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28 February 2005: Second Time Around (5 of 6)

It was great fun, really. Short lessons, engaging material, and the best part was that if something went horribly wrong, it would be over very quickly. Then, before the end of my second week, I ran into some planning difficulties.

I found that the second class I taught at each grade level was between one and two days ahead of the other class. Consistently. At first, I tried to ignore it. I made adjustments in my planning to allow for more sponge activities. I planned extra individual work. I carried around a backup plan in the form of a Spanish picture book, word search, whatever.

One day, fifth grade class #2 asked why they always finished projects faster than fifth grade class #1.

I could no longer pretend that I didnít notice the discrepancy. We talked about it for a few minutes. I suggested that once youíve done something, the second time you can usually adjust things that didnít work so well and improve upon the things that did work. For this reason, I explained, they essentially had a more experienced Spanish teacher than fifth grade class #1.

teaching quote of the day

Tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Involve me and I understand.

- Chinese proverb

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