Sometimes I am organized, and know exactly what I am going to do in class, and follow that protocol carefully. Other times, I feel like I am flying by the seat of my pants, as suddenly ideas pop into my mind as the lesson unfolds.
Such was today in social studies. We are reading, YES, reading... Chapter 5 Section 1 from our books on the history of Europe. bahhumbug.... yes, that was about the enthusiasm generated from my students. I was sticking to my guns, pushing forward despite the snoring noises emitting from various locations. We just needed to get through a few pages of the chronological events that formed Europe and for the life of me, there really is no quicker way to breeze over all those years than with this reading from our textbook.
Sanity seeped in at some point, thankfully, and I suddenly remembered this cool video clip from United Streaming we watched once on Life in Medieval Times. I quickly opened it and showed the 22 minutes of knights and castles and serfs. How COOL! The impromptu writing assignment of what would you like and dislike had you lived in that time period was even better! Students wrote and wrote about how great life could be, and how terrible it likely was. I felt redeemed for my meager start to the hour.
Planning is great, but more often, plans should be just guides, with time allotted for the spontaneous and the different.... to wake the sleeping troops and recharge their batteries.