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Re: Um....A Little Advice??

Pace!  Pace! Pace!  Keep a quick pace.  Don't turn your back & don't be hesitant.  2nd semester 6th graders are totally different than they were last fall.  Keep it going----wait time for answers is not useful here, only when you already have a history with the group.  But really, you will have fun with them. 

This part involves a phone call or visit ahead of time:  If you can, ask the classroom teacher[s] [privately, ahead of time]  to stay in the room to keep an eye out for 'stuff,' so that the person[s] can sit with one of them or be escorted out without you having to skip a beat & risk losing the others. Also, ask the teachers whether the kids need to stay in their usual seats or sit closer [chairs/floor].  This is their call, not yours.  They will know what works with that group.  With 2 teachers, one can hope that they aren't both substitutes.  Hopefully the teachers will want to stay for the purpose of working what you say into their curriculum later.  It would help you to know just what/how they are studying the Amish, as well.  Tell them if you're going to need a student desk or table to set things on, including your notes, so you don't have to keep reaching down to get stuff from floor level. 

Plan, plan, plan-----& make your notes dark/large, so you don't have to look down at them too much.  Good to have items to show/talk about.  Passing things around can be lethal, time/behaviorwise, so just have things that can be seen.   It would be great to have 3 or 4 largish items [tools/hats/cap/bonnet], even if 1 or 2 kids have to be sent out to help carry them in.  Arrive early, so you can take care of this, & whatever else comes your way.  No pictures, unless they are large enough to be seen by the entire group.  Today's chalkboards often are magnetic, so you may be able to post things that way----or have a couple of kids do it.  This age is quite capable, just high-spirited, at times. 

If you're going to stress a few words, make a chart ahead of time that can be seen all the way to the back, rather than trying to write them on the board as you go.  Use magnets to put it up.  Take along a few magnets if you have them, as well as masking tape.  I know classrooms usually have these, but it's easier to be well supplied than to have to stop, ask, wait, etc.  Don't worry about using multi-syllable words with these kids-----they've been hearing them for a few years----just talk your regular way-----they can spot anything that smacks of talking down or phoniness a mile away.  And, they are just as likely to be helpful to you as mischievous.    They really are fun, much of the time, because they have still have one foot in childhood, while the other is into being independent/cool.  Do enjoy them! 

"In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer."                                             



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