Skip to main content

I'm Back!

First of all, I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that you enjoyed your time with family and friends!  

PERIODS 0 and 2



This week we read an article called "Affluenza: Is it Real?" and students used two  critical reading strategies to help them comprehend the text.  Before reading, I showed the students two very short video clips about the article. Then, we marked the text,.  Next, students had to think of a way to group (also known as chunking) the paragraphs together in a way that made sense.  For example, they might choose two group the first three paragraphs together because it was the introduction. Afterwards, they summarized each chunk of information.  The students sure had to say a lot about this topic, and I encourage you to ask them about it!  We are reading this article as part of our Juvenile Justice Unit which really complements The Outsiders.  
We also finished reading The Outsiders.  Yes, I know it took us forever, but we did so many other things as we were reading the novel!  I hope that when they are my age that they will still remember reading it!  
Finally, students turned in their informational essays!  Not only did they have to research a topic related to a social issue in the novel, they had to include in-text citations and a bibliography in their essays!   I can't say that I was particularly excited about teaching them how to do either of these things (don't worry, I pretended to be excited) but I am thrilled to say that most of them nailed it!  I didn't learn about in-text citations until college!  As always, students who received a C or lower may revise their essay! 

PERIOD 1

We had a very productive week!  We are currently working on our informational essays.  Students had to choose a social issue in The Outsiders and find three articles about the topic.  Some topics that kids chose:  teen runaways, high school drop outs, teen smoking, and the effect of losing a parent on a child.  On Monday, I provided students with information about how to write the introduction,  I showed them a few examples to help them.  They then worked on them in class!  OH HOW I LOVE TECHNOLOGY!  Some students were willing to share their completed introductions with me through Google Docs.  This allowed me to project them on the big screen for the whole class to see!  As a class, we looked at about three introductions and provided the writer with feedback.  I was so thrilled that students were willing to put themselves out there like that!  In addition, I was impressed with the quality of feedback that was given.
On block days we worked on our body paragraphs.  Again, I showed examples.  I also taught them how to do in-text citations.  This was definitely something new to them, so it was a little challenging.  I didn't learn this until college!  I know there will be a bit of a learning curve, so I am not expecting perfection.  I mainly want them to understand why these citations are used and that using someone's ideas without them is plagiarism.  

As always, thank you for entrusting me with your children.  It is such a privilege!

Popular posts from this blog

Ditch those Reading Logs: Try Flipgrid Instead

If you've read my posts or follow me on Twitter, you know how I feel about pointless projects and homework!  This year I made it official and ditched homework.  It's the best decision I've ever made as a teacher.  My students are loving it, I am loving it, and I think most of their parents are loving it! I have completely transformed the way I run my classroom and feel like my students are more engaged and excited than ever. 

Student Example (Click to watch)

Like homework, I never felt quite right about assigning reading logs.  Whenever my own kids had to read a book on their own for school, they were initially excited. First, they were told they had to read twenty minutes each night. Then the dreaded reading logs began.  They had to write  down what pages they read, as well as a summary.  Urgh! I can only imagine lying on the beach with my own book and having to complete a reading log.  No thanks!  And I am not going to lie. I just might have signed one of my son's read…

Have a Dance Party Before Class Starts

This year I decided to play music as students are entering my classroom and before the final bell rings.  I had no idea what a difference it would make!  Why didn't I do this before?  It creates a positive, upbeat mood and seems to energize my students and ME! 



At first I thought they'd complain when I blasted disco tunes by artists like Chic, The Bee Gees, and Vickie Sue Robinson ("Turn the Beat Around").   I thought they'd groan when I played Bon Jovi, Journey, and Whitesnake. I thought they'd roll their eyes when I played clean versions of songs by Tupac and Snoop Dogg.  I really thought they'd lose it when I played Gypsy Kings.  NOPE!  They loved it!  I had NO idea that my kids would react they way they did.  Here are the results:






If I don't have time to put the music on, several kids will ask, "Where's our dance party?" I really like Pandora because I can create my own stations.  If you're looking for a way to create a positive vi…

Getting students to RESEE their writing

When students are asked to write, they often want to "get it done" and turn it in as quickly as possible.  I often ask them to look over their writing and look for places they can improve. Sometimes I even have them read each other's work and provide feedback.  Yet, even after I do these things I receive papers riddled with errors and flat out bad writing.  For years I have provided students with feedback (I try to offer as much positive feedback as I can).  I tell them, "Good verb choice. Great imagery. Fantastic argument. Wonderful hook."  However, I am frequently frustrated that  I am also continuously making comments like  "Sentence fragment.  Run-on.  Verbs aren't consistent."  You get the idea!  What's even more frustrating is that even though I make these comments telling students what they did incorrectly, the make the same errors on future assignments!

So, two weekends ago, I dedicated some time to researching add-ons available on Goog…