I also had quite a few breakthroughs with my students today! Robert who usually sits in the corner and laughs incessantly, told me today that he now knows that water forms hydrogen bonds. This is a huge leap for Robert, because until this point he would stare at me and mumble something that always ended in a chuckle. Now I do not always understand what he says to me, so I began assuming that he found either me trying teach or learning in itself hilarious. However, I now know that he is very capable of learning, and it helps if marshmallows are present. I had the students make water molecules out of marshmallows and bond them together today. Most of the students were more concerned with eating the marshmallows than actually "bonding" them with anything that could potentially get them dirty. I don't think they are getting very much to eat, because I ended up feeling sorry and letting them eat all of the marshmallows we didn't use. I am truly coming to love these kids.
I learned today that some of my 9th graders are reading on a 2nd grade reading level. No wonder those students refuse to write anything on the board, and usually spend most of their time running around my classroom. I will have to find a new way to get through to them, although we are working on literacy daily in the classroom.
Finally, I will begin a dance club next week. I know this will be a great opportunity to get through to the kids. They have such a natural feel for rhythm and dance, and I can't wait to tap into it. The young man who was just voted most popular in the school will actually be the president of this group. Imagine that a young man who loves to dance can be accepted in this culture as one of the "cool kids." I know my high school experience would have been much different :) He told me today that he wants to complete a dance minor in college, but that he has never had any formal training. Even if he is the only one to come to dance club, I know that it will be worth it. Our first calling is to put together an egyptian dance for the homecoming presentation. Wish me luck!