Skip to main content

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!  
Practicing our summaries and responses

Learning to Annotate

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.  Here are the sentences I shared with them:  

My older brother, Caleb, stands in the aisle, holding a railing above his head to keep himself steady.

    From Divergent

      Today the crowd has a new kind of energy, a last day of mania.   

From Divergent

            The village of Holcomb stands on the high wheat plains of western Kansas, a lonesome area that other Kansans call 'out there'
In Cold Blood

Students were asked to write down everything they noticed about the sentence. We then discussed what they noticed as a class. It was awesome to see how they actually thought about each sentence and why the author used the punctuation he used.

Finally, students had to write their own sentences, emulating the structure and rules in each of the mentor sentences. They did this in groups and shared them with the class on a Google Doc. I LOVED reading their sentences. Look at the sentences below, and you will see how they imitated the original sentences!

Yes, there is a misspelled word. However, LOVE the structure!

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…