Gooda wark Danialsan

January 25, 2007

Lloyd, School

We have three “Access periods” each week, because good middle schools have things like that. It’s in all the literature. Our access groups are students selected at random from 6th-8th grade. Once you have someone in your access group they stay with you until they enter high school. We don’t know what happens to them after that. So we’re pretty much stuck with the kids that we get unless you can convince another teacher to trade with you.

I have the best access group. It was a little experiment in self-fulfilling prophesy. When we first started doing these groups I told mine that they were the best access group. We fed off the fact that we happened to win the first inter-access group contest, and now they are the easiest group of middle students to work with ever. The 8th graders make the 7th graders tow the line and 6th graders are all terrified of me.

Wax on... Wax off...

This week we’re talking about bullying, and to introduce it we showed The Karate Kid to the rugrats*. It works well for an introduction, and when we first did this 2 years ago I made up a Karate Kid “talking points” cheat sheet for our teachers to use to lead the discussions. It’s an interesting movie to use, because it’s got the swears, drinking, smoking, fighting and racism in it, but it’s incorporated in a way that makes it easy to turn each one of those into a useful discussion. I think next time we show it I’ll include all of the swears in my introduction so the students aren’t shocked when they hear them in the movie.

We tried something new this time. We took a long sheet of paper from the art teacher and combined the two 12×12 screens into one huge 12×24 screen and showed it in letterbox. It worked surprisingly well.

*I said “rugrats” because I knew Annette would jump all over me in the comments if I said “kids”.

About Lloyd

Lloyd Sommerer is a middle/high school teacher who likes to build websites, read books, grow beards, make fun of Lauren’s prototypes and eat the sauce of the picante.

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15 Responses to “Gooda wark Danialsan”

  1. Beth Said on:

    *SIGH* I’m sorry I can’t be there to offer a little “best group” competition…because while I really disliked access groups, I also managed to mold mine into a worthy lot.
    Oh, and cool idea making a big screen. You should have taken a picture.


    • Lloyd Said on:

      Yes, your group was our only worthy competition. As for a picture; HA! like I ever get to use the new camera.


  2. Brad Said on:

    Do you also teach them karate in access group? You should show them other Kung Fu movies as well. Then you could have competitions to the death between access groups. That would be cool!


    • Beth Said on:

      Especially if you could pick to competitors… heh.


    • Lloyd Said on:

      The karate instructor of one of our 6th graders came in to give a demonstration last year, and the 6th grade teachers said it was terrible. How bad a presenter do you have to be if you can’t hold 6th grader’s attention with karate?


  3. Peggy Said on:

    Why are the poor,unjaded 6th graders terrified of you? Are the rugrat child safety laws different in Nebraska then the rest of the country?


    • Lloyd Said on:

      Well, it’s mostly because I like to lean out my window and scream at them to be quiet as they go back and forth beneath it to classes. The 7th graders really like it when I scream at the 6th graders too. I think it’s the peer pressure that really makes me do it.

      Child Safety Laws are really a coastal idea. We still let kids work around dangerous machinery and play on dangerous playground equipment here.


  4. Annette Said on:

    You honor me with your careful choice of words. I am happy to know that I leave a legacy of such wisdom. Apparently I am doing a much better job with you that three other boys I am related to!


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