Monday, January 14, 2013

words, words, words

I like the idea of word maps.  They force students to think beyond dictionary definitions and parts of speech when it comes to vocabulary learning.  However, what I'd rather do is have my students engage in each word map activity one step at a time.  They might find it more engaging that way...hopefully.

day 1: introduce the word, definition & part of speech...have students put the definition in their own words
day 2: have students come up with synonyms (examples) and antonyms (non examples)
day 3: create a visual interpretation of the word (symbol)
day 4: come up with other forms of the word
day 5: sort words into categories
day 6: reread the word in context and create an original sentence using the word (or another form of it)

We'll see how it goes!

Sunday, January 13, 2013


My department decided this year that we would use the I-search model for the ninth grade ELA research project.  I used this model while teaching in another district and I liked it because it forced students to reflect on the research and writing process and allowed them to design their own topic and research question.  I won't be doing the I-search for a couple of months but decided to start compiling helpful internet sources so that I have a clear direction once we begin.  One great source suggests using student blogs as a presentation model for the I-search paper.  I love the idea and most certainly will use it since I've been given the freedom to teach this unit as I see fit.  Twenty-first century teaching can be so much fun!

I-search sources:

Read, Write, Think...Using blogs to promote inquiry for the i-search paper

Reference Book, Writing the i-search paper

Model i-search paper

Well, hello...

I've been away for a awhile. Three years and three months to be (almost) exact.  In that time I have switched districts, schools, and grade levels, acquired my CAGS in reading, written a first draft of a very bad young adult novel, and auditioned for and was cast in a local theatre production of Jesus Christ Superstar (I'm one of the leads! Hurrah!).

I guess I'm one of those people who craves movement and change.  I love to learn and better myself which is exactly why I'm coming back to this blog.  In teaching, it's so easy to get stuck underneath all of the paperwork and bureaucracy and I very quickly get overwhelmed and panicked, forgetting the joy and creativity that is possible in the classroom.  Teaching is a great and important profession that is unfortunately often under attack, so sometimes teachers lose track and begin operating out of fear rather than the passion that we started with at the beginning of our careers.  I'd like to start using this blog as a way to pull myself up out of that fog, reflect on what I'm dong in the classroom, and generate new ideas for teaching.

There you have it.  I'm back.  BOOM!