A few more things all in one post...
Second, posthipchick is letting us take a peek at some of the cutest pre-baby pics you've ever seen. Go share in her excitement, it will lift your spirits! Don't take this the wrong way, but I have to admit I'm a little jealous of the amazing transformation she's going through, the anticipation, the new directions life is taking for her... well, all of it. So exciting.
Third, I gave one seventh grade class their quizzes back today, and told them they could raise their grades if they used the textbook to find evidence of the correct answer to each question they got wrong, and then copied out the right answer and the passage that proves it onto looseleaf. The idea was to make them work for a higher grade, while also making sure that they see the connection between what we read in the book and what I asked them on the quiz, that the correct answers were all accessible to them all along. They worked really hard on this. They even took me seriously when I said it had to be neat.
By the way, the jigsaw activity I posted about below was kind of a disaster. Most of the work they did just wasn't very good, and I don't even want to grade it. I will probably grade some of it and "forget" the rest. And the quizzes... I was going to give them each an individual and a group grade, but it just doesn't feel fair. They didn't take their roles seriously as experts, they didn't become teams dedicated to achieving more as a group, and I honestly do not want to punish the high achievers and reward those who did poorly by giving them the group average along with their own grade. So, I'm not going to.
I think the jigsaw idea could still work, done somewhat differently, but I will post more about that sometime in the future.
Tomorrow, all but about 20 seventh graders are going on a field trip to the American Museum of Natural History. That means I'm going to get a class composed only of those who don't get to go. We're watching a National Geographic Documentary on Natural Disasters. It isn't completely off-topic (actually, it will introduce plate tectonics rather well), it doesn't require much planning, and it has a lot of dramatic visuals and sounds. Perfect.
And finally, what is the right way for a father, newly returned from prison, to tell his pre-adolescent son that he has been away serving time for committing murder?