Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Early morning class

I think I'm going to LOVE this early-morning class. I can't believe I'm actually thinking and writing that, but it's true! They come in on time (7:15 am or earlier, for heaven's sake!); they take notes and are attentive; they participate when I ask whole-class questions and when they work in small groups.

Today we did two things that are usually difficult to get through, much less to even hope that over 50% of the students understand --
  • continuing to analyze sentences I've put on an overhead: find the subject(s) and verb(s), identify the clauses, tell whether the clauses are independent or subordinate, and then identify the type of sentence it is so that punctuation can be determined;
  • read over an incompletely developed paragraph, understand that ALL of the sentences after the topic sentence are straight fact (detail sentences), understand that commentary (analysis, interpretation, etc., of those detail sentences) needs to be added, then add true commentary (not just additional detail) sentences.

I know it's just a beginning -- and that if I think everyone in the class now magically understands all this, I'm kidding myself. But to even get this far this early in the course and see this many heads nodding (even when they don't realize it) is amazing! I can't tell if they, as a group, are just better prepared than what I'm used to or if my explanation of these concepts is getting better each semester or what. But whatever's happening, I like it!!

Now to work on duplicating all that in the afternoon class!

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