March 31, 2014

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli Unit Plan

Stargirl!!! I love this little novel. I teach it for my English Support class, which is lower level 9th and 10th graders. They love it and it so relates to high schoolers and what they're going through. I've put up a few freebies from this unit, but now I've added ALL the stuff I use to teach the novel. I had a few requests for it, so decided to put it up there :)

This is a great book for students who struggle in English class in high school, and is easily adaptable to middle school as well. I'm pretty sure that's the grade range most people are using if for anyway ;) I hope you enjoy Stargirl!

-Writing: quick-write prompts, Newspaper article creation, thesis work, and final paper prompt and outline
-Chapter Work: main ideas and inferences
-Character Facebook pages activity
-“Hot Seat” & Movie Clapper activity
-Two quizzes, a study guide, & a final exam

*As well as a Lesson Plan guide/time-table

Click here for my Stargirl Unit Plan on my TPT Store.

Have a great day!

March 30, 2014

Parent/Teacher Conference Time Again...

Well it's that time again! We just finished finals [midterms], so Monday is Parent/Teacher conference day. I only have five parents that signed up thus far, but I know some will just show up claiming they didn't know they needed an appointment.

We all know what to expect with Parent/Teacher conferences. There will always be a nice parent that thanks you for what you do. There will always be the parent that makes you think, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. And there will always be that parent that makes you want to scream in your head, why is it my fault your kid doesn't do anything??

Last semester I decided to use my new Parent/Teacher conferences handout. It worked pretty well because it let me be in charge of the conference and gave me an outline of what to say to keep things on track. That works really well if you know who you're meeting with. Right now I just know I have appointments, but I don't know who they're with :/

So here is the link to my Parent/Teacher Conference sheet on my TPT store. It's free :)

Have a great week everyone!!

March 26, 2014

Finals Week!!

Yikes! It's midterms already....which means I'm halfway done! Only 10 weeks to go and we're done!!!!

But man, what was I thinking assigning their last essay due today & tomorrow, and then grades due next Tuesday?? I have to grade 90 essays by Tuesday...that is ambitious to say the least. Sometimes I wonder why I got into English because we always have the extra work. But then I remember...I love English! I love reading and discussing books. I love when kids work hard on an essay and are proud of the grade they earn.

So I will give up my week to grade these papers because I know I can do it. :)

Have a great week ya'll!

March 20, 2014

I can't believe it!!

I can NOT believe it!!! My Donors Choose project, that I asked for help with last night, was funded today around 12 noon!!!! Can you believe that?!?! I was worried it wasn't going to get funded by the May deadline! I am over the moon!

I can't wait until that says "ordered" will be so cool. So now I/my classroom will have a new document camera and cart soon! I can't wait to use it and I'm so excited to come up with new uses for this technology.

I highly suggest using Donors Choose if you have anything you want for your classroom. The best part too is that you get to keep the item, even if you move to another school. They are very clear about that in the program information.

If you want help, feel free to email me and ask questions.

Have a great Thursday!

March 19, 2014

I need your help...thanks!

Hi everyone out there in blogging land. I am in desperate need of your help. I just submitted my first project to Donors Choose. I had heard about this program a while back, but was working in a wealthier district and had everything I needed for my classroom at the time, and didn't want to ask for something just to have it.

Well the school I'm at now is a charter, and we don't get the same funding as traditional public schools. So we're lacking on a few things :) So I've created my first Donors Choose project asking for a document camera! :) I used to use this everyday at my old schools, and now I really miss it :(

Anyway, I know we're all stretched thin as teachers, but I thought I'd ask anyway since it's for the kids, not for me personally [that would be weird].

If you feel so inspired to help out [even $5 would be AMAZING] please follow this link to my project and donate. If you enter the code INSPIRE at checkout for the first week, they'll double your donation!! So your $5 donation would really be $10 :)

Anyway, I hope no one is offended by this post requesting help for my kiddos. Just trying to get the word out there 'cus I'm not sure how people normally get sponsors.

Link to Donors Choose: Interactive English via a Document Camera
*Don't forget to enter the code [INSPIRE] at checkout to double your donation this first week.

March 13, 2014

Happy Thursday and OOTD

Happy Thursday everyone! We're one day away from the weekend!!! Of course our whole school is working the science fair at the local college this weekend...but only a 4 hour shift so it's still the weekend!!

