We all have many students in our classrooms who have important or devastating things happening in their lives. Currently a student whose parents are in the process of splitting up is grappling with what is happening in class but is really so distracted by what is happening at home that she is not succeeding with class expectations. I am looking for ways to adapt the English 11 curriculum to help students who are struggling with issues outside of school.
Another student is concerned with the health of a child who is close and is spending a lot of time away from school. I have assigned the student to keep a journal in lieu of some of the writing assignments given in class. The journal, in effect, has taken the place of assigned personal essays. Although this has not been terribly successful to date, the nature of the assignment is that the student will produce a journal of several entries over time to be given as a gift to the child. More time may be necessary before the final journal is completed. I shared samples of books that are written in a journal format with the student to promote creative thinking. Two of these books are, "The Jolly Postman" and "Griffin and Sabine”.
Understanding and flexibility are necessary to ensure that the process of adapting the curriculum runs smoothly. By adapting the curriculum, there is a greater opportunity for success for the students I am most concerned about. -Post courtesy of Bill Laven.