My classroom days are certainly numbered. Just yesterday, the Unfair Game backfired tremendously, with a kid actually thinking I was picking on their group, prompting them to leave the room. I understand how adolescents can be, I’m just losing interest in this kind of stuff real fast. Anyway, I decided to remove myself as much as possible from gameplay next time, though in a way that still maintains high levels of input during the activity.
In short, students (re)read together in a group, as usual, but are also tasked with creating the questions and answers. When it comes time to use these Qs in the game, check to see if the answer the original team came up with was correct. If not, -10 points. Otherwise, the wheel has only positive values. Correct response from a team means they spin. Otherwise, move on to next team.
I also wanted to leave it up to the original team as to how specific and picky the answer had to be. For example, when I asked how a character was described, the correct answer being “more suspicious,” the response of just “suspicious” wasn’t quite right. Yes, I was being picky, but its place in “The Unfair Game” made things worse. In The Fair Game, however, a team can choose to highlight something like that comparative, requiring a specific answer. It’s up to them (and not me), adding to the competitive nature, but removing myself as some kind of arbiter.
Here’s The Fair Game.
In a Latin Best Practices Facebook group discussion months back, I shared that I wasn’t sure I do any pre- or post-reading. I just have a bunch of…activities. While I still think that’s true, I’ve decided to consolidate and organize everything under the pre/dum(during)/post categories to make planning even easier.
I almost can’t believe I just typed that. Planning—for me—already takes mere minutes. With broad Class Day and Culture Day unit plans established for reference, I’ve had no need to plan the class agenda more than a day or two in advance. In fact, doing so becomes a waste of time as things become irrelevant, or causes frustration when plans—inevitably—must change. N.B. I’m able to plan this way because I work under a “forward procedure” approach, which I highly recommend. Still, if there’s a way to reduce planning even further, I’m game.
I hear teachers talk about cycles a lot these days, which are kind of like longer planning routines. Since my school went to A/B day block schedule, the whole “Monday = ____ day” is pointless, and the longer 84 minute classes really messed with how I structured it all. This year was a big adjustment to say the least. So next year, I’m gonna give the cycle thing a try as it pertains to pre-, dum-, and post-reading sequences within a single class. This differs from what Elizabeth Davidson shared, noting that her sequence typically lasts 4-6 days. These past weeks, though, I’ve been using the sequences when reading a short text, such as a novella chapter, in one class. As such, the amount of pre- needed for the reading (dum-) is far more limited, as well as the scope of a post-reading wrap-up (usually a game). For the descriptions of everything that follows, see this updated list of activities, which is now organized by timing, not prep…
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