About That Support Class…

In a stack of papers called Instruction.

  • Sep
  • 24
  • 2008

I told a protesting kid today, in very brief passing down his aisle, “No, that is not a complete sentence. It doesn’t have a subject.” He fixed the error on his own by writing “Man gets out” instead of “Gets out.” While most contain things that need to be fixed in a re-write tomorrow, just about every student finished writing their paragraph (except the two chatterboxes). I began with three students who I told, “Help everyone else who didn’t finish — and I don’t mean just give them your work to copy.” As far as I saw, no one copied and the students “helped” (if you loosen your definition enough to include “didn’t distract”). I ended with somewhere near ten students “helping.” Little victories.

A few other good things are happening in the class that’s surely going to be the death of me:


I haven’t watched it yet. I don’t plan to. I fear the deep depression it would bring on.

As planned, the camera recorded the first 10 minutes of my Support class yesterday. My good-twin Laurie used it to great effect in her presentation on classroom management. I feel that I have very little during that period and so it would be a good thing for teachers-in-training to see. The critique would be valuable to me because I could try a few things out. A few ideas came of it and I put some to use today and things worked a little better.

But I’ve received very positive feedback about the tape. Two teachers on my campus and in my department sat in the room when Laurie showed the tape (didn’t know that ’till after the fact). A friend who was my professor when I was in the Ed block was also in the room at the time (likewise, a humiliating shocker). He just told me how impressed he was with how I handled the class and my understanding of where to properly spend my time dousing fires. I thought yesterday went horribly.

Three, Two, One

After reading a text, write Three Most Important Facts, Two-Sentence Summary, and One Original Title. I’m using short newspaper articles right now with the titles removed. Expansion plans are being drawn up. I’ve only done two so far (“Another one! This is boring!”), but I think this will be a keeper.

Adjectives And Adverbs

The original paragraph stood practically naked:

I walked into my room. The bed sat in the corner, while the TV rested on the dresser. My closet opened. Clothes fell out. Plates of food covered my desk. Papers, magazines, and CDs littered the carpet.

Students wrote adjectives and adverbs to add before every noun and verb. With those words plugged into the original paragraph:

I slowly walked into my messy room. The invisable bed quietly sat in the broken corner, while the big TV sofly rested on the ugly dresser. My messy closet respectfuly opened. Cool clothes quickly fell out. Clean plates of nasty food fully covered my small desk. Empty papers, dirty magazines, and rock CDs habitualy littered the flying carpet. [sic]

I know, spelling errors abound. I know, it’s a paragraph I gave to them and a list of words prepared ahead of time. But maybe they’ll make connections to how they write in the core English class. And this is only the first of such exercises.

Five Ws And One H

I started with an article about Suge Knight and moved on to one about Jeremiah’s Promise, but keeping students focused on specific questions as we move through slightly longer newspaper articles might be a good way to go. I provide a copy of the text along with a series of questions targeted at the Five Ws and One H. The majority of the work collected yesterday needs to be improved/completed/corrected, but if I stay on top of it and provide good articles, I see this getting better and helping students focus on main idea.



1. Dan Callahan says:

[9/25/2008 - 5:30 pm]

I have used a variation of the three, two, one in the past many times with great success for novel reading.

3 Sentences about the chapter you just read
2 Questions – something you didn’t understand, the meaning of a word, etc.
1 Prediction about what you think will happen next

I’ll keep your version in mind for shorter factual articles and chapters in content area textbooks.

PS: Way to spam, Dr. Aranoff. It’s a good way to pretty much turn me off of wanting to read your book.

2. Day 1: Teaching via Cheesecake | Inner Education for Inward Educators says:

[8/15/2009 - 6:48 pm]

[…] did not have the cheesecake on hand.  Rather, I used a 3-2-1 sheet on the largest cheesecake in The largest Cheesecake in the […]

3. JasonP / InnerEd says:

[8/15/2009 - 7:01 pm]


I have to admit that I’ve “borrowed” your idea for 3-2-1’s, and I recently made a post on my blog about using one of my own. I tell my fellow teachers that I got the idea from a cool blogging California teacher that I know (I’m in TN). The special ed department loves them for helping kids with remedial reading comprehension. I either make them with local news stories or stories of “odd events” and use them as bell-ringers.

The post:

The file:

4. Todd says:

[8/15/2009 - 8:14 pm]

Jason, I couldn’t be happier that my idea is helping someone else. Feel free, obviously, to steal ideas in the future. It’s why I put them here and it’s very exciting for me to hear about! Keep it up and I’m glad to be of service.

Have you done anything different with it? Is it working for you? Your SpEd department is using it, too?

I like the idea of someone sitting in an office whose sole job is to keep track of the biggest cheesecake. I wonder if that person at least gets to try samples of the losers. And what’s the person’s job in the office next door?