When I teach novels in my classroom, I like to provide my students with a consistent routine that enables them to anticipate what we will be doing. In doing so, my students know what to expect work wise, and then they can focus more on understanding and analyzing the novels. After introducing the novel to my students, I make sure I include these elements in all of my novel study units: vocabulary, comprehension questions, quote analysis, and writing tasks. As I plan each unit, I work from the end of the novel first. I look at the overall message and theme of the novel, and select my writing prompts (essays and mid-novel writing tasks). From there, I select the important quotes and passages to analyze, that way my less proficient students have additional exposure to quotes that can easily be incorporated into their responses and essays. In order to include all of these elements into my novel unit instruction and provide consistency for my students, I teach every novel wi...
For many of us, the upcoming school year is quickly approaching! As my summer closes, I have been gearing up for this fresh start. Shopping through Target, pouring over Pinterest, adding ideas to my Pinterest boards , creating new educational resources , and reconnecting with colleagues all help when transferring back into the teacher life! Over Summer, I reflected in many ways. Learning to relax and remember why I love teaching so much. In addition, I revitalized how to be happy. Putting yourself first and ensuring your happiness reflects your teaching are all thoughts I worked on during vacation. I am so thankful I had this time to recover, but so excited for what lies ahead! After all, happy teachers have happy students. To prepare for the year, I have thought about what changes I want to make. Color schemes, classroom setup, classroom rules and management, and overall colleague relationships! Noting what I wasn’t pleased with last year helps this process tremendously. With...
Teaching students how to annotate text can be an intimidating task. Likewise, for our students, annotating text can be equally as daunting, especially if they don’t have a process of their own that works or steps to follow. When I teach my students how to annotate text , I use these simple steps to break down the process into a manageable task for my students. There are also a variety of strategies that I use when I teach and model students how to annotate text. Step 1: Preview the Text Before I have my students annotate text, I want them to get an overall feel for the text. I have them look at and read headlines, subheads, pictures, captions, headings, graphs, and pull-out quotes. Step 2: Read a Small Section of Text Since close reading and text annotation can be a daunting task, I have my students only focus on a small portion of it at a time. This makes the task less intimidating for students. It also enables them to focus more closely on a section of text ...
At this point in summer, we teachers have recovered from our previous school year, but don’t quite have to worry about the upcoming year. For some of us it is still two months away, and for others we still have about a month remaining. Personally, I find this is the best time to set new goals! I want to walk you through mine, and light the fire so you can find yours. Find what makes me unhappy. You may find this is a weird place to start, and maybe it is! However, I know I’ll never leave unhappiness behind until I know what drives it! For me, unhappiness begin when I feel I lose control. Whether that means in my health, my social schedule, or in the classroom, I need to be in the driver’s seat. As a goal for my upcoming year, I’m going to work improving my relationships with my students, as well as challenging them throughout the year. Find what makes me happy! From big things to little things, they all make a difference. It could be going on a weekend getaway or just go...
One of the first lessons I teach every single year, regardless of the grade-level I am teaching, is how to closely read and annotate a text . Because I feel this is such a valuable skill for students, I carve out a week of my instruction in the beginning of the school year to help my students get more comfortable with annotating text . When I teach my students how to annotate text, I use a step-by-step PowerPoint presentation that breaks down the annotation process into five simple steps and provides examples for my students. I also provide them with guides and bookmarks to use as references as they annotate. I even encourage my students to keep these documents for their entire high school careers. There are three invaluable strategies to help students gain confidence in their text annotating skills. The first strategy I use for teaching and practicing text annotation is that I have my students share and compare their annotations and margin notes with their table-mates...