Gettin’ Okie

We been doin’ The Grapes of Wrath in my AP classes. Man, I shore do love this book. What’s more, the kids, they seem to like it purty well, too. It’s got ever’thing a teacher can hope for. Symbolism, allusion, multiple themes, dialect, political messages, controversy, ever’thing. And I get to let my proper grammar go and really tawk like a Okie durin’ the lessons.

Several of my AP students don’t have the grades they want in my class. I mean, to the point there were tears. So I got to thinking about a suggestion Gayleen Rabakukk made a while back and offered the kids several extra credit options. A lot of them involve researching the Works Progress Administration projects in the Oklahoma City area. Essays, posters, photographs, etc. I look forward to seeing what they come up with. Oh, the one I really want to see is fifth period. They’re mostly choir kids and they’re going to sing one (or more) of Woody Guthrie’s Dust Bowl songs. That should be interesting.

English IV finished Macbeth and most everyone passed the open book, open note test. This week we read Norse mythology. Next week we’ll read about the formation of Old English and start Beowulf. We already have had heated discussion about the most recent film version of the story. Discussion that didn’t involve Angeline Jolie, even, and that’s saying something with this group.

I wish I had a lot of writing news to share, but I don’t. I did a little on the YA novel early in the week, but nothing since then. I been tired. Actually fell asleep between 9 and 9:30 a couple of nights. With all the essays and contest entries I have to grade, it might be a fair piece before I get to write anything.

6 responses to “Gettin’ Okie”

  1. Fact: Open book, open note tests often don’t leave enough time for you to read said book or notes, and the question is usually set up where the book and notes won’t help you anyway.

    1. I know. We read the play together. Previewed and reviewed every act. I told them using notes and books would probably just slow them down, but they begged. They all finished. Hell, we have 80-minute periods and there were only 59 questions. Like last semester, they complained that the study guide didn’t help. To them, a study guide is made up of the actual test questions. Sheesh.

      1. Your students and G’s students should get together…
        Uh, maybe not. Unless you WANT your students high? 😉

  2. I think you are doing a great thing by offering extra credit. In high school, while I got A’s in English, I sucked at math. My Geometry teacher was kind, and let me turn in grid drawings of different shapes for extra credit to offset my horrid test grades. I never thought there might be people who struggle in English… Glad there are teachers like you out there:)

    1. Well, I’m ethically opposed to giving extra credit to an AP class, particularly when part of the problem is simply a lack of effort in some cases. I just got a MySpace comment from one student apologizing in advance for not doing his essay over the weekend. His excuse? Video games. Video games and his part-time job. I gave them time to work in class, too, and almost none did it.
      On the other hand, there are some students who try hard but have understandable problems. Plus, all the extra credit is designed to enhance their understanding of the things we’re reading. I suppose it evens out.

      1. Uh yeah, video games are an entirely different thing…

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