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

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Fun with Literature Circles May 21, 2010

This past month my 6th grade classes have worked in literature circles. I used Harvey Daniels book Mini-Lessons for Literature Circles and we’ve had some really thought-provoking lessons. This past week we did a drawing lesson where the students drew a picture of a scene, character, symbol, or event from their books. I was amazed at the conversations buzzing around the room. The week before I introduced the bookmark as a response tool. The students brainstormed ways to respond on their bookmarks. Some of the students responded with questions, author’s craft, passages and quotes, as well as connections. They turned in their bookmarks today. I was quite impressed by how they responded. Below are some student examples:

The author tended to foreshadow a lot. She also used flashbacks that didn’t make sense at first. – Nick from the book The Westing Game

“Rush, hurry, rush.” This quote catches my attention because I wonder why there are whispers. Are they telling her to rush because if they don’t they won’t get to see her mom? – Alec from the book Walk Two Moons

Does Sal and Phoebe feel the same way about their mothers leaving? – Don from the book Walk Two Moons

Next week my students are creating collages of the books. I can’t wait to see what they come up with!



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.


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.


slice of Life: Fend For Self (FFS) February 28, 2008

Filed under: slice of life writing,Uncategorized — hey2blondie @ 8:11 pm

While preparing to go home from a long day at school, my cell phone rings. 

“What’cha doing?” asked Tony

“Oh, just finishing up somethings here at school,” I say.

“I am going to go to the gym and won’t be home until 7,” stated Tony, “so you may want to cook something for dinner.”

“Ok, see you then,” I said as I slowly packed my school bag full of descriptive essays that desperately need to be graded.  Once my bag was full, I put my black coat on and advanced toward the door. The jingling of my keys rattled as I walked towards my jeep. I jumped in and was on my way home. My stomach started to growl, so I pondered on what I would  fix for dinner. As I pulled into the carport, the thought popped into my mind, mac-n-cheese is what I want.

My girls greeted me and I let them out to run around for a minute. The first thing I did after walking in the door was open the pantry door to find the Kraft macaroni and cheese. I rounded up the materials to prepare this decadent meal. I tore off the top of the box and poured the dried noodles into the roaring bubbling water. While waiting for the noodles to cook, I checked my emails. “Beep, Beep” sounded the kitchen timer. “Yes,” I thought to myself, “dinner time!”

I drained the soft noodles and anticipated the buttery, creamy noodles melting on my tongue. Once drained, I stirred the butter and powered cheese in. I opened the fridge door and reached for the gallon of milk. “What! No milk!” I cry. I thought to myself, “Now what. What am I going to do?” I concluded that I would try water. “It can’t be that bad, right?” I wondered. Well, the girls liked mac-n-cheese for dinner and I settled for left over pasta from Wednesday. Again, I guess I need to make sure I have all the ingredients to make something before starting. It never crossed my mind that we would be out of milk because we always have milk. Oh, well.


Six Word Memoir February 21, 2008

Filed under: ideas for writer's notebook,memoirs,Quilting,thoughts,Uncategorized,wn entry — hey2blondie @ 11:02 am

My friend Beth has got my mind spinning trying to come up with a six word memoir, so here it goes:

My life– quilted, embellished, comfortable–loved.

I was thinking about doing this with my students and hanging them on a bulletin board or having them use it in a piece of writing. 

Please feel free to share yours!


Stay A While February 17, 2008

Filed under: etheree,poetry,Uncategorized — hey2blondie @ 2:08 pm

It’s amazing how one day the weather is freezing cold and the next day it’s beautiful. I wrote an etheree about spring. See Ruth’s entry and Stephanie’s entry.


is in

the air now

but not for long

tulip leaves emerge

birds chirping songs of love

people walking their furry friends

trees swaying in the breezy wind

the sun and clouds dance across the sky

don’t you wish spring is here to stay a while?



Book Jacket Project February 11, 2008

At the end of literature circles my students created a book jacket for their book. Each group created one jacket. They had several days to create their jacket with the following guidelines:

  • must have a cover with picture, title, & author
  • summary of book
  • biography of author
  • and a book review from each group member

I then graded them on the following:

  • creativity
  • accurate detailsjacket 7jacket 7
  • organization
  • group participation (for this I had each member evaluate their group’s effort with an evaluation form & I also watched them as they worked)
  • CHIPS (capitalization, handwriting, indenting, punctuation, spelling)

I am impressed with the outcomes. Take a look at their final projects. Click on each for a bigger picture!

jacket 1jacket 2jacket 3jacket 4jacket 5jacket 6

jacket 7



jacket 8