Skip to main content


Showing posts from September, 2015

Week 5

One of my goals this year is to not only have students write more  but to have students have more choice in what they write about.  Since we already wrote an informative essay, I decided to focus on narrative writing.  Of course, this means I must teach imagery, diction, and figurative language!  We read  "Fish Cheeks" by Amy Tan and analyzed the author's use of literary techniques and devices.  We also looked at the structure of the text.  Students enjoyed the story and it was an excellent example of  descriptive writing and story telling.

Next, I showed students this picture:  

Students had to describe the picture. However, they were not allowed to use the following words: woman, stroller, trash, garbage, or baby. They were given the option of taking on the persona of one of the characters, describing the scene as a passerby, or just describing the picture itself. One student wrote as though she were attending an art exhibit and saw this picture. It was amazing!


Week 4

We accomplished so much this week!  Students read "Does Teaching Kids to Get 'Gritty' Help them Get Ahead"?  Students practiced the second part of the Article of the Week assignment-writing a summary and response to the article.  Students wrote both parts of home for practice.  In class, I had several students share their work  with me. I projected the assignment  onto the screen, and we discussed each one as a class.  It was a way to provide valuable feedback to students and a great teaching opportunity for all!  

After practicing all aspects of the assignment, students received their first official Article of the Week Assignment!  I am excited to read their responses, as well as discuss the topics that we will be learning  about.  

In addition, I introduced students to the Sentence of the Week activity.  I wanted to teach commas, so I found three sentences from well-known literature that used commas correctly.  Two were from Divergent and one was from In Cold Blood. …

Week 3

As the week comes to a close, I feel like the students and I are settling in.  In preparation for our upcoming Article of the Week Assignment,  we practiced annotating  another article "What it Takes to be Great."   I showed them a few short clips of some people who are "great" in their field-Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, and a classical pianist.  We discussed how all of these people make what they do look so easy.Of course, in the article we learned just how much TIME these people put into becoming great!  After reading and annotating the article, students reflected on how confident they feel about annotating the text and describe, in their own words what it means to annotate.  

"Instead of quickly reading through and having to reread something, I learned to read slowly and REALLY read it.  It (annotating) helped because I knew what I was reading, and I actually understood it." -Student
Based on their responses, I feel we are ready to move on to the secon…

Second Week of School in English 7H

The first few weeks of school are challenging.  Everything is so new to the seventh-graders, and it really takes time to get them acclimated to procedures and "how we do things."  For example, in my class alone: students signed up for my Google Classroom, created a account, creating a account,  and creating a Schoology account!  This is in addition to their main account to log in to the computers at school.  In order to help students with this, I gave each child a paint swatch from Home Depot.  We create each account in class together, and I had them write down their user name and password for each account on the paint swatch.  If they had a phone, I encouraged them to take a picture of the swatch in case they lost it! Of course, there were still students who said that things like, "Schoology won't let me in."  I insisted they take out the paint swatch, and sure enough, they had typed in the wrong user name!  :)  However, I have been d…