I know I have written about my philosophy and how it relates to one of my goals for this year: to provide every possible opportunity for students to try new things and challenge themselves. One way I did this was to create an enrichment activity after we read Walter Dean Myers’ Sunrise Over Fallujah. The kids could choose one of the following assignments: create and perform a song; interview a veteran; create a movie trailer; or create a slide show of pictures as seen from the point of view of a character. Out of 154 students, I had about a dozen students challenge themselves. Remarkably, several students did not even need the extra credit points to earn an A. These are the future Steve Jobs of the world. I hope to share some of the work in the next week.
Sadly, many students chose to be content with their grade and not complete an enrichment activity. Of course, this makes me consider making this a regular assignment. The only reason I made this an enrichment activity was due to the writing of an essay, the reading of an independent novel, a creative integrated project with the choir, and we were one week from the end of the grading period. In teaching (and comedy), timing is everything, and my timing is a little off. Nevertheless, I will regroup and design a creative, challenging assignment for earlier in the next grading period.
Often times, we get an idea and it only works to an extent. This leaves us with the option to throw away the paper or revise it. In my class, we revise, revise, and revise.