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

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Another Snow Day ~ Three Word Phrases Poem January 20, 2011

Filed under: ideas for writer's notebook,poetry,thoughts,wn entry,writing activities — hey2blondie @ 10:00 pm

Stay up late

Watch  my shows

Piddle on computer

Watch it snow

Another snow day

What to do?

Sleep in late

Jammies all day

Snuggle with EB

Snowflakes flutter delicately

Frolicking with delight

Smiles on faces

Assemble a snowman

Wet cold fingers

Chattering of teeth

Sipping hot chocolate

Snuggle with EB

Another snow day


I love to use three word phrases in class. Compact thoughts in three words!


Rereading Update January 6, 2011

Filed under: ideas for writer's notebook,thoughts,wn entry,writers' notebook — hey2blondie @ 9:59 pm

Wednesday I had my students reread their writers’ notebooks. The students were eager to share their patterns of topics. My hope is that my students realize that there are golden nuggets buried in their notebooks. I will definitely have my students reread their notebooks more often so that they can evaluate themselves with their writing. Some students were amazed by how they wrote about the same thing. Some noticed that they wrote on completely random topics. It seemed that they really enjoyed reread their work. I  myself found ideas I had written about and had forgotten about.



Rereading January 4, 2011

Filed under: ideas for writer's notebook,thoughts,writers' notebook — hey2blondie @ 10:43 pm

Rereading is a strategy that I need to do more of. Just a few minutes ago I reread some of my posts from 2007. It’s good to know that I am still doing some of the things that I have posted and I also saw where I need to go back and post on things that haven’t worked or that I’ve improved. Rereading also helps me get my mind set and to see patterns of topics. I believe tomorrow’s writer’s notebook strategy will be rereading their notebook. I am going to set a timer for 5 minutes and have my students and myself reread. Before they start I will invite them to look for patterns or entries that they started, but never finished. After the 5 minutes are up, I will invite my students to write coming up with their own topic or territory. I hope that they will see an improvement with their writing and use this strategy more often. I myself need to reread more often.


2011 Intentions December 31, 2010

Filed under: ideas for writer's notebook,teachers who write,thoughts,wn entry — hey2blondie @ 2:44 pm

Ruth on the Two Writing Teachers blog has encouraged me to make intentions instead of resolutions for the year 2011.

  • As a mom I intend to be more playful with my daughter and to enjoy her.
  • As a wife I intend to be more affectionate towards my husband and to enjoy his company.
  • As a teacher I intend to not procrastinate with grading large assignments so that the end of the quarter doesn’t sneak up on me.
  • I intend to exercise weekly so that I will have energy to be playful, affectionate, and a non-procrastinator!

Happy 2011!


Writer’s Notebook Strategies October 19, 2010

Each day I try to give my students a new writing strategy with their writers notebook. Aimee Buckner’s book Notebook Know How has several strategies and ways to incorporate writer’s notebooks into your classroom.   I also use Roberta Allen’s book The Playful Way to Serious Writing. I have decided though that any mini-writing lesson can be a strategy. I have branched out on my own and have come up with a few strategies on my own.

I do grade my students’ notebooks. 9 weeks have come and gone. Last week I graded my 6th and 7th graders’ writer’s notebooks. I was impressed with how many students used the writing strategies taught in class with their own entries. My classes are to write 3 home entries a week in their notebooks. At the end of the quarter, I have my students count all of their class entries and then all of their home entries. I like to separate the two so I can tell who is writing at home.

This week my 7th graders are working on writing of choice so I wanted them to have another poetry type idea, so today I read them several examples of odes. I got the idea from Georgia Heard’s book Writing Toward Home. I would like to share with you the ode I wrote today with my students.

Picture came from Babycenter.com


Ode to My Hair

Oh, how

I love thee

Your wispy strands

Glistening in the sun

You are a fashion


Without you

I would be



Andi N.


Graffiti Walls June 24, 2010

I learned about graffiti walls from my student teacher. It is a simple way to help students understand concepts. To create a graffiti wall you will need a piece of paper. In the center of the paper, draw a circle or any shape. I like to do a squiggly cloud shape. Write the concept in the center of the shape and everything that has to do with that concept. On the outside of the shape, have the students write everything that the concept is NOT.

My students and I created a graffiti wall bulletin board on vivid verbs. We added as many vivid verbs to the center. Some verbs we came up with are scampered, casting, stroll, animate, devoured. On the outside of our wall we placed helping verbs, conjunctions, linking verbs, nouns, adverbs, adjectives. Students were then allowed and encouraged to add to the graffiti wall whenever they heard of an excellent vivid verb.

I also tweaked this idea by creating a huge idea wall for my students at writing camp this week. I used a huge piece of butcher paper and across the top I placed the headings onomatopoeia, instead of said, adjectives, adverbs, and vivid verbs. I wrote words  under each category to start the brainstorming process. When I introduced the wall to my group on Monday, I had them brainstorm aloud and I added words under the category. Throughout this week my students have added words to the wall and have used the words in their writing, which was the goal!


ABC’s of brainstorming

My co-worker had my writing camp students choose a topic that they knew a lot about. After choosing their topic, she had them brainstorm any and all words pertaining to that topic with the ABC’s. They had to try to write at least 2 words per letter within 5 minutes. I thought this was a great idea to get their minds thinking. They didn’t have to use all of their words, but would have a spring board of ideas. I plan to use this technique during the next school year. You could use this idea to brainstorm a list of topics or use it on a interactive bulletin board for student ideas.