Skip to main content

It's March!

English 7 Honors finished Tom Sawyer this week!  I think most of the kids enjoyed it, even though many found it challenging.  I really wanted my students to experience the humor of Twain and the joy of reading a classic!  This week English 7H  will be working on a performance task.  It will prepare the students for what they will see on the state test in May.   Students will read three non-fiction texts, answer a few questions about each text, and then write an informational essay synthesizing the information from all three texts.  I had the opportunity to administer the performance task to my first period a few weeks ago.  Last week I attended a day long training learning how they will be scored. I scored my first period students' essays and have decided to use the results as a learning opportunity.  After I give students their scores, we will go through the task a second time with my guidance.  They will rewrite their essays, and I am confident they will do MUCH better!  This is definitely a learning experience for all!

Both English CP and English 7H will be reading "A Children's Story," "Harrison Bergeron," "The Pedestrian," and The Giver.  You may enjoy reading them as well!  

My students are the BEST!
On another note, I have been enjoying the joys of spring at my house.  A hummingbird built a nest under our satellite dish!  I adore hummingbirds.  The nest looks big in the pictures, but it is actually about the size of a golf ball.  The two eggs are the size of Jelly Bellies.  I can't wait until the hatch!

Isn't it amazing that the nest is built on a WIRE?

I read that hummingbirds use spiderwebs to hold their nests together!

 We also have a dove nesting on our fence.  She also has two eggs in her nest!

Sweet Mama Dove!

Popular posts from this blog

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…

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…

Making Comments on Student Writing Meaningful

As any English teacher knows, we spend countless hours grading and commenting on student work.  What I realized after a few years of teaching was that many students did not read my comments at all; they just looked at their grade. Some didn't even look at the rubric!   However, many students valued my feedback and relished every comment.  I felt as though I was wasting my time on more than half of the essays.   As evident from the next essay the students wrote, the majority of the students did not heed the advice I gave in the previous essay.  I came up with a solution!  Using Google Forms, I created a detailed survey for my students to fill out about the comments they received on their writing.  I will include pictures of various questions and answers.  Better yet, I told them that all responses would be read and a graded  for the thoughtfulness.  I had a sub that day, so I created a link to the form in my daily blog post for my class!  SO easy!  Students were forced to go back t…