I kept a self-reflection word document throughout the year, so these are the lessons learned from my first full year 1/2:
· All classes
o POP book (includes not pushing in chairs (blue table, red table, etc.) Record names on board and in excel.
o Rubric first
o Anticipatory Activity (Attention grabber)
o Student centered (no more than 5 minutes of teacher-led discussion)
o KPREP example
§ Give numbers instead of having students put names.
§ Switch with 2nd period, and give printed rubric
§ Have students write “why” they evaluated the paper the way they did
§ Have students rewrite until they reach a 4
· Students who already have a 4 will either refine their response or try another example
§ On Multiple choice, print out one class set and ask students not to write on it.
o Kony 2012
§ ALWAYS email parents before showing or sharing ANYTHING controversial.
§ Make sure to go over directions and project idea first. Make sure to fully research issue before addressing it with students.
o Tornado Letters
§ Student choices (put top 3 choices, then name instead of just 1 choice)
§ Printed copy of letter example, figurative language, and rubric for every student. Walk the students through the format. Go over figurative language in class. It was a nightmare trying to get the students to follow SEE, have the heading, etc.
§ Have students turn rubric back in with letter for full points
§ Have students highlight sentence beginnings and figurative language
§ Have audience turn in their comments and self-reflection, then hand back to person
§ Make a presentation rather than a speech.
§ Stress the outline format
§ Do life timeline and insist that it’s a personal narrative. The topics were too wide ranged including fiction.
§ Day One
· “We will be presenting in front of the class”
· Give a timeline
§ Peer editing
· Give worksheet to evaluate (have this be a grade)
§ Weekly check-ins on personal projects
§ Offer the option to do in pairs or alone, but not as groups.
§ Character page that tells about personality and character background
§ Do example peer edit on elmo as a class.
o Fractured Fairytales
§ Ask to have illustrators from beginning.
§ Make more structured deadlines.
§ Teach Blurb in the beginning.
§ Always make sure it is grade appropriate (4th and 5th)
§ Make sure to use “CHAMPS”
o 1 personal narrative in the fall that we edit, revise, etc. The rest should be short stories (under 500-600 words), poems, etc.
o Like the folktales, but talk about the different cultures first, then do folktales in partners, but with individual worksheets. Have students act out the scene. Then give rubric and read examples for students to write their own folktale.
§ Give example and rubric first
§ Have students make a monologue booklet like Amber’s example.
Jottings for next year:
- Write Source vocab root each week
- Lexicon words- choice/reading/original compound sentence/none straight from dictionary.
- SAT words/pictures
- Story/poem using 10 words
- Dictionary.com how many words do you know? Personal lexicon
- · Be more organized with grading so that there are no if’s/and’s/but’s about when and if I graded something. Get a unique stamp?
- · Require students to keep EVERYTHING I hand back for each 4 ½ weeks, and if they can’t show it to me with a stamp on it, then they don’t get credit.
- · Take Attendance EVERY day with EVERY period.
- · 3 Strikes you’re out rule.
o 1st offense, sign the board (after the third time in a 9wk period, sign the pop book)
o 2nd offense in the same period, sign the pop book and fill out a discipline sheet.
o 3rd offense in the same period (or already signed the pop book) call a parent
o 4th offense in the same period (or already called a parent) N in conduct
o 5th offense in the same period (or already has an N in conduct) U in conduct
o 6th offense in the same period (or already has a U in conduct) Saturday school
- · I have… who has… game suggested by principal for review (formative assessment)
- · Ask students, what do you ”see” and “hear” when reading.
- · What do you perceive when listening and watching?
- · Biweekly paragraphs
o 1st 9 weeks- Get to know you Prompts (Narrative)
o 2nd 9 weeks- Digital Anthology- all 5 types (Informational)
o 3rd 9 weeks- Video Debates- Pro/con (Argumentative)
o 4th 9 weeks- Poetry (Narrative)
· Lit Circle jobs
o Start with short article or fictional text.
o Literary luminary
o Scene setter
o Word wizard
o If not prepared, check at door, students sit outside group and finish
o Absent? Phone or post on edmodo to participate
Checker sheet- did the discussion work? Yes or no. If no, why did the connecting not happen? Ex. Lack of prep, boring article/book, dif. Personalities, learning styles, etc.
If yes, describe 1-2 high points of discussion, topics focused on, questions latched on to. Evaluation your participation + = -
Review immediately and write responses
o Starting with and…
o Consistent verb tense
o Comma usage
o Pronouns, dif. Types
· Collect hw as they enter! Pass out missing assign. If they don’t have it.
· As you watch the clip/video, compile a “viewer response” list of your reactions to things you see.
o Direct quotes you’d like to comment on later in small group discussion
o Things you learned or hadn’t though about before
o Things you agree/disagree w/
o Questions you have
o Issues you’re still grappling w/
o Personal connections
· Reading strategies 1/week
· 10-12 p. / day of book
· 1 paragraph biweekly
· 5 words/week in lexicon
· 20 min/ night of reading
· Grammar in class and occasional hw
· ALWAYS PRINT A COPY FOR STUDENTS or fill in the blank for notes
· Clear the desks
· Slow down
· Watch for students who are not engaged.
· Bathroom signout closer to me.
· Model in groups
· 1 group thick
· 2 group thin
· SCAN picture books
· Read biographies and compare
· Handout assign. Instructions
· Differenciate assignments
· Check agendas and give more time to fill out during the first half of the year
- Put together portfolio each year for each student.
- Coordinate Quarterly and Summer Goals with grade level colors and add to portfolio:
o 4th grade: Yellow
o 5th grade: Orange
o 6th grade: Blue
o 7th grade: Red
o 8th grade: Green
- Hold students accountable for Freewrite Friday reflections.
- Find a more authentic way for students to share their writing.
- Laminate and mat student published writing.
- Have Art minor do caricatures for each guest speaker.
- Always consider food allergies and have extra skittles in my drawer.
- Find a better book checkout system (one "librarian" in each class. Can only check out through them.)
- Find a better pencil checkout system (strong mechanical. Keep extra erasers and lead.)
- Put a pencil basket on each table for generals.