For two weeks I've been talking about the poem the kids are writing about an imaginary trip to the Underworld. We did research on different cultures' beliefs about the Underworld and Afterlife in order for the kids to get details about setting, gods and goddesses they might encounter, steps or trials to endure--whatever. The paper they used says clearly "Underworld Poem Research" at the top. We learned about rhyme scheme and discussed word choice and mood and each of these skills was taught completely in the context of "in your poem you will need this" or "if, like you, I had to write poetry, I'd try to learn this," etc.
So today the first draft of the poem was due and in the 7th grade boys' class I asked for the drafts and the boys were like "draft? Poem? What poem?"
Fortunately 3 boys had their first drafts, and a couple more had heard me and just forgotten, else I might have thought I imagined the last 10 days of class time. One fourth of the class pays attention.
I've been feeling the strain lately, and this kind of crap can push an old guy into anger and frustration. Gotta let it go--this is a big week (Report Card writing for 2nd trimester, planning the next Expedition, etc) and I need to be focused and alert and flexible, not deranged.