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

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The Thrill of Ebay March 31, 2011

Filed under: slice of life writing — hey2blondie @ 8:09 pm

Two days ago I placed a bid on Ebay for a Vera Bradley Folkloric Hipster purse. I had seen it at a boutique while in Nashbille but didn’t want to pay full price, so I ventured onto Ebay, my favorite site. All day I thought about that purse. Eight o’clock was nearing and I had to get my daughter into bed. I bathed her and dried her hair. I clothed her in her warm fleece pajamas. I read her favorite story to her. I rocked her. Then she got up and said, “eat!” I told her we just ate an hour ago. Of course she doesn’t understand that – she’s two!

We ventured downstairs and I got her some milk and a banana. In my mind I was thinking she’s stalling. She finished her “midnight” snack and we went upstairs. We rocked. Finally, she fell asleep. I raced to the computer screen to see those red flashing numbers 35seconds and so on. I didn’t win! I frantically typed in my search. I got lucky – there was another purse about to end in 11 minutes. I decided to use my secret weapon – auctionsniper.com! I won the second auction! What a thrill!! I now have a new purse $47.00 later. I’m happy because I didn’t pay full price. Even if I wanted to pay full price, the Vera Bradley site doesn’t even have the pattern I want.

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6th Grade slices

Filed under: slice of life writing — hey2blondie @ 9:59 am

I hate that the slice of life challenge ends today. I know some of my students will now use slices when writing in their writer’s notebooks. I look forward to reading them! Click on the image to read.

Student doc

student doc 2

 

Writing Roadmap March 30, 2011

Filed under: slice of life writing — hey2blondie @ 7:51 pm

This afternoon my co-worker and I traveled to Memphis, TN to attend a workshop on the McGraw Hill Writing Roadmap program. During the meeting I was very apprehensive about it. Our District is making every school do this program, so I really don’t have a say in the matter. I do, however, have an opinion. The whole time in the meeting I was thinking My students write. They write everyday. It didn’t occur to me until an hour and a half into the presentation why we had to do this. No one at all mentioned why we had to implement the program until I asked how we were supposed to use this in our classrooms. We were told that each school would have to implement the program August 1, 2011 and that we all will use the assessment twice a year. Those two assessments would then be placed in the students’ portfolios. That doesn’t mean we only use the program twice a year because that would be a waste of money. The program is meant to guide students to practice writing. The sales lady kept saying that it was a tool to practice writing. She also kept saying that the students are writing with this program.I also kept thinking to myself my students write.

I can see why we HAVE to do this. Please note the next statement is my opinion. We have to do this because we have very few teachers in the district that actually use a writing workshop or writing project model in their classrooms. I just wished I was on that writing committee so I could have voiced my opinion. I feel that we need more teachers going to writing projects to learn best practices. We need more teachers that actually write with their students. We need more teachers who have a passion for writing – not those who despise it. We need more teachers who don’t just assign writing, but who put meaning into the writing lessons they teach.

The NWP website states:

Writing is essential to communication, learning, and citizenship. It is the currency of the new workplace and global economy. Writing helps us convey ideas, solve problems, and understand our changing world. Writing is a bridge to the future. (NWP.org)

Writing can and should be taught, not just assigned, at every grade level.

This statement hits home to me. I feel that this roadmap program will be a crutch for some teachers. They won’t actually teach writing. They will just assign the writing. It saddens me that this will happen, but I can do my part in my little classroom and teach writing. I will teaching writing to better my students and myself. I will use the program because I will have to, but I will find a way to implement it to the best of my advantage and my students’ advantages. I just hate how things have become in the education world.

Don’t get me wrong, the program does have it’s positives. To name a few:

  • program uses AI to score papers on a rubric of a 4,5, or 6
  • program has a tool that helps them place their essay parts correctly
  • program has word processing tools to help students – this option can be taken off
  • program can assign according to level of student
  • program can be used at home – I wasn’t too keen on this idea
  • students can edit and revise their paper multiple times before sending it to be scored
  • program automatically gives feedback to students
  • program allows teachers to come up with their own writing prompts

I will just have to see if this program is truly beneficial next year. At this time I am still apprehensive.

 

Trying Something New March 29, 2011

Filed under: slice of life writing — hey2blondie @ 1:48 pm

The hum in the air is not from bees; it’s my 6th grade students. No they are not humming. They are working on their Literature Circle Projects. They are excited. You can feel the energy in the air. My heart leaps with joy. Before passing out the project guidelines, I was a little leary if the projects would work. I had never given groups a choice of projects. I usually had them create a book jacket or a cereal box report, but this time I wanted them to have more ownership and input  in the project. The groups have a list of seven project choices to choose from. The groups will then create a rubric with point values for their project. This also is a first to me. I want them to have ownership with their projects. I feel at this moment in time they will strive to do their best and I will be happy with their final outcomes.

Literature Circle Book Projects

 

More Student Slices

Filed under: slice of life writing — hey2blondie @ 1:31 pm

Student Slicer 6th grader

Click on the images to read each slice. The first two are 6th graders and the second two are 7th graders.

 

Ode To My Tub March 28, 2011

Filed under: poetry,slice of life writing — hey2blondie @ 7:59 pm

Oh, how I love thee

You warm me

You  relax my aching body

Bubbles and salts are the key

Twenty minutes is all I need

For my legs and knees to feel relief

Bathtub, I can’t live without you

You complete me

Oh, how I love thee

 

The End and the Beginning March 27, 2011

Filed under: slice of life writing — hey2blondie @ 7:54 pm

The End

of Spring Break means

No more sleeping without an alarm clock

No more late afternoon naps

No more lunch dates during the week

No more zoo dates with my fam

No more late nights

No more being a bum

No more wearing pjs until 2 in the afternoon

The Beginning

Of the fourth quarter means

Waking up to an alarm clock

Smiling faces to greet me Monday – Friday

Engaging lessons

Family History projects completed

Family History Museum in late April

Summer uniforms

Anticipation for the summer months