It has been a long time getting here, but here I am. I have 10% done and only 90% (the hard 90%) to go. It's very late, it was not an exciting day (with 1 exception) and so I'll report briefly.
Hours 1 and 2 went over their tests (and some finished their review sheets after the test was done). They did poorly, considering how simple the test was, but the extra 25 points for completing the review sheet gave almost all of them high grades. 63 became 88 and 72 became 97. Quite a leap. And they were pleased and motivated by the sores I was disappointed to see that they felt they had earned something rather than having been handed something (I guess that's the difference between knowledge for knowledge's, sake to paraphrase Mr. Wilde, and grades as an end in themselves: what college is all about). Learn something new every day.
Hour 3 was less of the same. The new kid from yesterday was not there, as I expected (I guess he didn't appreciate my help as much as he said). He did show up later in the day to make a purchase (the room is a constant parade of students, seeking to buy candy, doughnuts, and balloons). So I talked with both students and Susan about their projects, and looked at some ancient and dreary software that reduces writing to a formula (2 nouns, 2 verbs, 3 adjectives and we have a poem). There was a catalog of software that was outrageously expensive. No wonder schools are going broke, feeling they need this stuff to give their kids an education.
Hour 5 was the big test. Class was in 2 parts. To begin, I had them interview each other and report to the class what they found out (which, as I expected, was very little). They fooled around and gave stupid answers, which I ignored and attempted to reward the good answers with praise. It was a brief who what where when kind of presentation, and took about as long as it should have. Part 2 was the vocab review. I wrote the 20 words from the last 2 week's tests on the board and gave them fill in the blank sentences using these words. We used little slates and after all had a chance to put the correct answer on their slate I asked them to show them to me. I had preselected some winning numbers (taped on to the boards) and if they had a winning number and a correct answer they won a doughnut. My expense. Anyway, though things did get out of hand, they did attempt all the words, actually giving thought to the choices and justifying their selections if determined to be incorrect. But they are used to getting what they want and those that did not win complained until I gave them another crack at it. Finally, everyone who was willing to play got a doughnut, but they had to give me a correct answer. They need to learn some behavior skills that will enable us to review as we did, learn what needs to be learned (I think this is an ideal method for vocab) and move on without the chaos that we saw today. Upward, though to the darkness.
Hour 6 worked on their character sketches some more, and spent their time trying to out-irritate each other. Enough said. Monday, I begin all 5 classes.