Friday, November 17, 2006

Emmett, you little genius!

So, I had this day of non-contact time today. Alongside the reams of lessons I had to plan and assessment records I had to fill out, I also had a hefty pile of marking of all the work the kids have done this week. Their geography topic this term is 'What's in the news' and on Tuesday I had them writing news reports in pairs, based on watching Monday's episode of News Round, the BBC's children's news programme.

So we watched the show, took notes and then I put them into pairs so that the lower ability children would be working with higher ability children. There was an odd number of children in the class that day as one little boy was off sick, so Emmett and Conrad (the boy with the mullet) were also working with Nick. Nick and Conrad are both quite able and Emmett (as I mentioned before) is not so able.

Emmett was having a bit of an off day (although clearly not as off as Wednesday, when he got the ball stuck on his finger). I'm sure it was six of one and half a dozen of the other, but the three of them would not co-operate and no matter how many times I told Emmett to work with the other two, he flatly refused and continued to work on his own. I got frustrated but ultimately left him to it.

I hadn't looked at the finished products until today. They were required to write the news report like a script, so they could perform it, with the best one being performed in their class assembly in a week and a half. This is how Emmett's went:

Emmett: Hello and welcome to News Round. A penguin was trapped in the ice in Antarctic.
Nick: Some film directors saved the penguin.
Conrad: Also, in Portugal there is a chocolate festival.
Emmett: Now we will be back after the break (NB, News Round is a BBC programme - there are no advert breaks on the BBC!)
Nick: Welcome back.
Emmett: There was a 'bird factor' (play on words used in News Round). Birds were singing in Colombia.
Conrad: I've got a small brain.

I laughed out loud to myself in the staff room when I read that. It actually said "I've got a smal bran" but I got the gist of it.

I was just so impressed that he had done something so funny. Of course, I didn't quite know how to mark it. Up to that point I'd been ticking each news item he mentioned, but then that....I was slightly speechless. It seems sometimes, despite appearances, the kid is very much on the planet!

I managed to get through the whole pile of marking and plan about 7 lessons, although I still have so much to do. Wah! I really hoped I'd get more done today and have the weekend to myself. Next week I'm going to stay later after school each day and get marking done as it happens.

But still. Weekend! Woooooohoooooo!

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