Skip to main content

Second Week of School in English 7H



Love the SMILES

They don't look too miserable, do they?

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 turnitin.com account, creating a noredink.com 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 doing this long enough to know that the first few weeks are the hardest, and after that, the kids know exactly what to do!  
You will see this in your child's backpack!

In addition, we read an article called "The Secret of Straight A Students."  I explained and modeled how to annotate a text.
Getting out of their seats to share annotations
 This is to prepare them for our upcoming Article of the Week Assignment. I will be modeling all aspects of this assignment, as well as having students practice in class before assigning our first Article of the Week.  After students become experts on annotating, we will learn how to complete the written portion of the assignment.  This week I had them get out of their seats and share their best annotation with three different people.
 I gave them a sentence frame to guide them.  As I circulated around the room, I was truly impressed by their insights and conversations.  As usual, I am SO enjoying my students!
Sentence Frame for Sharing
Students sharing annotations!

They are AMAZING

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…