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Showing posts from September, 2014

Productive Week!


Last week  read ¨Through the Tunnel¨ by Doris Lessing, learned about symbolism, and found examples of symbolism in the story.  Let me just say, one of the things I love about teaching is listening to what my students have to say in class.  Some of their interpretations and analysis were amazing!  Once they found quotes to use in their essays, I taught them how to blend their quotes into their writing.  We then learned how to analyze the quotes.  I included the meme below and would love you to ask your child what it means! They should know. :)  Many students finished their essays in class and were able to ask me for help as needed.  It was a very productive week!  I am so grateful for their willingness to learn and work hard.

Here is an example of what one of my students turned in:
Student Sample


Last week we read a story called "Charles." It had a great plot twist at the end!  We looked for examples of foreshadowing in the story and then co…

Week 4

This week students practiced a critical reading strategy.  I call it a think aloud.  Students read the text with a group and periodically stopped to make observations, predictions, summarize, ask questions, and point out literary devices.  It was amazing to listen to students as they did this. While reading "Through the Tunnel" they were able to go way beyond the literal meaning of the text and get at the deeper. symbolic meaning.  While reading "Charles" they were able to find numerous examples of foreshadowing which hinted at the story's
plot twist.

We also did a literary term mix and mingle.  You can ask your child about this, but it got everyone of his or her seat looking for examples of a variety of terms.

Help Your Child be Successful...Without Hurting Anyone!

As you all know, I have three boys.  One is a junior, the other is in eighth-grade, and the youngest just started middle school.  My oldest breezed throughout middle school exactly as he breezed through elementary.  He never struggled with organization, he never asked for help on his assignments, he never for got anything  and he always did his homework and aced his tests.  I thought I was obviously doing something right!  I must be an amazing parent!
Then, my middle son started middle school, and I was humbly reminded that  I really don't have much control over my children!  It was a nightmare.  Every time I checked his grades, my blood pressure skyrocketed.  I had a sore throat from yelling so much!  WHAT WAS WRONG WITH MY CHILD?  He did great in elementary, and suddenly he was getting Cs and even...gulp...Ds!  Sometimes he would fail to turn in a project worth 100 points claiming, "I forgot."   This was NOT acceptable.  I am a teacher.  My kids are supposed to be ex…

Week 3

I love the third week of school.  I finally know most of my students' names and am already seeing their personalities starting to emerge!  We are starting to get comfortable with each other!

This week English Honors read three texts:  "The Truth about Talent," "Secrets of Straight-A Students," and a poem called "Dig Your Starting Holes Deep."  I taught the students to circle key words and underline claims in the articles.  When reading the poem, we talked about  both literal and figurative meanings.  All three of the texts were about working hard to achieve goals.  We also watched a short clip of Michael Johnson discussing how he goes about running the 400 meter!  Ask your kids about it!  Afterwards, they had to synthesize the ideas of all three texts by choosing words and phrases from all three and creating their own found poem.  They turned out really well.  I told them they should print them out and hang them in their rooms for inspiration.  It was …

Smiles , Thank yous, and Dollar Bills

I don't know about you, but other parents often comment on how polite and thoughtful one of my boys is.  Of course, a part of me is thrilled, but the other part of me is skeptical.  Really?  Are you sure you are talking about my child?  The same child who yelled at his brother for eating the last gummy  bear?  The same child who leaves his cereal bowl on the table expecting me to pick it up? The same child who tortures me by forcing to listen to the awful noise he calls music while I drive him home from school? Well, after teaching for twenty-three  years, I get it!  Kids are different at school than they are at home. When I tell people I teach  middle school, a look of terror or pity comes over their faces.  ¨Wow!  You're brave!¨  I always laugh and  tell them that I am the luckiest person in the world; I have a job I love.  My students make me laugh every single day. They make my heart grow every single day.   On the whole the students I see on a daily basis are kind.  They …