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Showing posts from December, 2017

Creating a Cell Phone Sanctuary

Over the past few years, I have noticed a change in my students.  Not only are they tethered to their phones, but they are more anxious than ever.  In the past two school years, I have had at least three students experience school anxiety so severe that they could not come to school.   Those are just MY students.  This year I have had one student leave our school after her mother spent three weeks trying to drag her to class each morning as her daughter screamed, cried, and sometimes refused to get out of the car.  According to an article titled "Teen Anxiety and Depression: the Kids are not Alright" published in 2016, "In 2015, about 3 million teens ages 12 to 17 had had at least one major depressive episode in the past year, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. More than 2 million report experiencing depression that impairs their daily function. About 30% of girls and 20% of boys–totaling 6.3 million teens–have had an anxiety disorder, according t…

Student Writing Comes to LIfe

This is our first year offering Creative Writing, and it is my first time teaching it.  When I proposed the idea to my principal, we thought it would be best to make the class a semester-long and pair it with Beginning Drama.  At the semester, the kids in drama will go to writing and the kids in writing will go to drama.  This will allow students to "try" both electives.  The drama teacher and I thought it would be fun to collaborate on a project together, and it was a huge success.
First, I taught my students how to write a scene.  We discussed the elements of writing a scene, looked at examples, brainstormed ideas, and practiced writing a few.  Once students were ready, they worked in a group to write a scene on their own.  They were encouraged to have just two or three characters in their scene.  Students spent quite a bit of time on this project and received feedback from their classmates on several occasions. Writing groups worked perfectly, but students also read their …