Skip to main content

Winding Down

I just finished reading a book called Blended Learning by Catlin Tucker It was a great time to read this book because now I am even more fired up about the next school year!  I will be spending some of my summer looking for ways to implement what I learned in this book!  Tucker  discusses ways to use technology in a meaningful way with students.  This week I tried one of the recommendations in the book, using a platform called Schoology.   As a teacher, we all have those shy students in class.  These students seldom raise their hands, but of course, we know they have something valuable to say!  Schoology allows the teacher to post a discussion question online for students to answer.  Students post their responses.  However, they are unable to read the other student's responses until they have posted.  This forces everyone to participate and contribute something to the discussion.  In addition, they can reply to other student's posts.  I really enjoyed using this tool in my classroom and wish I'd discovered it earlier in the year!  The kids were definitely engaged!

This week we continued with book clubs.  It's always a joy to watch students engage in meaningful, thoughtful discussions about literature.  In most of my classes, nearly 100% of the students complete their assigned job for each meeting.  This makes for a successful book club.  Most of the kids are enjoying their chosen book. I honestly feel like I could leave and go to Starbucks, and the kids would be on task!
Touching Spirit Bear

Throne of Glass


Beta

Something Wicked this Way Comes

Uglies

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…