Ok, I'll admit that my classroom (to a casual observer) would have looked like complete chaos today. We are on day 2 of "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" which usually is a well received poem, but yesterday it didn't get the best reaction. Today the students worked in partners to record the key information from the poem on "Pirate Pack" boats donated by White Spot.
I know it looks really disorganized but there was actually a lot of structure to the lesson. We started with a very simple (but formal) review. The students are actually in a pre-arranged seating plan (I decided to have them work in 2s but I picked the partners). The kids also had a very specific set of things that they needed to include on their boats. Afterwards I evaluated the project with a simple checklist that they will get back tomorrow. Some groups will have to add a few things but most groups hit all objectives. So...there was Iron Maiden playing in the background (the Iron Maiden version of "Rime of the Ancient Mariner") and lots of paper and tape all over the place-and the atmosphere was very loud (especially for first block in the morning) but there was quite a bit of organization that went into making everything work-and it did work. I felt it was a very productive class.