Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Dr Seuss as Inspiration

Appropriately, today is "Dr Seuss Day". My grade 7 English Language Arts class has been working on an author study based on Dr Seuss for the past few weeks. The final aspect of this unit is to create their own "Seussville" character, and to write about their character using Dr Seuss-style writing. This week, students were engaged in what I like to call Organized Chaos while they brought their characters to life.

It's not always easy to achieve Organized Chaos in a classroom. It takes a lot of discussion and negotiation to get students to the point where they can be working independently, on-task, taking risks, helping each other, making messes (and cleaning them up!) and just generally being creative without a whole lot of intervention on my part. We've been working towards this point since the beginning of the year, but with only 30 minutes per day it takes time to get students on board with my particular brand of Organized Chaos and have them be successful. For the past two Wednesdays, we have had 60 minutes of class time together, and we have unlocked this achievement - and I couldn't be happier! This particular group of students will be in my homeroom next year, which translates into roughly 3 hours with me per day. It makes me look forward to next year, knowing that they are already skillful "Mme Gaudet Interpreters" ;-)

Here are some of their Seussville characters in progress. You'll notice that they are using a wide variety of supplies to achieve their desired goal. Lots of problem solving is going on in my classroom these days...