Wednesday, October 6, 2010

All-School Write

Today was our first "All-School" write.
            a. The students
            b. Mingling with the students
            c. Being visible to the students
            d. Working with the newspaper reps
            e. A few thoughtful responses
            a. The venue selected to introduce the task: The lunchroom
            b. The time of day selected to introduce the task: Lunchtime

In preparation for today, I contacted the principal and the AV guy. The principal first, so that I was sure this would be sanctioned by the administration and I just didn't know the logistics of presenting a schoolwide prompt. My thoughts centered around posting the prompt around the building (which is huge) and then advertising through homeroom about the writing opportunity. The principal felt that students probably would not respond to the postings around the building...I'm not sure. Anyway, he suggested that I hand out cards and pencils to everyone in 3 lunches along with an explanation of the prompt. I think everyone knows the downside of doing anything during school lunches, but I was willing to give it a try...The AV guy was ready with the prompt projected and a microphone available. Even with the microphone, the principal could not get students to be totally quiet during the 1st lunch, but 3 of us walked among the tables and distributed cards with prompts attached, and we did receive back about 20. During the second lunch, it was very quiet, but the group was almost entirely ELL. I introduced the prompt at this lunch, but when I walked around, no one had a clue as to what they were supposed to do with the card. During 3rd lunch, N. from the school paper met with me ahead of time to go over what she would say. We had to introduce the topic ourselves without the benefit of the principal somewhat calming the lunchroom. Controlled chaos is what it felt like. We distributed cards and prompts but really only received a couple back.

Things I'd do again: Attach the prompt to the notecard (a last minute decision that really paid off). I would contact the custodian beside the AV guy, because we waited quite a while for someone to raise the curtain and move the screen out. I also would only have the prompt itself on the screen in the future. Today, I had all the background/directions up as well as the prompt.
My foot is slowly opening the door...

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