So I have been using various lessons, created by an amazing teacher, in my social studies class for the last few years. Some go over well, others flop – usually depending on how prepared I am, and how well my students (7th grade) interact that day. Yesterday we did “CSI Florence,” trying to discover who murdered Guilano de Medici. Second period started getting into it, fifth period was apathetic, and then there was seventh period. The students were debating pretty well, “I think…,” “okay, I agree…” As I was getting ready to finish the lesson, two of my girls – Jade and Ivette – were not seeing eye to eye, though they were in the same group. Their passion for their stand on who was guilty was infectious. The entire class started to quiet as Jade made her point, a little louder, using specific evidence, while Ivette countered, also a little louder, using just as valid evidence. I pointed out that it was okay to disagree on the outcome, but they both insisted on having their points heard by the rest of the class. Another girl in the class called for help, “Mrs. A, I cannot decide! Can I take it for homework?” I almost wept for joy. Of course I said yes, and allowed anyone else who asked to take it home and mull it over. I intend to hear their final decisions today, and how they came to their conclusions. What a good thing to happen with only 7 days left in our school year!