Friday, August 30, 2013

Prezi Example

By request, here's the example Prezi I showed in class to teach the literary term dialogue.

Prezi Example

The Students Become the Teachers

These past two days we've been working in the "Flex Lab" in order to create some (pretty awesome looking) presentations. Students will be taking over teaching the class on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week! They will use what they have learned about their literary term to teach the class, employing the website as a presentation tool. I'm really looking forward to seeing what each group creates!

Also, how about that rally today? SO loud, SO fun! It was pretty cool for me, having all freshmen, to watch all my students cheering and jumping and even coming in second for that crazy two-headed monster in a shirt race! 

I hope you all have a great, restful three-day weekend.

-Mrs. L.

Library Student Survey

Please complete the library orientation survey that we didn't have time for earlier this week.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Literary Terms Expert Prezis

Fly high my literary experts!
(Please leave your Prezi link in the comments below.)

Meet in the Flex Lab tomorrow!

We will meet in the "Flex Lab" (room 76) tomorrow to work on making some online presentations. There will be a note on our classroom door in case you forget or don't see this note.

-Mrs. L.

Our Challenging Texts

What an interesting couple of days! I got to see so many different and challenging texts that students brought in. From short stories to computer programs, from sheet music to Xbox instructions- what a range of readers we have in LitWrit!

In addition to asking students to talk about their texts in groups, I also had them reflect on what their choice of text says about who they are. This deeper reflecting work brought out some intriguing self-descriptions, which I look forward to reading in greater detail at our first notebook check.

We spent the second half of our class these past two days getting oriented in the library. If you'd like to check out the library's website from home, you can click here.

 Homework today is to complete the "Teacher's Challenge" questions, which go along with the excerpt I handed out.
Teacher's Challenge (homework instructions)

-Mrs. L.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Reading Habits Survey

In case you didn't see this on the other post...

Students only: Please complete this survey as part of your homework.
Reading Habits Survey

Reading Difficult Texts

Have you ever read a book, or a poem, or an article, and been utterly flummoxed by it? ( That's a fun word, isn't it?) Today, we talked about using strategies to fix the flummoxed feeling. I also challenged students to a reading match: see if you can find a text that you're an expert on, but that other folks (including me!) won't be able to understand. A lot of our understanding comes from our background knowledge or experiences, and since everyone's set of knowledge and experience is different, I'm really looking forward to seeing that students bring in.

Texts we looked at today were:
"The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner"
an excerpt from "As Kingfishers Catch Fire"

Bring a text you like to class
Complete the reading survey here.

-Mrs. L.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Great analogy from a student

I want to share a great analogy that a student suggested today.

I had asked groups to explain why "mother" was at the top of the list of favorite words, and this student said that words can be like appearances. Someone might look unremarkable at first, but if you find out they have a really great personality, they start to become lovely. She said it's the same with words: "mother" doesn't look like much, but when you get to know what's behind it, it's really quite wonderful.

Thanks to all the great moms!

-Mrs. L.

Words We Love

Check out these quotes from Marilyn Chandler McEntyre:

“It is hard to get people to look at words instead of through them.”

And sometimes words become objects of interest in themselves. Suddenly we notice them. We see and hear them the way poets do, as having vitality and delightfulness independent of their utility.

We talked about words a lot today, starting with an article entitled "Mother's the Word." If you'd like to read it, you can find it here

What does it mean to look "at" a word, instead of "through" it? I used the analogy of a window: usually, words function like a window, to show us something beyond. Like the quote says above, I want us to sometimes pause and look at this "window" itself. What happens when you look at a word as something vital, something delightful? Maybe what the guys in this video do:

Most classes then thought of their own favorite words, and we created a "Word Wall" with them. Some classes even had time to answer our essential question for this unit, which is, "How do we use words to communicate who we are?"

Have a great weekend!

-Mrs. L.

Bodie the Galumpy Puppy

Don't worry, he's fine now.

-Mrs. L.

Student Dictionary Interviews

On Wednesday and Thursday, we conducted interviews to create an entry in our "Student Dictionary." Students wrote up their interviews like a dictionary entry and presented their partner to the class.

At the end of class, students wrote down three words they thought describe them. These words (several hundred across all five classes!) are now up in our room. You can read some of the words in the picture below!

-Mrs. L.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

In-Depth Syllabus Review and Homework

Today in class, we conducted an in-depth group study of the course syllabus. Students posed and answered questions of the policies/procedures outlined in the syllabus, and also had a discussion of what "mastery" means. In addition to the truly impressive definitions of mastery that students created in class, I shared these hallmarks of what mastery means as an educational philosophy:
  • Students use multiple opportunities to attain and demonstrate mastery. We keep working on a skill or concept, using various methods of teaching and practice, until the students can demonstrate their mastery.
  • All students can succeed and grow toward mastery given appropriate support and practice.

Homework is to get signatures for the last page of the syllabus and turn in to at our next meeting. If needed, you can download copies of the syllabus at the links below.
LitWrit syllabus
LitWrit syllabus- sheltered

-Mrs. L.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Course Syllabus and Homework

Today in class, we briefly went over the course syllabus (some teachers call it a green sheet... ours isn't green), and created a "getting to know you" flashcard. Check out both using the links below.

Lit/Writ Syllabus
Lit/Writ Syllabus- sheltered
Flashcard Instructions and Example

See you tomorrow!

-Mrs. L.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Welcome to Literature and Writing

So you've made it to our class blog- congratulations and welcome! I will be using this blog to share important details about this class, interesting tidbits, and to help you engage in discussions in the comments on each blog post.

Check back often so we can all help make this a dynamic page!

-Mrs. L