently working on basic theatre vocabulary. I know… FUN, right? Ugh, I hate this boring stuff, too. Anyway, last year while I was trying to survive my first year I just had them write down the vocabulary words from the textbook and memorize them. This year I said to myself, “No one learns that way. This year they’re going to have to know what they really mean.” So I set off on a mission to teach these kids the meanings of the words.
I told the kids that I would not be putting the book’s definitions on the test. It freaked some of them out, because of course they want the “right” answer and I couldn’t give them that. They actually had to listen to what I was saying and take notes. I had them get into groups and rewrite the definitions in their own words and all that.
Later in the week I came up with a little review activity where they had to match the words to the definitions in a relay race. The thing was, I put all the definitions in my own words. As I was working on them at home I told my husband what I was doing and he said, “Wow, that’s higher level thinking. Are middle school kids capable of that?” I was like, “Heck YES they are!” but then started doubting my quest a little bit.
The next day we did the activity and I was thrilled because the kids were getting it, and they thought it was pretty easy, too! I was so proud that before they left my classroom I gave them a little speech and let them know what my husband said, and that I couldn’t wait to go home and say “I told ya so!” I then talked about how amazing their brains were because it really was a higher level thinking task, and the fact they thought it wasn’t that hard made it even more impressive, because that told me they had really learned it. The class “Awww’d” and clapped for themselves, and then Jordan in the back raised his hand with a worried look on his face.
“Does this mean you’re going to start expecting more from us?”