The daily musings of a substitute teacher in East Central Illinois.

Student Writing

Today I was a floater sub at Stratton Elementary in Champaign. I was assigned to three different classrooms, for about two hours each. Unfortunately, the first part of the day when awry when I arrived about five minutes later than I was assigned, and found out that I really should have been assigned to be there at 7:40 am, not 8:00. Fortunately, the secretary assigning us was able to quickly adjust my schedule and things well fine. I was a first grade teacher, then a fifth grade teacher, and, after lunch, finished up the day teaching third graders in the gifted/talented classroom.

Surprisingly, all of the teachers had real work for the students to do. In fact, you never would have realised that it was the day before Thanksgiving if you didn’t know in advance. I had relatively few behavioural issues, which was a nice break from what I have often experienced at Stratton. During the last class of the day, the students were working on writing expository essays. Each one had come up with a thesis sentence three supporting statements. Many of them had selected issues relating to health or the environment. I read over some of their writings, and I was impressed by the structure and order they used. Of course, some of them had statements that repeated themselves or didn’t make any sense. Some were kind of funny in the voice used. I snapped a picture of one of these last examples of writing.

Get real, people!

If you click on the picture, you can see the full-size image. But here’s what it says (to the best of my ability to transcribe, and without any changes in spelling, capitalisation, or punctuation):

Go ahead! litter! I’m not going to be the one who dies because of liter. Bad air, dirtey water. Death because of littering? Get real, people. Pick up trash [missing] throw away! recycle! It’s not hard. Take a few secends to find a trash can! Wait, would you rather drop stuff and be comfertable and die or hold your trash and not die?

I would rather litter [  ]1   2[  ]Im not a litterer.

check a box if you chose box 1 Stop reading. (or change). If you chose box 2, read on.

great! You can help by picking trash up, throwing away, recycle – even make crafts with garbege.

[Last line got cut off]

I don’t know if I have any samples of my writing from when I was in third grade, but I can only wish that I was as creative in my writing as this girl was. I love her tone of voice and the way she makes her point by making the choice be between life and death. It was definitely a fun way to end the week!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American friends. I’m not sure if I’ll be updating on Thursday or Friday.

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