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

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NWP Make It January 9, 2011

Filed under: How-to-writing,learning,thoughts,wn entry,writing activities — hey2blondie @ 10:02 pm

This post is long overdue! You know how life is; it gets in the way sometimes. Anyways, I had the opportunity to attend the NWP annual conference last November in Orlando, FL. My writing project buddies and I had a great time attending sessions, but one session stood out the most to us. This session was on a Saturday and I know Saturdays aren’t a day that you want to go to a session. We decided to go anyways.

Upon entering the room, there were tables of all kinds of different projects to choose from. I chose the musical sock puppet project, one of my friends chose the brush bot project, and my other friend chose the mood light project. We really had no clue of what to expect. After introductions we were instructed to make our project with our leader teaching us a long the way. We were to create our project in one hour. After making our projects, we were to create an “on-line” version of how to make our project on paper. This was challenging in its self. As a group we had to design how we wanted our “on-line” project page to look and what were the essentials to add to our site. This also took an hour. Once we finished our “on-line” website, all of the groups posted their “sites” on the walls of the room. We then got to go around the room and make comments on sticky notes for each of the different websites. Even though we were there for 4 hours; it didn’t seem like it. I truly enjoyed this session. I got to make a sock puppet that sings along with incorporating writing and gaining a camaraderie with others.

I plan to incorporate this type of how-to-article with  my students. My plan is to teach my students how to make the sock puppets and then my students will teach one of the third grade classes at my school how to make the puppet. The 3rd grade teacher and I will come up with a way that the students can incorporate writing, whether we do the on-line site or create a script for a play.  I can’t wait to do this project with my kids!

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Collaging Thoughts – A Modern Twist to a Book Report June 2, 2010

Last week before school let out, each literature circle group created a collage based on their books they read. Each collage had to have the title of the book, author, characters’ names, a well-written summary, and a scene from the book. Boy, my students went above and beyond. I was quite impressed how they turned out. The students seemed to have enjoyed the project as well. I felt that it was a modern twist to a book report. Once the collages were finished, each group had a few minutes to come up with a short persuasive speech to present to their classmates. My students did a great job at the impromptu speeches. Some even left us wanting to read the books.


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

Modeling a Writer’s Notebook Entry September 7, 2007

pencilAfter reading Stacey’s blog about modeling, I realized that I too need to model. My students keep saying I don’t get it and I realized TODAY after 3 weeks that they TRULY don’t understand what I am asking for them to do. Next week I am going to MODEL how to respond to a quote. You can’t just say respond to the quote because they will write just about anything from I don’t get it or I don’t know what to write. I am hopefully going to change that. I will also model how to pick a topic from my writer’s notebook list of territories and how I would like for them to write at home too.


Uploading Pictures August 3, 2007

Filed under: learning — hey2blondie @ 7:41 pm


Angela is right. Taking time to play with blogging is beneficial. It has only taken me 2 days to figure out how to post a picture! Yahoo! Who knows where this will take me. Only the horizon will know!