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Not enough to do in middle school
Old 12-09-2009, 10:27 AM
 
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I encourage middle school teachers to run off word searches and save old copies of Scholastic Scope magazines so in emergency situations, you have lesson plans.

This age level NEEDS and WANTS to be busy. When they have plenty to do, I have fewer problems. They just can't sit there and do NOTHING.

Late calls do happen. Why not plan for them? Call in or E Mail your plans to the office and tell them when they finish to work on the puzzle on your desk.

Too many worksheets and book assignments are completed quickly with nothing extra for them to work on. And then Ms. Picky next door screams to the class because they aren't working and quiet. BECAUSE THEY HAVE NOTHING TO DO!!! Plain and simple. This is a generation that likes to play around with little gadgets and technology. They have lots of energy and do little work to relieve this energy. KEEP THEM BUSY!!!


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Old 12-09-2009, 03:18 PM
 
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in our jr high they aren't allowed to go to lockers. At first I thought this was mean, making them carry ALL their books around ALL day, but actually as a sub it is nice b/c they always have something to work on WITH THEM.

I also have no problems assigning extra work. If they are doing Chpt 6 in science and she didn't leave enough work, look in the book - have them do review questions, copy down all the definitions for that chapter, do the test in the back. I personally don't care much for word searches b/c unless I am missing something they don't teahc a person anything (ok, you can argue spelling,b ut that would be a stretch). I prefer REAL work. If assigning extra work screws w/ their plans, well, honestly - they shoudl have left me options in case I got done.

It is alsos uggested that subs cme in w/ stuff, but Id on't do that. The kids have text books filled w/ potential work - I use that.
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If I were subbing in a situation like this .
Old 12-09-2009, 04:02 PM
 
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I would always have something with me:
an outline map of the US. Let them label on the states they are able to locate. They can compare with a classmate when they finish, OR you could have about 10 copies of an answer key.

You could also have them try to list the 50 states in ABC order. If you want, you would provide a sheet that says:
A 4
B 0
C 3
D 1
E 0
F 1 and so on. After they get started on this, they will enjoy doing it. You will have better success if you provide the numbers.

There are also puzzles with statements like this

1. 36 i = 1 y (36 inches = 1 yard
2. 3 o = 1 i (3 outs = 1 inning) Or is in 6 outs
3. 4 c = 1 q 4 cups = 1 quart

They don't all have to be math.

I would just go prepared, at least with some sheets that could be copied and used if the teacher has not provided enough. Should you have to do this? NO!!! But if it makes your life easier, it is so worth it.
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Old 12-09-2009, 04:32 PM
 
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I like to carry a mad libs book with me for those moments when the whole class is done and there are at least 10 min left of class. The kids are usually always ready to participate (just have a rule about appropriate words) and believe me, a lot of jr highers need a review on what verbs, nouns, adjectives, adverbs are.
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Other ideas
Old 12-09-2009, 05:05 PM
 
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I still carry a handful of things, the vestige of my first few sub days when the teachers left me absolutely nothing to give to the kids. Sigh. But in recent days, I haven't had to use any of this stuff. Anyway, I do carry Mad Libs, which I figure I would use as a grammar review. Also, I carry a Scholastic book of graphic organizers, just in case we can analyze something they're reading. Also, do a search online for writing prompts for your grade level(s). You can always have students write a quick essay meeting whatever guidelines you establish. I no longer try worksheets (can't get to the copier, nor can I copy 100-plus copies anyway) or games (I tried a math game I found once, and it totally confused and frustrated the students).


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Mad libs
Old 12-09-2009, 05:30 PM
 
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Hey Barbara - I have a somewhat silly question. I recently got a book of mad libs for upper elementary (grades 4-7) and haven't got an opportunity to try them out yet. How do you do the mad libs? Do you write 'noun/adjective/noun/verb' etc on the board ahead of time? Do you just ask for words as you read it? Just curious
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Mad Libs
Old 12-10-2009, 06:40 AM
 
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Well, like I said, I've never had occasion to use them in class. However, I used them last summer with my own kids while we were in the car on vacation, and this is a variation of what I did then. I would first review the definitions of the parts of speech involved (verbs, nouns, whatever) and also probably ask for examples so I know the kids understand. Then I would establish some sort of system--go through the class in order row by row, or alphabetical order by the attendance chart, or something--and ask each person in line to supply the next word in the sheet. Once the sheet is filled, you could read it aloud. Most classes would be big enough that you'd probably have to do two Mad Libs to give everyone a turn to participate. FYI, I found a bunch of Mad Libs books on remainder (clearance) at a local bookstore last summer. There are so many variations that you're almost certain to find something topical, like holidays or summer vacation or whatever.
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