Friday, January 23, 2009

Do you need a notepad?

I thought about writing about this experience all evening yesterday, but I was worried about jinxing it. Because that would be such a bummer. But it really was such a unique (read bizarre) experience, that I can't stop thinking about it.

I walked into my classroom yesterday and had my whole lesson prepared. It was not an exciting one. There are just those things that you have to get through to lay the foundation. So this was a foundational lesson, we were talking about academic writing, building "habits of mind" to become critical thinkers, and critical reading strategies. There was a lot to cover and basically I lectured. Don't judge me.

The interesting experience was this. The students sat quietly at their desks and took notes. They took notes! Every time I said something there was a little flurry of pens and pencils, scribbling away. Every time I wrote something on the board, I could hear pens scratching and papers being flipped. One student even asked me to repeat what I had said so that she could write it down.

The amazingness continued. Not only did they take notes, but, when I referred them to their textbook, to look at a specific page, they all turned to that page and followed along.

I know you may be thinking, of course they will take notes. They are students, you are the professor, they write down what you say. But I have never had that happen before. I've done lots of lessons, I've done lots of activities, but until yesterday, I have never had an entire class sit for an hour and fifteen minutes and take notes.

I hope that didn't jinx it.

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