Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Prime Minister Of Present

It's the first day of school. First hour is my English class. I have sold my co teacher completely on my new frame of mind (In fact, if she'd leave her dogs and husband for a month, she belongs at the next NITS. Leave your persuasive attempts to her in the comments. I promise to share them.) and we are all set for the new class.

We open with teeney dictionary work on the word present. This year in English, it's not enough to show up, our work is so important that they need to be present. So we're off to the races. I get about ten definitions from them and in comes the first latecomer.

Is anyone else plagued by all the lateness the first days of school? About a quarter of our kids don't bother to come to schedule pickup and some even show up to enroll on that first day. It's fair to say that what we have at the first bell for class is only 3/4 of what we'll have at the end.

We've already checked in and Fred is the first latecomer. The kids start in with "Ooooh, you late!" and we pull them off.

"Someone tell Fred what present means."

They give him some idea and I fill in the blanks just in time for latecomer #2.

"Hey, Fred, tell #2 what present means."

Again with a half explanation that I guide to a full definition.

Aaaand a big welcome to latecomer #3.

"#2, tell #3 what present means."

#2 is a bit unsure. Fred chimes in.

"I got it now, Ms Uhhh. Present is that you totally here. Your brain and everything. You gotta put down that other stuff and be present in here."

"Fred, you rock! You are the Prime Minister of Present."

"I'll tell anyone else that come in, Ms Uhhhhh."


At 4:35 PM, Blogger Shakespeare Teacher said...

Gotta love Fred!

At 8:38 PM, Blogger educat said...

I love Fred more every day, actually. Yesterday at check in he told us how angry he was that he got his hands on "a bad bagel". Except he used a short "a" sound in bagel.

I have a feeling they'll be more Fred-ness. Fred is the new Dang.

At 11:28 PM, Blogger Emily said...

I love love love the idea of starting with dictionary work on the word present. What a wonderful way to introduce the class, language, and the importance of being awake. I imagine using it as a precursor to check in. Maybe a first day activity along with the first check in ever?

"Give yourself the gift of being here."


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