English Teacher Party: A Look into the Real Life of an English Teacher

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Home is Where the Heart is March 16, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — hey2blondie @ 10:04 pm

As my mother-in-law and I pack up the dining room, I realize I have a lot of stuff. Stuff that I didn’t even know I had. We carefully wrapped the china and crystal into neat boxes. I reminisced with each piece remembering who gave me this and that. I’m sad to be leaving my home of five years. I am going to miss the neighborhood, the trees, white squirrels, and the beautiful azalea bushes that bloom every spring.  This is where my husband and I started our life together, where our daughter was conceived, and where we started our imprint of our family. My home will always have a place in my heart.

 

Quiet March 10, 2010

Filed under: poetry,slice of life writing — hey2blondie @ 11:38 pm

The Quiet

just me

relaxing in the tub

not thinking

no worries

carefree

rejuvenated

ready for tomorrow

I taught my students poetry a month ago and one of the poems we wrote was called a subject poem. It’s basically a list. I gave it a try.

 

Why Do I Do This To Myself? March 9, 2010

Filed under: grading writer's notebook,thoughts — hey2blondie @ 7:58 pm

My head pounds as I read my students’ writers’ notebooks. I sigh and think to myself, “why do I do this to myself every time?” You ask what do I do to myself. I wait to grade 84 notebooks, 34 essays, and 7 projects. On top of that I have my regular vocabulary tests and other assignments. I should space out grading my notebooks, but I want to collect them all on the same day. I don’t want students going home and “catching up” on the entries they didn’t write. This time I collected both 6th and 7th grade notebooks on the same day but I graded 7th grades’ WN first and waited to grade 6th grade’s today. This process seemed to work well because my students were typing in the computer lab so I had a chance to read their WNs. I stayed after school today and graded the 7 projects, which didn’t take long at all. Now, I just need to grade my essays. I feel that these will go rather quickly, too. I hope. In conclusion, I don’t know why I wait until the last minute. It just seems to happen. I admit; I like to procrastinate.

 

Cereal Box Book Reports March 8, 2010

 

During the month of February, my students worked in literature circles. Every year after reading their books, I have them do some sort of project. In years past I had them create book jackets. I decided I wanted to do something different, so I began my internet research on different ways to present book reports. I came across the cereal box book report. I fell in love with the idea the moment I read what the students had to do.

So I typed up the guidelines and presented them to my students. I even included a rubric so they would know what I was grading them for. Their cereal boxes turned out great! I was so impressed with my students’ creativity on their boxes.

After completing their cereal boxes, the groups had to come up with a commercial to SELL their cereal, which meant sell the book. I created a rubric for this as well. I am a big advocate of my students knowing what is expected of them. Anyways, today my students presented their commercials. I was a little disappointed with the commercials because some groups didn’t sell the book; they just sold the cereal. I am glad that I video taped the commercials because I could really focus on what I wanted to grade for. I could stop it or replay it if I didn’t catch something. Tomorrow I will show them to the students and have them grade themselves to see if they pick up the same things I did.

I am still glad that we went through with this book report. I will do them again, but I would make a few changes. Some of the changes that I would make include the following:

  • make sure students understand the concept of the commercial even after going over the rubric
  • have a test run before students present to make sure they are on target
  • have a set deadline and not change it – I kept pushing the time back because the students said they weren’t ready, but in reality I felt they were goofing off
  • have students work on the commercial and present at the end of the week not on a Monday
  • realize that this will be a loud process
 

This is for my friend… March 6, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — hey2blondie @ 6:01 pm

It’s been over a year since I last blogged and I was probed by my dear friend Angela to post something. So here I am! Today I went to a Free in- service given by the West Tennessee Writing Project. I learned a lot, but I did feel uneasy at one point. I wasn’t nervous about being there because I knew several people. It was because I was asked to write about my favorite song. At that moment I froze like a statue. I felt awkward because I was the only sitting there starring into space. I had no idea what to write. After a few minutes, which seemed like hours, I wrote down the song “Crash” by Dave Matthews. I can remember riding  in my green Kia Sportage around Austin Peay’s Campus listening to ALL of Dave’s songs with my friends. We would blare the music as loud as it would get and sing at the top of our lungs.

This writing brought back memories and it also got me thinking. Is this how my students feel when I ask them to write? Do I give them enough time to come up with a topic? How can I do better to make my students more at ease?

I am glad I went through that awkward moment because it caused me to feel like my students. I need to be more aware of how they feel, so that I can meet their writing needs.