At 8 am this morning, I took a 5 minute break from my before school job. I used those 5 minutes talking to my mentor, Mr. Agajan. I wanted to figure out what he wanted me to teach to his 3rd graders this coming Wednesday. With respect to Language Arts, they will be learning about words containing 'er' or 'or' sounds. Since it simply contains those sounds, those sounds are not necessarily at the end of each word.
Mr. Agajan attempts to give me some control in deciding how the lesson should proceed. He doesn't try to force a framework on me. Rather, he gives me choices to choose from. In the case of this lesson, the words that the 3rd graders will write down are written in cursive. Reading cursive is difficult for many of them. So, he gives me the option of having them rewrite the words to regular font in class or as homework. I find it interesting that he gives me the option because it makes me wonder whether he is merely testing me. Anyway, it is in this particular regard that I want to address how I will proceed.
I am leaning towards having them rewrite the cursive words to regular font as homework. There are a couple reasons why I am leaning towards that. #1 The time that Agajan's 3rd graders spend on rewriting the words to regular font at home is time that does not need to be spent doing that in class during the lesson. Necessarily, there will be more time available for the lesson. #2 If Agajan's 3rd graders have difficulty in rewriting the words written in cursive to a regular font, essentially, I have a fleet of student aides (i.e. the parents [at least, I hope and assume that that is the case]). If I don't utilize their parents, the worst case scenario is that no student is able to read words that are written in cursive font. That would leave me in a crippled condition. Because I would have to spend more effort and time in correcting the rewriting of the words rather than their understanding of the presence of the er and or sounds in those words that they are trying to convert.
So, in setting up the next lesson, I will have them rewrite the words from cursive to regular font for homework for the reasons just explained. Let's see if it really makes as big a difference as I expect.