Today my kids are starting their Holocaust Symbolism Project as we are wrapping up our Holocaust Unit. It is a sad topic but so worth teaching and discussing. We need to carry on the message for future generations. This project actually becomes the students' favorite project of the year, which in a way, is pretty cool. Here's an example of one from last year. Brilliant, creative girl:
Treating the Jewish people as animals. This symbolizes Loss of Humanity.

And today I thought I'd share an OOTD as well. As I've said before, I like to mix dressy and casual, since it is a school and I like to sit on desks and such :)

I went all black today with gold jewelry...fancy. Then I threw on a denim shirt to give it a casual look. I left the shirt open because It's a bit baggy so it made me look square and boxy with it buttoned up...a bit sloppy too. But I think with it open, seeing the jewelry, it looks good :)
Once again I'm wearing my awesome CA necklace and Monogram necklace from Baublebar jewelry. 

Have a great Thursday everyone!!

March 10, 2014

What's New??

Well honestly, not much. I haven't really had much to blog about I haven't, and I feel like a bad blogger :( But seriously...since we teach the same thing each semester [we offer accelerated courses and I get a new set of kids each semester], I've already got my lesson planning and such done from first semester. Obviously I make tweaks here and there and add some new stuff, but things have been going pretty smoothly... lesson plan wise. And in February I went crazy and made two new units: my Pearl Unit, and the Fahrenheit 451 Unit.

I just got through grading my first set of essays [argument papers on Animal Farm] and get the re-writes back tomorrow. We've moved onto our Holocaust unit and so the kids are doing the Literature Circles that I created. They really like doing this because it's student-led learning, not the teacher barking at them all day :) Here's a reminder of my Lit Circle Unit-it can be used with any book and meets Common Core Standards.

The only class that is struggling with these is 3rd class with 21 boys and 5 girls :( Who does that to a teacher?! That class broke me Wednesday...I actually had to step out so they wouldn't see me cry. It was that bad. I've used EVERY trick in the book, I've used my QLN training, I've tried EVERYTHING! And they are still a crazy group of kids. 

In other news, I started my new job as Assistant Softball Coach two weeks ago. We had tryouts, two practices the next week and then our first game...after only two practices. We only lost 6-5, which is pretty good considering we have several girls that have never played and don't understand the rules...on a Varsity sport. Oh well. At least we get all this week to practice before our next game next week. We'll get there!

Anyway, that's what's new with me. Not too exciting but I'm sure something will come up that will be blog worthy :) Talk soon!

March 1, 2014

March Currently

I can not believe it's already March. It literally feels like it was just Christmas...really. Well one good thing about March is that we are getting closer to Spring Break! Then it's the home stretch to Summer Break!!! Woo Hoo!!!!

I'm so excited to be linking up with Farley's Currently again. I look forward to this every month. I love her new blog design and even though this month's currently is not themed for March, it's super cute that it matches the new blog design :)

I love when USA plays NCIS or NCIS:LA marathons...seriously...I could sit here all day and watch every episode.  When I get my puppy, I'm going to name him Gibbs [after Jethro Gibbs on NCIS].

I love that we're getting some rain finally! I know, I know, everywhere else has had Snowpocalypse and I shouldn't complain...but our state is in desperate need of rain so we're blessed to get some this weekend.

I've been having some problems with my downstairs neighbor and management isn't doing anything, so I think I'm going to move come June when my lease is up. Now, I HATE moving, but I think this will be a good decision and will get his of some subconscious stress I've been holding on to.

Can we every make enough money as a teacher?? I've been working so hard to get out of debt and I'm down to just my Visa...yay me! But it is just going so slowly. I need to win the Lotto...or the Albertson's Monopoly game they've got going on right now. Sigh...

I've only got two class periods left to grade, but man these Animal Farm papers are getting repetitive/boring to grade. I need motivation :)

I am trying something new! I am now the Assistant Softball Coach at our school. Many of you know I started and coached the Cheer team for 3 years, but gave it up this last year due to health and other factors. But the softball is in need of an assistant coach, and my English teacher friend is coaching it, so I said I'd help. It's WAY less work than the year-long Cheer commitment, and I missed playing softball. We had tryouts this past week and boy do we have some work ahead of us, but it'll be fun!!

Have a great March everyone!!