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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Spicing up those final days!

Hey y'all!

Oh goodness, we're well under 20 days left of school! Only 7 days left of instructional teaching and then it's finals!  Which means I only have 17 days until my trip of the year!  (For those of you who don't know, I will be backpacking through Europe for the months of June and July and I am completely excited - I can't focus on anything except the trip at this point!)

My students are getting restless, as am I - quite frankly, who wants to be doing the same ol' thing when summer is just right around the corner?  So I've had to spice things up a bit.  I started incorporating music to review theme, mood and figurative language all in one.  I had the students make a simple graphic organizer and each column was dedicated to one topic - theme, mood, figurative language, the first column was the name of the song.  I used popular songs to get them into it - Life is a Highway, Let it Go, etc.  Then students started requesting songs, and surprisingly, the songs they chose were pretty appropriate - The Climb, Do You Want to Build a Snowman, etc.  They even backed up their song choice with what is in it for figurative language, etc.

So if you are looking to spice up your last few days, especially with high schoolers - you just can't go wrong with music!


Ms. Bergin

Monday, May 19, 2014

Limited Supply of Textbooks Leads to Less Reading

I remember in high school English, we all had our own English textbooks. If we were reading a novel, an epic, or a text that was not in the textbook, we all had our own copy.  There was no need to have teachers run copies.  The reading was done at home and then the discussions, close reading, analysis, and all that fun stuff took place in school.  I learned in a title I school.

As a teacher, I must make copies of texts if I want my students to read something at home.  My students do not have their own textbooks.  Sure, I can upload the online file of the text if I could, but then there's students without internet at home.  Therefore ,we spend a lot of class time reading in addition to the close reading analysis, which sometimes leads to eliminating fun activities because we simply just do not have time for it.  I teach in a Title I school.

What's the difference? That's something I'm trying to figure out.  How to increase reading at home, reduce reading in class and increase instructional activities in class.

Ms. Bergin