Homecoming is October 23rd. It's apparently a football game, and a dance... or more than one dance... and some other events during the week leading up to it. Yup, Another GAHST (Great American High School Tradition) that I've only seen of in TV and movies. Some get totally into it, and some don't. There is a Homecoming Court, with a Queen and all. The school hosts a formal dance, and apparently in the past some parents have organized an "invitation only" dance at a local civic center. Sounds a little controversial, and I'm not sure why it's allowed. But, since it's not a school sponsored event, we really don't have much say.
The first round of SATs are also written in October. Mostly, it's for juniors, who need their scores before they can start applying to colleges and universities. Seniors write it, too... if they haven't yet, or if they did and they want to try to improve their score. I guess sophomores can write it as well... Practice maybe. It costs money each time you take the test. When I told my students that kids in Canada don't write SATs, they were jealous.
In preparation for these tests, the school has DIVE words every week. Usually about five of them... these are words that have appeared on tests in the past. The goal is that by exposing these kids to new words every day, they can expand their vocabulary. Teachers are asked to write the words on the board every Monday, and leave them up all week. How I'm supposed to use my board to teach after that is my problem to figure out. (Although, now that I have been using my Smartboard more and more, and my whiteboard less and less, so...)
At the end of the week, there is a paragraph that uses all the words in out of sequence blanks. Students can put the words in correctly and turn in their submission. One entry is drawn, and that student gets rewarded. The cycle is repeated again the following week, with new words.
Last week's DIVE words were:
- profuse—lavish, extravagant; plentiful
Ex: As I toured the empty field, I noticed the profuse undergrowth that hampered my walk.
- ossify—to turn to bone
Ex: The log that had been left in the swamp was almost ossified as I tried to pull it free.
- salubrious—promoting health
Ex: Doctors used to say that exercise was salubrious; some now refute that statement.
- discursive—skipping from one idea to another
Ex: The preacher delivered a discursive sermon that was hard to follow.
- obdurate—stubborn, hard-headed
There. You can no longer say that this blog doesn't teach you anything. ;o)
Speaking of vocabulary, and ways we use words... I'm realizing more and more each day that, despite the fact that my students and I all speak the same language, there are times when neither one of us really knows what the other one is talking about! I was giving instructions to a class today about "writing a test", and one girl shook her head and exclaimed "What are you talking about?" There was a moment of vagueness when I couldn't understand what she was asking me, when another student said "We don't know what 'test writing' is." Hmm.
They also have their own colloquialisms that I just can't make out. They talk so darn fast and mumble SO MUCH that I usually have to ask them to repeat themselves slower and clearer before I catch on! Those of you who know me in the flesh know that I have pretty good hearing, but when I'm stuck in the middle of a room with 24 jibbering students, it can be a lot to take!
Please please... If I return home with these bad verbal habits... Please slap me and make me change my ways!