Tuesday, September 30

and sometimes it's not...

It's been a while.

We're nearing the end of our procedural text unit. Final drafts are due Friday. Why am I so much better the beginnings of units than the ends of them?

I love brainstorming. I love immersing them in real world examples of the genre and letting them figure out what it is and how to do it.

But despite having read everything Jeff Anderson has published... I just can't get into grammar and editing. I know, what kind of English teacher doesn't like grammar, right? I can't help it. It's just boring.

I don't know why-- I don't mind revising and editing my own writing. I enjoy perfecting my sentences, rearranging, fixing commas, etc. (not that I do that kind of meticulous editing on here very often you may have noticed) But somehow I haven't figured out how to teach those things in a way that I like and kids like. I want to give them back their rough drafts with my comments on them and just say "go-- fix stuff! make them better!" But that approach definitely doesn't work. They have no idea how to improve their own writing.

I'm trying an Express Lane Edit tomorrow (courtesy Jeff Anderson), we'll see how it goes.

Next unit will be more heavily front loaded with sentence structure lessons.

This is a highly teacher talk post-- I just can't write about my frustrations outside the classroom right now. And by outside the classroom, I don't mean outside the school...

Tuesday, September 16

Sometimes being an English teacher is too much fun...

Unit 1 is on Procedural Texts. Sounds boring right? NOT.

Procedural Video Example #1:

Procedural Video Example #2:

Sunday, September 14

Just another South Dakota Weekend

Pictures stolen from Sarah.

We went to the badlands this weekend. in search of "some kind of--- Smart Bug" after watching Starship Troopers, which was filmed partially in Interior, SD.

We didn't find any giant alien bugs, but it was pretty fun all the same.

Sometimes I have to get away from school and my trailer to remember that this is a cool place and I'm lucky to live here.

Next comes three 5 day weeks in a row- and the execution of my first actual Unit this year.
I'm so not ready, but here we go....

Thursday, September 11

The Cricket in My Classroom

There is a cricket in my classroom. It is living behind a very heavy bookshelf that I am unwilling to try moving to get to it. It is a lively cricket and likes to chirp all the time, even when the lights are on, and especially during silent reading time.

Yesterday I was extremely annoyed by the cricket and it's chirping. Today- I'm developing an appreciation for the persistent little guy. It's almost nice to have a little bit of the outside in here. It's almost soothing.

And soothing is something I could use this week-- it's homecoming. I decided to not be student council adviser this year and it was a very good decision. I do not miss all that planning and scrambling one bit. Although, at such a small school many homecoming responsibilities fall on all of the staff, so I still feel pretty harried and pressured to get something together for the freshmen class- decorating a hallway today, decorating a float tomorrow.... keeping 50 teenagers under control with paint, paper, scissors, tape, streamers, and balloons--ha.