October 27, 2012

Pink October!

Not only am I an English teacher, but I'm a cheer coach too. One of the traditions that all schools do is wear pink at the October games for breast cancer awareness month...so this year, we did! I finally got enough money in the budget, and ordered ahead of time, all the goodies we needed. So my girls are wearing pink bows, pink shoelaces, and using pink poms! It's so great to bring awareness to such a great cause...excited to be doing our part!

Think Pink!
Ms. W

October 23, 2012

Computer Cart in my own Classroom!

Our school does not have a computer lab or library where our students can go to work on research projects or work on their papers. We do however, have our own computer carts! Each cart has 20 computers, which used to be more than enough. Now, however, our class size has grown to average 25 [no complaints, I know :)] so we don't have enough computers.

Anyway, I always take very good care of the computers, follow the rules about taking ID cards in exchange for a computers, etc. I report every time something is wrong with a computer and it gets fixed fairly quickly. HOWEVER, other teachers have been coming to borrow computers...now that we have more students, we have more teachers, but no more money for more computers. So I let them borrow them because I assume they'll take care of the computers the same way I would. This has turned out to be mostly true.

As time has gone on, the teachers have let the kids come over to get the computers, and the cart has never looked the same. I don't have time, while teaching my own class, to help their kids take care of the cart properly. So I finally created a few signs. Don't know why it took me so long!!

So here is my computer cart with the new signs on it. I even took pictures of what the cart looks like nice and clean when taken care of properly. Hopefully this will save me some time organizing the cart in the future :)

Thanks for reading!
Ms. W

October 19, 2012

Five Star Blogger Challenge!

I decided to take the 5-Star Blogger challenge and I think I passed!! I'm proud to provide a blog that contains relevant information, doesn't always promote buying products, and can create a sense of community amongst teachers.

I hope you all continue to enjoy reading my blog and sharing your ideas with me!!! I love getting feedback and new ideas :)

Have a great weekend!

5-Star Blogger
Ms. W

October 17, 2012

Narrative Peer Revisioning FREEBIE!!

Another FREEBIE!! I'm on a roll!

We are wrapping up our Holocaust unit, and will be writing an autobiographical/narrative piece. The students are going to go to the Museum of Tolerance website and choose a child of the Holocaust to "become". They will then write a 2-3 page narrative in the first person point of view of that child-a sort of day in the life of.

Instead of doing a normal Peer Revisioning, where we check the thesis and the quotes, I wanted to focus more on the story that was being told. There are certain requirements for the paper, such as dialogue, metaphors or similes or foreshadowing, etc. So this checklist has the students not only check to see if the required elements are there, but to engage with the paper too. The peer revisioners need to write down certain key items from the paper to show that they can label and understand the elements.

Click here to access this freebie on my TPT store!

Happy Revisioning,
Ms. W

October 16, 2012

Expanding Sentences FREEBIE

Another FREEBIE!! So excited to have another freebie to offer :)

In the spring I am piloting my English Support class, and one of the items we will be working on is expanding our writing skills. So this is a cute little worksheet that will help the kids learn how to create a longer sentence using details such as verbs, adjectives, and overall imagery. After this activity, I'll have them do an Object write...just like I do with college prep....but now they'll be better equipped with some tools and experience.

Click here for the FREEBIE at my TPT store!

What other techniques do you think would work well with my English Support class for teaching writing?

Happy Writing,
Ms. W

October 14, 2012

Fun Goodies

A few fun goodies for today!

First of all, thanks to Heather's Heart for being my 30th follower!! I'm so excited to begin this blogging journey and appreciate everyone who has helped support me along the way and became a follower :) My goal for this blog is to create a venue where people can create and share middle school and high school ideas; there's few good resources out there and I'm hoping to create a spot where we can grow together as educators!

Second, I'm sooooooooooo [yes, that many o's] excited for my new blog design that Erin over at Creating & Designing is creating for me!! I can't wait to see what she came up with based off my completed questionnaire...can't wait!!! I'm hoping the snazzy new design will draw in some other followers too ;)

And Lastly, I just had to post this picture I saw on Pinterest because it is my LIFE!!!!!!! If only the students actually read my comments on their papers!

Have a great day!!

Ms. W

October 13, 2012

Symbolism Projects & FREEBIE!

A few weeks ago I posted the video from So You Think You Can Dance regarding the Holocaust piece. We are coming to the end of our Holocaust unit, and it is time for the project and paper. I love this project for a few reasons: 1) It really solidifies for the kids what a symbol is; 2) The projects get better and better every year; and 3) The students really like this project--they get so into it and become very passionate about their work.

Part of why I love this project is the fact that the students have to create their own symbol. This is SUCH a struggle for a lot of students, but by the end of the project, they truly know what a symbol is. A lot of the projects start out as a literal representation, and so the students spend many hours narrowing down what concept they are trying to get across to the viewer, and learning how to create a non-literal piece.

Here are some of the examples I got this week!!

The puppet master and the heart are my favorite. Such detail and are went into those projects.

And now for the FREEBIE! I've created a page with the directions for the project; this handout also has a couple of these examples on it so the kids can get a good idea of where to start! Click on the link for my TPT Store to get this FREEBIE!

Enjoy and hope you find it useful,
Ms. W

October 9, 2012

Descriptive Writing

As the final paper for the Holocaust unit, the students write a narrative. I think this unit lends itself very well to a creative writing piece, as opposed to a persuasive paper or response to literature. The students go onto the Museum of Tolerance website and choose a child of the Holocaust that they would like to "become" for the writing unit. They then write a first person narrative-sort of a day in the life of.

I encourage the students, well require is a better word, to have a lot of descriptive writing and figurative language in their piece. As a pre-writing activity, a week before we start the paper, I have the students bring an object to class. I don't tell them anything about it, except that they need to bring an object to class. We then participate in a descriptive writing session for 15 minutes.

The honors classes don't need too much in the way of "prompting", but for my college prep class, I created this poster to help them get started.
Using the 5 Senses it a great way to "jog" the memory of the kids of how to create a descriptive writing piece. This activity is a great way to start preparing the students for writing the Holocaust narrative next week.

Any other tips for descriptive writing?

Ms. W

October 3, 2012

Book Heaven!

I saw this picture on, where else, Pinterest the other day and I about passed out. How amazing would it be to have this close to where you live? Or in your house?? I think every English teacher would be so excited to have the opportunity to visit this building and browse the many titles that create this work of art.

Go love on some books,
Ms. W