April 30, 2014

Mock Trials in class today!

I love teaching Cry, The Beloved Country. This is my second time teaching it, and it is one of the recommended books for 10th grade Common Core English.

My favorite activity in the unit I created is the mock trial we do for the character Absalom. For those of you who haven't read it yet, Absalom is a black native in South Africa that is accused of murdering a white man. Absalom does admit to shooting him, but claims it was not intentional, but rather out of fear. He receives a trial in the novel, but the trial is for a black man during Apartheid in South Africa...how do you think that went??

So my students give him a "fair" trial based on the facts presented in the novel. We have the four witnesses from the novel, and then the rest of the class is split into Prosecution and Defense. They are given a graphic organizer to help them plan, and can use evidence from the novel. The students who are witnesses create a timeline of events and need to be prepared to be questioned by both sides. [I have them make Google Doc accounts to they can all add to, and access the information]

Here's the directions for the trial:

And here's the graphic organizer filled out as a rubric from one of today's trials:
The defense won this round :)

This is such a great activity, covers several Common Core standards, and create community amongst the class, and is just fun :)

So head on over to my TPT Store and check out my unit on Cry, The Beloved Country.

Have a great day!!

April 29, 2014

My Coaching is Intruding on My Teaching! Yikes!

Yikes! I have missed 4th period AT LEAST once a week, usually twice a week, for games since softball season started. I am feeling like a bad teacher for those kiddos. And what's worse...it's my Support class, the kids that need the most help.

At my school, teachers without kids coach-it's kind of an unspoken rule. Now, the admin has not complained or said ANYTHING about me missing class to coach. I'm putting that pressure on myself. I just feel like I'm letting these kids down because someone who doesn't know what is going on is just walking in a babysitting basically.

I'm looking for any advice on either: how to deal with the guilt I'm putting on myself, or ways I can still be there without actually being there, or any tips you can think of :)

Thanks everyone!!!

April 22, 2014

What is the solution?

So we're back from Spring break :( I was finally enjoying it starting Wednesday-so I could use a few more days off :) Oh well.

So we're back in full swing, and I've got kids that have forgotten things already!! WHAT IS THE SOLUTION?? What can we do to help these kids remember things over breaks: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Winter, Spring Break, etc.

The kids had a quiz today; couldn't be helped; that's how it fit in the schedule. So to help remind them, we played a REALLY fun review game Friday before break, and the winner from each class got 2 extra credit points on today's quiz. I also created a practice quiz for them to take home and take over break to help keep their memory fresh. And today, there are kids getting Fs on the quizzes :( I don't know what else I can do. I suggest daily flashcards, I played a fun game, and I created a practice quiz that was VERY similar to the real quiz they took today.

Have I done my part and now it's up to the kids? Is there anything else I can do to maintain memory over breaks??

Thanks for the suggestions in advance :)

Happy Tuesday!

April 14, 2014

Birthday Sale! Now on TPT

Happy Birthday to me :) So in honor of that, I'm throwing a sale on my TPT Store! Everything is 10% off today and tomorrow.

It's also Spring Break, so that's a nice little birthday present. Have a great day everyone!!

April 7, 2014

Countdown to Spring Break, Moving, & My Birthday!

So much happening in the next week! I can't believe it's almost Spring Break and I'm sooooooooo ready for it.

[picture from: www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk]

FOUR DAYS- til Spring Break. I'm guessing the kids will be squirrely, but then again we teachers are too, so can you blame them?? I may have to do a little work over break, but I can sleep in and that's all I care about!!! ;)

FIVE DAYS-til I move. I am literally moving 3/4 of a mile down the road, but to a slightly bigger, slightly cheaper place...so it's worth it [I hope]. It will be a nice, fresh start because in

SEVEN DAYS-it's my birthday. 31....I'm officially in my thirties. Not exactly where I thought I'd be at thirty/thirty-one, but maybe this fresh start will help :)

I'm thinking about having a flash sale on my TPT Store for my birthday, so stay tuned!!!

Have a great week ya'll!

April 2, 2014

New Freebie!!

Another Freebie for ya'll!! This graphic organizer helps students learn the elements of Plot and the Plot Triangle.

I have been using this with my English Support students and it works really well. This would also be great for middle school kids as they are learning the elements of plot. Head on over to my TPT Store and download this free goodie :)

Have a great day!

April 1, 2014

Currently April and currently raining :)

April Showers bring May flowers....yup! It's raining in Sunny San Diego right now....and I love it! I'm hoping my softball game is cancelled so I can go watch a movie while the rain trickles down my windows :)

I do hope it's back to Sunny San Diego by the time I have to move in 2 weeks....I do NOT want all my stuff to get wet :/

Happy April!!! Oh, it's also my birthday month..woot woot!