So I told my students today all those things I’m feeling that I wrote about yesterday: that feeling of “ugh” and how I don’t like the way things are progressing. I read a passage from Fahrenheit 451 to my English 2 today wherein Montag gives an impassioned plea to his wife that she needs to feel “really bothered” about things. I put out there that the world Bradbury envisioned is largely here today: impersonal connections through Facebook Pokes and text messages instead of a phone call, headphones plugged in instead of talking to people, rooms with TVs on all walls, the whole bit. Is this good or bad? That’s where I want our conversation to be.
They seemed intrigued and willing. Now I need to provide the context for them to engage in that discussion. Debate is still what I’m thinking here.
I gave my English 3 students outlines for keeping track of notes on the different sections of the novel. Those notes come in to me and I grade them for completeness. They help us walk through class presentations and take notes on what we all have to say. When I put this all in the frame of needing to write an essay when we get back from Winter Break, I think several perked up and saw the need for all of this paperwork. We still are presenting instead of discussing the novel, but this is a step in the right direction.
They seemed a bit more goal oriented in their group work today. Two-hundred pages later (the end of the novel) is too long to wait for the payoff for keeping notes and up to date on the reading. I need to make something happen sooner that rewards the notes and writing and reading.
This outline for notes is based on our Essential Questions, Section Paragraphs, and In-class Discussion questions, handouts that I’ve already given the students and posted in yesterday’s entry.