Friday, April 8, 2011

Team Teaching with my Mom...

My mom has been teaching for over twenty years. She has taught both elementary and middle school in various subjects. All year long I had been telling her great things about my fifth graders, so as she and my dad came to visit for her spring break—she knew she had to come to my classroom to meet my kids.

She told me she had purchased "The Legend of the Bluebonnet," retold and illustrated by Tomie DePoala. She wanted to read it to my students. I figured it would be a good break for them as I hardly ever read out loud to my students and they had to endure two days of state standardized testing this week.

Anyway, I had never read the book, so I did what any good teacher does. I went online to do some research, and did a Google search that I hoped would give me some worksheets. (Just kidding, worksheets are bad.) I found some discussion questions and some extension activities that I adapted to complete with my students.

My mom had perfectly timed her arrival to the end of the kids lunch. I had told them she was coming, and they were thrilled to see her. “Oh, y’all look so much alike,” one student quipped.

So, we made our way somewhat silently (school rules) to my classroom and got the kids settled. To intro the book, my mom and I started asking them different questions about legends. We decided to put the story on the document camera and my mom would read it aloud. I would show the kids the pictures as they ooohed and ahhhed at the pretty illustrations. As my mom was reading, you could have heard a pin drop.

Then we began the extension activity. They were to describe their three most prized possessions; their answers ranged from a bible, to a PS3, to one students education, and a teddy bear named Scratch. Nice.

We asked them what their lives would be like if they gave their possessions away, similar to what the heroine in the story decided to do. Some kids claimed they would be bored/lonely/more annoying than usual, but they would be able to survive. Their answers were interesting and insightful, as usual far beyond their years.

I would say the day went well and I really enjoyed team teaching with my mom We worked well together. There weren’t any crazy discipline problems (aside from the normal 5th grade stuff), and my mom was finally able to put some faces with names. She was impressed with how smart and motivated my students were. I could tell the kids really liked her as they made a card and passed it around and signed it. It was cute.

P.S. After listening to my mom that afternoon with my students I realized...I am turning into my mother. Truly, this may not be a bad thing. :)

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