Showing posts with the label writing

Analysis Overview

When it comes to evaluating students at the beginning of the year, I find that analysis is one of those topics that get swept under the rug. We assume that by high school, students have already learned these skills, and yet we find out, year after year, that that is not the case for some of them. This lesson I created adresses some of those issues.Analysis OverviewPreTest, Overview, Close Read, AnnotationsThings You Will Need to Teach This Lesson:·        Instructions·        Analysis Overview PowerPoint·        Analysis PreTest Handout (Included in PDF file)·        Analysis PreTest Answer Key (Included in PDF file)·        The Story of an Hour Handout (Included in PDF file)·        The Story of an Hour Answer Key (Included in PDF file)Before the Lesson:·        Please review the lesson plan and PowerPoint.  Delete anything that isn’t applicable to you.  Add things that are.  Make this lesson your own.·        Print the student handouts for each student.Lesson:Activity One: Analysi…

Incorporating Infographics into the ELA Classroom: Writing an Essay

In Texas we have this handy dandy standard:

(11)  Reading/Comprehension of Informational Text/Procedural Texts. Students understand how to glean and use information in procedural texts and documents. Students are expected to: (A)  evaluate text for the clarity of its graphics and its visual appeal; and (B)  synthesize information from multiple graphical sources to draw conclusions about the ideas presented (e.g., maps, charts, schematics).
and it has been left so open-ended that it be interpreted any number of ways.  I know that in class we're always evaluating images and maps.  They will come up eventually, so I will not have to worry about hitting the standard that way.  But I don't think I'll have another opportunity to go over an infographic. And even if I do, infographics are fun.

So what better way to kill two birds with one stone: handle the standard while also gauging what the kids know and where I need to focus when it comes to essay writing.

I love infographics,…

Using Mulan to Teach Gender Stereotypes

I love Disney.Honestly, at this point, it’s probably a bit irrational.My husband doesn’t understand it.My kids don’t understand it.But Disney movies in the 90s were the companion to an only child, i.e. me.So anytime I can go back to my happy place I will.Therefore, I use a lot of Disney in my teaching.
When I do my big unit on gender stereotypes, I reference Mulan a lot.One year, I had almost an entire student group tell me that they hadn’t seen the movie.I dreamed that night about all the lessons I could plan around the movie.Besides viewing it as literature, I had the students identify any point in the movie that supported the idea that gender norms/ stereotypes can be beneficial, and any point in the movie that supported the idea that gender norms/ stereotypes are not beneficial.I had them transfer those into a graphic organizer that also had a bubble outline for a persuasive essay.They then had to choose a side and write a draft using the movie as evidence.Pretty easy.
If you’d l…

Getting a 4

Is everyone feeling it?  That current of tension that runs through the English Department right before the STAAR test?  I'm feeling it again, and I have to admit that, this year, it's getting to me.

But this post isn't about that.

This post is about something I created.

I wanted my kids to understand the key term UNIQUE in the STAAR rubric.  And so I created a worksheet where kids can reflect on what made each of these 4s unique and how they can incorporate that uniqueness into their own writing.  Since we're all a little burnt out on the right vs. wrong mentality, I made this worksheet subjective.  As long as their answer is thoughtful and shows true reflection, they receive full credit.

Click here for the worksheet.

6 TED Talks to use with Animal Farm

Ok, so I cheated a little.  Not all of them are TED Talks. But... that's not the point.  I use TED Talks every week.  Some of the kids love them, some of them hate them, but every Tuesday for about 10 minutes at the beginning of class (sometimes they run a little longer) the kids watch a TED Talk where they have to identify the title of the talk, the speaker, the speaker's thesis, how it relates to whatever we're reading, and how the speaker uses ethos, pathos, and logos.

So here are the TED Talks I use for Animal Farm, in no particular order:

1.  Karl Marx I like to start the unit off with this one.  It explains who Karl Marx was and his philosophy.  It also lightly touches on the Russian Revolution of 1917.  Just a note: the creators of this video use art to make their point, and some of the art is nude.  Use at your own discretion.

2.  Is Capitalism Bad for You? Wisecrack is amazing.  And this series takes heavy abstract theories and uses video game images to illustrat…

Visualizing Persuasion

One of the biggest issues we have in getting prepared for the STAAR is the writing portion of the test.  Lucky for us (or unlucky; the tides have yet to determine) they took the analysis paragraph away, so when it comes to writing, I can put all my energy into the persuasive essay. Before ABYDOS, my students had written an essay for timed writing.  We had done a two week unit on over overcoming adversity and the essay was the conclusion.  I was worried about feedback, convinced I don’t dedicate nearly enough time on the idea, convinced that it’s probably the most important element in getting them to where I need them to be, convinced that maybe, just maybe, that was the reason they’re all horrible at writing. However, during ABYDOS, I went to a session where she explained that her Pre-AP students were having some of the same problems mine were.  She also expressed the power of visual learning and color. She has the students self evaluate using highlighters.  Yellow= transitions.  Gre…

ABYDOS: A Weekend in Review

I remember somebody telling me that ABYDOS used to be a THING in our district.  I remember somebody telling me that ABYDOS was one to the district what other strategies are now.  That it was one of those things that the district fell in love with and then decided everybody else needed to be doing it. ABYDOS was before my time. But our district still sends people to some of the conferences.  And this year I was lucky enough (no shade)  to be chosen to go. I got put up in a hotel room, got to room with a really awesome chick, was able to spend my days BEING TAUGHT things, and I got to do it all while someone else sat with my kids for two days. And although I walked out with more ideas than strategies to take back to the classroom, it renewed something in me.  More on that later.  Because this post is about what I brought back with me.  Read more below.

Using Channel One as a SCIOP/ESL Tool

I love Channel One. I think it’s a great way to get current events into larger discussions in the classroom. I also don’t use Channel One enough. Or like… at all. *background info* Our school has a program called PrimeTime, where kids can be requested for a class period’s worth of intervention once a week. Priority goes to the core instructors, followed by a period where elective teachers can request students. I’m still undecided on whether I’m completely in love with the idea or absolutely hate it. *back to what you came here for* So, I was tossing and turning way earlier than I needed to be one morning, trying to figure out what I was going to do for PrimeTime that day when I thought about relevancy, and then I thought about our current climate, and then I thought about Channel One all while thinking about my SCIOP kiddos. I struggle with those students trying to get them to just write a simple paragraph. It’s disheartening and frustrating and even harder to imagine than you think it…