We have just finished a long tough writing unit. During this unit, I have de use manded quite a bit from my sophomores. I expected them to use scholarly databases to do the research instead of just googling the information. I expected them to learn how to write an annotated bibliography. Of course, we also learned about works cited page and in-text citations in MLA format instead of just listing the URL on the last page. Many of these things are new to my sophomores. They struggled with this even though we took it step by step. Many of these students complained wanting to know why they can’t just do it the way they did before. To make it even worse, I would not allow them to use any variation of a few simple phrases, I am going to …, I have done some research, the first thing I want to tell you about is… etc. I really want this to be a formal paper, I want them to learn to use MLA format, I want them to be able to write a strong thesis statement and I could go on. They fight me constantly with this. I hear, why can’t we just do it the way we have been for years. Because you are getting older, because many of you will be moving to college and expected to know how to do this. We finished this unit after 2 months.
Decided to give the kids something fun to do today. We are starting a unit on Shakespeare and I found a breakout activity that introduces life in Shakespeares time period. I was really hoping that giving the kids a fun activity to do without a ton of pressure for the students. While most of students seemed to enjoy the activity and actually had fun with it, there were a few that let me know that in no uncertain terms, that it made their head hurt. Why is it that asking students to do much in the way of thinking and problem solving, makes their head hurt?
I know I am not going to find something that everyone enjoys doing, but really, it makes your head hurt when you use it? Maybe, just maybe you should be using it more.