Today's lesson was one of those "missed opportunity" kind of days. During the work time, I had several kids who had missed the first part of the lesson, then I had several who needed to reread it to comprehend it--basically, I had kids all over the board. One thing I meant to leave out was that last activity--the one where the students "play" the part of one of Walter Dean Meyer's teachers. They choose a teacher, either the one who had given up on Walt or the one who empowered him, and convey their concerns to the next teacher who will have him. I wanted the room to be quiet because I had so many kids at different points in the text, so I tried to leave that part of the lesson out.
My kids are craftier than that. They begged to do it, so I let them and what I found was the best part of the lesson. These kids had to understand the "voice" of the teacher (either harsh or nurturing) and that had to come through in the dialogue with one another. I tried to capture it on film, but wasn't quick enough.
Lesson learned. With such a difficult unit in front of us, snow days, and getting back into a routine, I was really trying to barrel through this unit. I have to remember to create opportunities like this, though, and enjoy it more.