July 2015 Wrap Up

Highlights of the Month

Top Posts

Top 5 Posts of July:

5.  What is Your Reading Style?

4.  Analyzing Fiction and Nonfiction Strategies

3.  How to Begin your PrePlanning

2.  Planning Tools

1.  The Reading I Didn’t Do and Classroom Bootcamp 

Books I’ve Read:

Classroom FYI:

 

Planning Tools

My preplanning work station.

My preplanning work station.

A few weeks ago, I started organizing myself in order to tackle my curriculum planning for the 2015-16 school year.  I addressed developing a Classroom Bootcamp for the first quarter, and relied heavily on the difference between a bootcamp and a simple review.  There are a lot of ways to organize yourself, but sometimes, especially when you’re a new teacher, it can be overwhelming.  Whether you’re working on an entire curriculum, unit plan, or just a weekly/daily lesson plan, you can become distracted by all the options and resources that are available.  So here are a few tools that I use in order to relieve some of the frazzle-osity of planning.

Online Organizing

There are two types of  websites that I use to help keep myself organized.  The first is what I call the “Catch-All” and the other is “Application and Reflection.”

Catch-All

unnamedEvernote – I’ve blogged in the past about how much I love this website/app/program.  Evernote is a multi-platformed resource that allows users to accumulate notes, websites, media, and other information that they would like to save for later.  The organizational capacity is fantastic!  Categories are designated into Notebooks and within each notebook, notes are created that can be customized by adding your own text, checklists, bullet points, lists, etc.  Additionally, users can attach pictures or other documents that coincide with that particular content.

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Sample list of notebooks from my Evernote account.

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One example of a note created in my English IV Curriculum notebook.

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Sample checklist in my English IV Curriculum notebook.

Picture-7-2-2015Pinterest – I don’t think there is a soul out there who uses the internet that doesn’t know about Pinterest.  It’s more than just a way to waste a couple of hours planning weddings and dream homes; Pinterest has been one of the most helpful resources for developing everything from classroom management plans to creating posters/anchor charts for my walls to interesting articles about texts we are reading in class.  By being able to create specialized boards to organize each of these “pins,” I am able to efficiently incorporate their contents into my classroom.

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Obviously, “I am a runner” and “Workouts” don’t make too many appearances in my curriculum, but they do give me the endorphins to make it through my lessons. =)

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Application and Reflection

suite_transparent_largeGoogle Docs – I have found myself becoming more reliant on Google Docs over the last year, and I admit that I have A LOT to learn.  I have uploaded all of my curriculum documents and lesson plans here, but I also complete reflections on my lessons.  This is something I am setting up for the first time this school year, so I will keep you updated as to my progress.

Characterization Assessment on Pinterest

Good morning, everyone!

I’ve found my way out from under all the layers of fabric and journal covers from my Etsy shop.  Thank you all for visiting, but do continue to check in and see the newest additions =)

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In other, classroom news, I wanted to share with you my latest project: Characterization via Pinterest.  My English IV students have recently completed reading “The Knight’s Tale” from The Canterbury Tales and I wanted to assess their true understanding of the characters Arcite, Palamon, Emilie, and Duke Theseus.  I found a printout of a blank Pinterest board on TeachersPayTeachers

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Prior to distributing the templates, I displayed the Pinterest website on my smart board, and some very zealous students eagerly volunteered to explain how the website works and why it’s so amazing.  Afterwards, I distributed them to the students with the following instructions:

Students will create a Pinterest board for one of the following characters:

  • Palamon
  • Arcite
  • Emilie
  • Duke Theseus

Students will make posts that address the following topics:

  • Dream Vacation
  • Wedding Location
  • Wardrobe
  • 2 Quotes
  • Hobbies or Crafts
  • Jewelry
  • Code of Chivalry

The results were amazing!!!

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The next phase of this project will be the presentation phase.  Students will explain three pins: who is their character, what is the pin, and why is this an appropriate choice for their character.  They are also going to find a piece of textual evidence that supports their decision!

Common Core Standard Alignment

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.1
Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.3
Analyze the impact of the author’s choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed).

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.10

By the end of grade 11, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the grades 11-CCR text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

By the end of grade 12, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, at the high end of the grades 11-CCR text complexity band independently and proficiently.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.1.A
Come to discussions prepared, having read and researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence from texts and other research on the topic or issue to stimulate a thoughtful, well-reasoned exchange of ideas.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.4
Present information, findings, and supporting evidence, conveying a clear and distinct perspective, such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning, alternative or opposing perspectives are addressed, and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and a range of formal and informal tasks.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.5
Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.