Monday, October 24, 2005

thank you, MEA

We had a four day weekend, and I wish it would never end... OK, that's a lie. I'm actually ready to go back tomorrow! I kept thinking Thursday was Saturday and Sunday just happened over and over again. It's a sweet feeling when you are falling asleep, knowing that you can sleep in for most of those days.

Saturday wasn't quite a nice sleep-in day though. I proctored the ACT in Lakeville, so it was an up-at-five-am kind of day, and I wasn't able to fall asleep until 12:30, so it was a loooong few hours. Probably not as long for me as it was for them!

But I did discover my first case of plagiarism. My Comm-11 kids wrote short stories, and as soon as I picked this one up, I knew. It was too neat, and as I glanced at a few of the sentences, there were no errors. I signed the computer lab out for five days and this kid didn't use any of those days to write. He played chess, he surfed the web, and I talked to him about it and he said he was doing it at home.

Well, he copied it from The Lengend of Zelda and it wasn't even subtle. I am kind of offended, though I know to expect this a lot.

So what I decided--for the research paper, which both classes will have to do--they will have to write a large part of it during those computer lab days. They will have to write it in front of me, or they won't receive credit... this way, I can somewhat prevent future plagiarism. For the major papers, anyway. And indeed, they can email it to themselves or put it on a jump drive and take it home, but I want to actually see them work on it. This was a problem in my English-1o class last year; they wanted to do it at home, but then they had nothing to do on those computer lab days and they would play games and be a distraction and a disruption to the other kids. Nuh-uh. Not going to happen any more.

Anyway, we have a movie a-waitin' and about four or five more windows to winterize, so I'm going to leave it brief. I apologize for the shocking lack of entries, or at least the sparseness in comparison to the days of student teaching. Somehow, with only two classes, I had a lot more time. I wouldn't mind doing some blogging from Lakeville, but I keep thinking that might be unwise to do on school property!

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