Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Harry Potter Camp - Day 2 - The Hogwarts Express and Sorting

Day Two began with a much more encouraging note, as I did NOT forget the very helpful cable that my friend Kris had lent me (as opposed to Day 1, when I had many technological fiascos, about which I opted not to write).  This cable has made my life infinitely better, as I can do all my work on my Mac, and use the cable to hijack the TV to PC connection, meaning that I never have to touch the virus-riddled, never-before-defragged computer in my classroom, ever again (or at least until I start back to teaching regular lessons).  I like this cable so much that I'm seriously considering ordering one, or at least advertising via my blog that I want to get one, so maybe someone will remember it come birthday time...  Okay, enough shameless plugs.

Although Day Two started on an encouraging note, I quickly realized why a lot of teachers like those minute-by-minute lesson plans.  I definitely began to see some of their pros.  However, I, being a rather creatively-minded person, will still stick to my skeleton lesson plans, and write the minute-by-minute ones after my lesson is over.  (I plan to do those sometime this weekend, after my camp is entirely PIN-ISH-EEEEEEE! <Which is Korean-child for "finished.">)  This realization hit me when I realized that my entire lesson plan for the two 40-minute periods of the day looked like this:
  1. Train video clip.  (Internet??  Download movie??)
  2.  Read tickets.
  3. Introductions? 
Yup.  The award for most right-brained teacher of the year goes to... Me.  Don't argue it, just give me my certificate.

Believe it or not, this lesson is one of the ones that sticks out in my memory as a particularly good one.  As we were reading our tickets, I reached in my pocket and happened upon a train ticket from a recent trip I took, so I pulled it out, and we began comparing and contrasting the two.  When we got to the part about the departure point of our train, it said "London, England."  Well, we, being underage, certainly couldn't just apparate there, so we took the only logical course of action: We got up from our seats, lined up at the door, and proceeded to walk from Korea to London... all the way until the door, where one of my more English-gifted students reminded me that they didn't have their shoes with them.  But all is well, I realized we were walking East instead of North anyway (what we would have done at the border, I have NO idea), so it was better to turn around and head to London another way.  It ended up looking surprisingly like our classroom, but there were plenty of seats lined up in a train-formation, so it must have been the right place.

Our arrival at Hogwarts was met with an immediate sorting ceremony, during which the highlight of my week (possibly the highlight of both weeks) took place:  One profoundly bespectacled student with suspiciously mussed hair sat down at my sorting hat.

My extremely round-glassesed friend
I saw his lips moving a mile a minute, and, upon inquiry, the voice behind them grew louder.  To my delight I recognized him to be quoting the movie clip attached to the title of this post, starting around 3:52.  So, I proceeded in the only logical manner - I quoted it back to him.  In fact, we continued this until the end of the scene.  I think the most satisfying part was when the rest of the students caught on to what was happening, and they started to whisper, "Harry Potter?  Is THAT Harry Potter?!"  Beautiful.

The rest of the students got sorted, each house ending up with a decently Harry-Potter-educated student (HPES). This plan backfired ever-so-slightly when my Slytherins went from being rather sedate to being in full character after a quick conference with their rather disgruntled HPES.  While I am amused by their enthusiasm, it's also a bit frustrated, as I really don't want to have to keep taking points from their house.  Little do they know, I have some really cool prizes for the winning house, culminating in an English copy of the first Harry Potter book, which I plan to buy tomorrow, for the student with the best attendance and attitude record.

Once they were all sorted, I had the students set to work, making their house banners.  He had had a discussion about the qualities, colors, and mascot of each house, so they already had a list of what needed to make it onto each banner.  (You can see them completed below.)  It was funny watching them, realizing that I had sorted them pretty accurately, based on either the few times I had had them in my Saturday class or my brief interactions with them the day before.  My main goal had been to break up best-friend groups, but it was nice to see them playing to their strengths as well.

Everything was, once again, running behind, so I left the kids in the classroom to finish up their project, while I went around the corner to teach the 3rd and 4th graders for 40 minutes.  When I got back, I did some hunting, and found all of the banners, except for Gryffindor.  Hoping that they hadn't lost it in some massive inter-house fight or something, I taped up the other banners, and wrote a message on the board about it, before going home for the day.  As it turned out, Emma - a student with whom I've gotten rather close, and was, in fact the motivating force behind the theme of this camp - had taken it home to spend what looks to be several hours making it.  (That's a kid after my own heart, right there.)  Yes, this is the same Emma from my Saturday class, who drew Harry Potter as her superhero:

When you think about it, the only thing that's really lacking from him being commonly thought of as a superhero is a DC Comics or Marvel logo next to his name...
So, yes, Day Two was definitely an adventure, but I could feel myself getting more and more into the swing of things, and feeling more and more comfortable with what I'm doing.  Who knows?  I may even leave this experience feeling like a decent teacher!... Well, we won't push it. ;)

Lots of love to all of you!


And don't hit yourself with a bludger, friends... there are still eight more posts to go in this series (unless I decide to extend it).

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