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

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Writing Club Agenda October 17, 2011

Filed under: thoughts,wn entry,writers' notebook,writing activities,Writing Club — hey2blondie @ 9:16 pm

I’m so excited about my very first club meeting this Wednesday. Since we are only meeting once this month, I’ve decided to do Halloween themed writing. Here’s what I’ve come up with. We only have an hour so I hope we get to finish.

3:30 – Warm-up activity – “Monster” Exchange –  Each child designs a “monster” (no blood, violence, etc. of course) and writes a careful description. They keep this secret . Then they give their writing piece to a partner ( who hasn’t seen their drawing) and the partner tries to draw it from the description. You hang them up with the writing in the middle and with both illustrations on either side. The kids really get how critical descriptive detail is!

3:45-4:15 – Halloween sensory list and ghost story activity – I haven’t decided yet how I will go about the ghost story. I may find one and read it to them first. Then have them use their sensory list to create a ghost story. I am welcome to ideas.

4:15 – share time


Poets at Heart April 15, 2011

Filed under: poetry,teachers who write,writing activities — hey2blondie @ 10:49 am

Today my class and I wrote cinquains. Basically it is a poem with the following structure:


description of noun


feeling or effect

synonym of the initial noun

Here’s mine:


Endless adventures

Read to get away

Full of hope



Please click on the other poems by my seventh graders.




This is not a cinquain, but it is a great poem.


Wild Goose Chase Theater April 13, 2011

Filed under: teachers who write,thoughts,wn entry,writing,writing activities — hey2blondie @ 1:51 pm

Today my sixth graders had a special treat. The Wild Goose Chase Theater came to our school! Matt Sandbank made his shadow puppets come to life with his voice and poetry. He taught the students how to create imagery in their poems. He engaged them the entire 45 minute period. Even the science teacher wrote a poem! During his show he had the students pick an image and then list nouns, verbs, and adjectives that would go with the image. He modeled every step that he did. After they compiled their lists, he had them create music with their words. He taught them about alliteration, metaphors, and similies. Yes, I teach these at my school, but it was good for my students to hear it from someone who writes their own poetry. Below is my list and poem.


fun  lime  green  red  green  stripped  juicy  black seeds  picnic  slices  chunks  summer  messy  munching  devour  child  running soft  basket  adults  children  humongus  ripe   fruit  plump   crisp  quench  bite  flesh  rind  ants  dribble eat   large  rotund  table  spit  hard  mounds  water  melon abundant  pile


Mounds of messy melons

Stacked on the picnic table

Ripe juicy fruit

Dribbles down my cheek

Children devour

Chunks of plump red flesh

Seed spit in the air

This is more fun than the fair!


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!


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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Gratitude November 2, 2010

Filed under: thoughts,writing,writing activities,writing workshop — hey2blondie @ 10:16 pm

Each year I have my students create a gratitude project. I got the idea out of a scrap-booking magazine eight years ago. The project has progressed from a scrapbook to a poster to a power point. I have found that the power point is highly effective. Students learn technology skills along with using writing in a nontraditional way. My students are to write 5 entries of gratitude. On each slide they must include pictures and why they are grateful. I work with the computer teacher so that they work in computer classes 3 times throughout the month of October and at least 2 times in my English classes. Students are to incorporate slide transitions and music in their power points. This is a learning process for me as well. I get to know my students more, which is truly a blessing. Once the students have finished their power points and edited them, we invite their parents in to view their projects before Thanksgiving. I create one BIG gratitude sideshow with all of their projects combined. I love this project; it puts the ordinary of every day in perspective. I am grateful for my students because I get to see them develop and grow into wonderful human beings!


Peer Responding October 21, 2010

Last weekend I attended our writing project’s writing retreat called WOW (Writing On Water). It’s a time for us to get together and write. This year we wrote teaching stories and one point during the retreat we had a peer response session. Each person read some part of their piece while the rest of the group listened and responded on post-it-notes. After the read aloud, we placed our post-its on a sheet of paper with the person’s name on them. I enjoyed reading all of the comments my fellow teacher consultants wrote.

I decided that I wanted to bring this to my classroom, so today my seventh graders peer responded in this manner. Instead of the whole class reading, I placed students into groups of 6. Before the students responded, I asked them to write a praise and write in question form something that may be confusing or need of revising. As my students read and responded, I traveled around the room and responded to those students I heard read. After the read aloud, I passed out a colored sheet of paper so they could place their post-its on it. Tomorrow my students will be turning in their writing of choice piece with those post-its.

I look forward to reading how they responded to each other. I am curious to see what they wrote. I did poll my classes to see if they liked this way of responding. Some did like it and others did not. One student said that she didn’t like sharing in front of everyone.