Thursday, September 25, 2014

Career day

Today we had career day at my school.  It was a great opportunity for my students to explore various careers.  They were able to hear about the mounted patrol unit, the fire department, a drama group from the local high school, a business rep from a local manufacture, an emergency room doctor, and a marketing director for a local credit union.  The students were well behaved, had great questions, and learned a lot.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Words, Words, Words: How are we using vocabulary strategies?

In both my honors and my general classes we are currently reading a novel.  With my honors classes we are reading The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain and in my general classes we are reading Max the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick.  Both novels are rich in vocabulary and figures of speech.  Each week as we approach new vocabulary terms, we use a new strategy to help us understand the words.  So far we have created vocabulary maps, used context clues, created linear arrays, and played "I know it!".  Many of these ideas came from the following site:  .

Our most recent vocabulary activity required the use of dictionary/vocabulary cubes.  This activity did take some prep time.  I copied the cubes onto card stock, in order to make them more durable. I then used clear tape to hold them together.  To make it easy to distribute the materials I placed the cube and the word cards into a small Zip-lock bag.

The students worked with a partner, taking turns rolling the cube.  As the students rolled the cube they had to do the activity they rolled.  The possibilities were to determine the meaning, etymology, part of speech, pronunciation, synonyms and antonyms,  and to use the word in a sentence.    Overall, this activity went well, but next time, I would require the students to complete the meaning for every word.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Moving on up

I guess the name of my blog is no longer appropriate.  After a discussion with my principal last year I was moved to the eighth grade.  I am so excited about this change!  I loved my students last year and I am thrilled to be able to teach some of the same "little darlings" again this year.  I will say that I am spending a lot of time planning, since this is a new grade level.  Stay tuned for more adventures from my eighth grade ELA classroom.