Here is the link to the notes from today's work demonstrating understanding of the readings and practicing character description, quote selection, and quote explanation.
If you would like to follow along with the slides from Ready Player One, feel free to follow this link :
Let me know if any problems arise,
Wow, September rolls through like a hurricaine. I cannot believe it is already over, and even less so that it has been so warm!
Students in each of my classes have started their year off with a bang. My grade 9 ELA students have finished their first project of the year, already rocked a reading response, and have kicked off with the year's class novel study on Ready Player One.
After a few weeks of getting to know my new students, last week saw a reshuffling of the class deck with seating plans rolled out across each of my classes to provide a more dynamic, productive, and creative seating arrangement. Fingers crossed that all the time and thought I've put into making this plan work for everyone pays off. The early returns are positive.
Looking ahead, my ELA classes are about to dive head-first into our novel study, which should get us into wrestling with some really interesting ideas about the future, the nature of reality, and the value of video games as a cultural product. I am so excited to see what you all have to say, write, and otherwise share!
So ends the last day of summer vacation, and with the updates to the website and my teaching supplies all packed up, I am excited for the new school year and to meet my new students. Only a dinner, and tennis match, and the finishing touches on some peach leather stand in the way of my first day of school. Goodbye summer!
When do I choose to post to my teaching blog? When I have a stack of marking and little time before report cards, that's when! Yeah, that's right students: teachers procrastinate too. The trick you learn with experience is to give yourself lots of "lead" time so that when you go to work, you have time to clean your work space, organize your email inbox, sort your work, find your favourite pens, and yes – post to your blog. Once all those things are done and you've been effectively "getting ready to work" for an hour, you'll feel all ready to actually get some work done.
Marking, much like student work, can actually be enjoyable, but you first need to put yourself in a space that encourages focus. Today, mine is my wife's office in downtown Ottawa. Big windows, quiet (and wordless) piano music, natural lighting, and plenty of space. Most importantly: I am far from home's many (fun) distractions. If you find it hard or even painful ("I'd so much rather be doing X!") to work at home, give working from a library, a park, or even a coffee shop a try. You may find it transforms the "things that need doing" from a pain to a pleasure.
With the open house now in the rear-view, of course the day after is when the Smart board arrives! To steal a saying from one of my favourite movies, "it really ties the room together."
It was a real pleasure to meet the parents who came out last night. I found your enthusiasm, interest, and keen interest in your children's learning to invigorate me, even after the 12-hour mark of the teaching day. I look forward to getting to meet even more of you over the course of the year, whether in person, over the phone, or electronically.
For all those who wanted to check out the classroom but couldn't, take a peak into the "class media section, where you will find an updated photo of the room all set up.
Now that I am a couple weeks into the year, I finally find the time to comment on the blog as I sit down to mark my first assignments. While teachers are constantly challenging students to avoid procrastinating, I wouldn't be honest if I didn't admit that often when I sit down to work, I find myself reaching to the least important obstacles first before getting down to the real business at hand.
The class has come along well, and I finally have a seating plan that has the right vibe for all the classes. Students in all classes have began to wrestle with producing reading responses to short stories, and I am keenly interested to see what comes of their first attempts!
While I have been lucky to get to know you all so much better these last couple of weeks, I feel that reading your writing is going to open a whole other perspective on who you are and I am excited for this opportunity.
I will be updating the site with images from assignments as soon as I get permission from students, as well as with pictures of the classroom, early next week.
Have a great weekend everyone!
This is the space for students and parents from all of my classes to share their thoughts, reflections, or questions with each other and me. Any posts will be moderated to ensure that all contributions are positive, obscenity-free, and clearly indicate the author.
To get started and make your first contribution, simply click the "comments" icon located above and to the right, and start writing!