Sunday, June 13, 2010

Summer session 1 over and out; gearing up for number 2!

My first summer session at Alcatraz is over. Each summer session is 10 days long and I finished the first one last Friday, and start the second one tomorrow.

I taught the School of Rock (AM class) and in the afternoons I taught Hollywood 101. Rock was the history of rock music. As anyone who has ever taught a class knows, it doesn't always go according to plan. And that class didn't. I think it was mainly because of my issue with technology and I felt like my re-done lesson plans weren't as fun as the first set I did. I have to say, I LOVED the kids in that class. They were all boys and they were awesome and funny. They participated, even when they didn't want to. I don't care that it's a reform school; no one is standing over them making them raise a hand and answer a question. They don't eve get grades for the summer classes, but these guys did everything I asked and gave me ZERO trouble.

As a reward, I enlisted Mac's help. We brought in his "Rock Band" video game set- 2 guitars, a drum set, and a mic to sing- on the last day and they could play it for 2 hours. They thought that was the coolest thing ever. I just reminded them to take turns and they did- they had a blast! I also rewarded them additionally with sodas and popcorn. This was a great group!

My afternoon film class was a little different. Half way through the session, one kid got kicked out of reform school so that meant he went into the prison system. The kid never gave me any problems at all, so I was really surprised. They say it's the quiet ones who get ya every time. Then another kid got released. He was allowed to go home, which was a good thing for him. So during a ten day period, I lost 2 kids, bringing my class of 7 down to 5. Then on the next to last day, I had to toss a kid out of my classroom. He went from zero to idiot really quickly and I just booted him; that's what we're supposed to do but I like to handle my own discipline. In this case, though, I followed the rules. The rest of the kids were also awesome and fun. We had a good time, so on the last day, the 4 remaining got soda and popcorn as well.

With this second session, I'm going to continue teaching the film class. I'm going to show all different films for three reasons: I don't want to see the same ones over again, I might have some of the same students again, and we might study different genres. I'm going to list genres on the board and let the kids vote on which one they want to learn about; I did that last time and it worked well and they had a high interest level. (We did war and history [The Patriot], sci -fi [Invasion of the Body Snatchers, the e1956 B&W original], kids [Jumanji], horror [The Birds, by Hitchcock], mafia [Public Enemies], parody [Spaceballs], and comedy [Monty Python and the Holy Grail] If you want to see my reviews of these films, go here.)

I decided to lose the music class and am going to teach study skills, which is more up my alley anyway. And to add a twist, all the study skills will be practiced on materials I give them- which will all be about American Gothic Horror. That way they won't seem so bored when I give them a study skills task to complete because it will be over horror stories.

Summer session 2 starts tomorrow and I am excited! So far, so good!



Curley said...

Glad you are enjoying the experience there and that the lunch issue last week didn't put you off. You will have to come over here on your lunch break again. I enjoyed that lots.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like it went pretty good!
Hpe it goes that good next week too!

Bragger said...

I love your creativity! They are so lucky to have you. I hope it turns into something wonderful.....