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Showing posts from March, 2018

Walking Dead Words, Stupid Simile Shuffle, and Stellar Simile Smack Down

I have been having a blast with my creative writing students. This semester I am trying some activities I did not do with my last semester kiddos.  First, we had a Stupid Simile Shuffle. We discussed cliches, connotation of words, and what makes a good simile.  For example, I asked, "Why does it work to say that her teeth were as yellow as corn but not that her lovely dress was as yellow as corn?" Then,  I found a list of horrible similes taken from student writing and cut them into small strips.   There were definitely some doozies. Students had to mill about the room reading their stupid simile to a partner and each partner and to explain why the simile was stupid and didn't work!  Here is a link to the ones I used.  Seldom do I use examples of bad writing to share with my students when teaching them how to write, but I couldn't resist sharing these, and it was evident by their laughter that they enjoyed hearing them. 

Afterwards, students returned to their seats t…

Passion Projects

I have been reading quite a bit about Genius Hour and Twenty Time the past few years.  I have been wanting to try it with my students,  but quite honestly, I was scared.  How would I monitor what students were doing?  How would I grade them? How would I help them be successful? I decided to quit worrying and jump in.  
I have been trying so hard this year to take the emphasis OFF grades and points and on learning and engagement. It has taken awhile, but I think my students are finally getting it.  I introduced the idea of Passion Projects to my students in December.  The main requirement is that they were passionate about their topic and had a desire to find out something new about that topic.  I also emphasized that the journey was more important than the final product.  How else would I encourage students to take risks?
Because I use stations in my classroom, it was easy to carve out a time for students to work on their projects in class.  Although I do not assign homework students we…