Skip to main content


Vocabulary Station (They're hams)

We are finishing up our short story unit this week.  I love the short story unit, because it provides a great opportunity to talk about author's style, literary terms. elements of a story, and so much more!  This comes in handy later when we read novels.

We began the week with stations.  Students visited five stations and completed a variety of tasks.  We had just finished reading "Rikki-Tikki Tavi," so a few stations involved learning vocabulary from the story and finding textual evidence to support whether or not Rikki was a brave and likable
Working on textual evidence questions
character. Another station  allowed students the opportunity to practice grammar on  Students enjoy this website.  It allows them to create a profile and actually personalizes the sentences for each student!  They also receive instant feedback, as well as explanations of wrong answers.   

Working on a Plot Diagram
We also began reading "Monsters on Maple Street."  Students are looking for how the author conveys theme in the story.  For this story, students are focusing on how the writer uses setting, symbols, motif, and characters to convey the theme of the story.  They will find and analyze textual evidence from the story to support their theme.  Finally, the will create a digital presentation using Powtoon, which will include their chosen theme and evidence to support it!  I can't wait to show students this exciting way to create presentations.  

Looking pensive!

Finding textual evidence

We will be having a literary term test on Monday, so I created a Kahoot  game.  This allowed them to practice for the test.  Ask your student about it.  We played in class, and the kids had a blast.  
Once we finish our theme presentations, we will begin The Outsiders.  Students will be writing an informational essay.  They will also read a variety of non-fiction to supplement the novel.

As always, it is a joy teaching this age group!

Popular posts from this blog

Oreos in China and Read 180

A few years ago I read an article about what happened when Kraft introduced the Oreo to the Chinese in 1996.  It was not a success.  The Chinese thought the filling was too sweet-the cookie too bitter.  Kraft almost pulled the beloved cookie off the shelves. Instead, they began a quest to find out how to make the Oreo appeal to the Chinese. Enter the green tea Oreo, the mango Oreo, and an Oreo in the shape of a straw (not sure that still qualifies as an Oreo).  The revamped Oreos were a huge success! I found the article fascinating and decided to design a lesson around  it to share with my students.

First I showed them a news clip from CNN about the topic. Then, I taught them a few vocabulary words that appear in the article using Kate Kinsella's method.  Next, we read the article together and marked the text. I did a think aloud as I read aloud to them.  After that, students created a T-Chart listing the ten most important words in the text, as well as five main ideas from the tex…

Bottle Flipping

Last week someone posted article on Facebook about the newest trend with middle schoolers-bottle flipping.  If you haven't heard of it, you probably don't teach middle school or have a child in middle school! Consider  yourself lucky! If you know about it, then you also know it's annoying as heck.  Kids (usually boys), toss a partially filled water bottle into the air so that it flips in midair.  The goal is to have the bottle land upright.  This year I have had to ask several students to put their water bottles away because they wanted to flip them.  I know,  I'm mean!  

After reading the Facebook article I thought, "Hey!  I bet I can incorporate this into a lesson somehow."  Using my Oreo lesson as a model, that's just what I did.  First, I found two different articles about bottle flipping.  I went through both looking for key vocabulary words.  I then typed out the sentences with the words and created an activity where students had to guess the definit…

How to Train, Tame, and Enjoy a Seventh-Grader

I remember when my oldest son went to middle school.  I was a mess.  I was so anxious about whether he'd like his teachers, make friends, and be able to handle all of the work.  I think I was one of those parents that drive teachers crazy. No, I WAS one of those parents. I emailed teachers with questions that I could have asked my son (even when I asked him, I didn't trust his answer).  I checked his grades every day.  I constantly asked him whether or not he was caught up on homework. I asked him who he ate lunch with. If he didn't like a teacher, I wanted him transferred to another class.   If he messed up, I wanted to fix it.  If he didn't turn in an assignment on time, I wanted the teacher to let him turn it in late.  If he forgot his lunch, I wanted my husband to bring it to him (thankfully he refused). If he wasn't starting his homework when I thought he should,  I was practically putting the pencil in his hand and opening the textbook. In other words, I was …