Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Surge! Getting up-Vocabulary and more

Vocabulary. I teach a lot of vocabulary. Sometimes I get punchy about it, and that's never good, because then I don't give it the amount of repetition in class that is necessary. About a year ago in a punchy moment, I used Big Huge Lab's motivator to create class vocabulary reminders for my students-they were created with sarcasm but they came across as just silly, which struck a chord with them.

They were such a hit that the students started making them and sending them to me. It's always scary when kids are creating something with Latin and you didn't even ask them to. I've never made this an assignment, but they still love sending me pictures that are associated with the words that they are learning-and yes, I give them corrections and feedback. They always correct the work and resend it. Then I print it and hang it in my classroom, or post it in blackboard, or use it in a class lesson, and they point and say "that's mine!"

This particular motivator has the word "surgere" which means "to get up". My students love meerkats, so this is a winner, and the tagline is "it is time to get up and to play"-giving extra vocabulary bang with two complementary infinitives. Now hold on while I transition----

Whew, thanks for transitioning with me. I was in a meeting today in which the request was made of my building administrator to make a commandment from on high so that we, as department leaders, did not have to work an issue out with difficult colleagues-or challenge any of the status quo beliefs. It was the old," if the parent says we have to do it that way, blame them." I'm a fan of this technique at home. It gets my kids off the hook at such times as when a video chat goes too long and I hold up a note that says"tell them your MOM says you have to get off" and they are secretly relieved to have the out and someone to blame and not look like a nerd. At some point, we have to share the responsibility, right?

Anyway, the admin had the with-it-ness to say, (paraphrasing), Okay, I'll do that but you have to back me, too. You have to be willing to say that we talked about it and this is what we agreed to. Shoot. I thought "surge!" "get up", tempus est surgere et ludere, why do we have to ask someone to be the bad guy for something that is right in the first place?

If a colleague asks, "who ordered this", shouldn't I say, "Does it matter? It's just right."

No, it wasn't an assignment, and no one is making us do it. It's just good. So that's what I'm going to try out. Go, Meerkats!

1 comment:

tech guy said...

Okay....I'm intrigued by this post but confused as to what happened or didn't happen.

BTW I love the motivator type posters. Have you seen the brainy flix?