I've hit a big snag.
I have 2 sections of students and one is streaking along like a greyhound...lots of terrific ideas. Building on a wonderful website of seed ideas (ala Bernie Dodge's termanology). They are going to undertake the most fantastic of storybook animations, games and other projects. I can hardly wait. They want to attempt shopping sprees, football games, car races, maze games, guessing the jellybean jar games and on and on.
And then there's my other class. I am struggling to know what to do with my other class. 5 of them are right there with the first paragraph kiddos. They are more than capable of doing the things the other hour are doing, but I'm not teaching them those things....I can't find the classroom management structure yet to organize my time so I can get to them. I am neglecting to ignite their imaginations. I have to spend the time today.... no excuses. If nothing else today gets done in this hour I have to spend time with the high end kids.
Then there's the middle group. They're great kids, but they want to be walked through everything and handheld. Problem solving isn't their "bag". They need me to teach them problem solving. What they want me to do is to solve their problem. So we are at a crossroads and I need to help them understand it isn't about solving this animation problem...it's about them learning to try something and if it doesn't work then trying something else. I am wondering if I can enlist the help of one of my principals to come in and work with them. Or some other adult? I just don't know. But they are acting like helpless girls and I don't like that.
And then there's my last group of kiddos. They can't read very well and they can't write. So programming in Logo and writing commands is very difficult if done on grade level. I tried modifying the assignment. But it wasn't enough. So I went and asked the 8th grade teachers for some peer tutors to come in and help...I'm going to try a 2:1 and see if that will help out. I think I may be able to then write some of the subroutines for them to just call up from the network share folder and cut/paste into their procedures file. They should get the experience of writing the main program and doing the big thinking of the animation, but without all the detailed programming that is expected of the other 7th graders. Is this scaffolding or modifying appropriate? I don't know.
I need to do some soul searching over the weekend and over the Thanksgiving break. I have listened to other teachers talk about how they use Logo with younger students and I need to contact them and see what they do with younger students and try and match that to my student's academic abilities maybe? So many ideas and so few solutions. I only have these students for 6 weeks and then they'll be off and I'll get another bunch in for 6 weeks. It's so little time to get to know them well enough to adjust, plan and implement.