#35: transition words

I’m lost.  I have days when I completely doubt my ability to teach self-contained.  I allowed students to struggle through a very hard two-step equation and watched the breakthroughs and yet I also know that a group of students began to believe that maybe math just wasn’t their thing.  I stumbled through the chaos of planning science, recognizing that the individual lessons were good, but they failed to form a coherent whole.

Not horrible.  Not sinking.  Just out of step.

So, I go to edit articles students are writing and I start with the lowest language level.  An ELL student has written a five paragraph article that reads “Basetball Is Besst.”  As I look into it, I notice that he has used a thesaurus and followed our paragraph outline format.

Every transition is written in red font.  Each one makes sense, too.

At the bottom, he writes, “thanks you for make me a better righter.”  In the blog comments, I writes, “I never written a intrdocuction before.   It even has an attention getter.”   It’s a small gift, but one that propels me forward.  I’m reminded that even though I might have moments when I yell or lessons that tank, this student has learned something tangible that will forever change how he writes.  He might not pass the test and his data might not be pretty, but to me it’s a success story that I will celebrate.


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