Hwaet! we Gar-Dena in gear-dagum

I’ve been working overtime the past couple of weeks trying to maintain control over my second period (8th graders).  It’s definitely the one class where I really have to be “on” every day and know exactly what I am doing from minute to minute.  This is good for me, I think, even if it takes up more time than I really want to give it at this point. 

Discipline was a major problem with the group of kids that I had this period last 9 weeks.  This hasn’t been as much of a problem this time around.  After writing up four kids and sending one to the office on the first day of class three weeks ago, I really haven’t had all that much trouble with them since.  This is true even given the fact that I have some pretty incorrigible kids mixed in with some really smart and talented ones.  My slower kids seem to be learning and my gifted kids have a stable classroom environment and room to ask questions and push the material further than I would push it otherwise.

This morning, we were talking linguistics and the evolution of language using English as our example.  I showed them a couple of passages from Beowulf in the original Old English and we listened to a couple of audio clips of those passages.  They were enthralled.  It was weird, really.  Everyday, I wonder what exactly I’m doing to cause this…

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