Today I’m linking up with Five for Friday to share what I’ve been up to this week and some resources that you need to grab!
First is the obvious – my brand new blog design! I cannot BELIEVE how amazing this design came out! When I first emailed Megan at A Bird in Hand Blog Design with my request over the summer, I knew how ridiculous of a request it was. BUT, I still wanted it! I asked her to trick me out in fleur de lis in honor of the New Orleans Saints right before football season started. But I still wanted it to look like a teaching blog. WHAT! Can you believe what an amazing job she did?! I’m so glad I splurged for the custom blog design. You should totally spoil yourself for all of your hard work blogging with your own custom design. She even installs it for you. It feels better than a haircut and a new outfit!
Here’s what I’ve been up to with my 8th graders this week. I changed things up and started by reviewing theme instead of my usual review of plot elements first. I wanted to do more with the summer reading assignment, The Outsiders, because I typically just skim over it and move on. To be honest, I really don’t like this book. I keep it as the summer reading assignment because my students overwhelmingly love the book year after year. I decided it was an EXCELLENT book for discussing theme, since there are so many different ways you can go with the theme of this book. After a mini-lesson review of theme, my students made theme trees for The Outsiders. Here’s what one looked like:
I love how this kid turned being in a “gang” into a positive thing! His theme is in the branches and the text evidence is in the leaves. He did such a great job of finding text evidence!
Heather from Hojo’s Teaching Adventures made a really fun poster set to help you teach your students how to use glue in their interactive notebooks. I went over this VERY thing with my 6th graders today. We discussed the necessity for using liquid glue (it bonds best and lasts “forever”). We discussed what would happen if you used too much glue (pages will stick together, get wet, glue mess, ink might run). We discussed what would happen if you toaster strudel your glue (pages get all wrinkled up). We discussed what would happen if you put your dots too close to the edge (it will come out the sides and stick to other pages and BOND “forever”). My 6th graders LOVED these posters that Heather made! I wanted to snap a shot of them in my room but I kept forgetting. My plan is to snap one in the morning and add it to this post during the day. She’s got several different versions of these posters so you can choose to print your favorite ones. And best of all, they’re FREE! Click on the thumbnails below to visit Heather’s blog. You’ll be able to download this freebie from TpT soon – and I’ll let you know!
Do you love her?! She is AWESOME! I can’t wait to find all sorts of places to put my mini me! You can get your own mini YOU for an excellent price.
My 7th graders have been making theme trees similar to my 8th graders, but I’ve been doing a lot more scaffolding with them. They read Wonder for their summer reading assignment and that was also an excellent book for teaching theme. I’m using Nick Reitz’s Wonder Novel Unit. There are some seriously great graphic organizers in there, and this week we did one that analyzed several characters’ main problems, events that led to a solution, and their problems’ solutions and resolutions. When I was having a mental block, Nick was nice enough to go out of his way and make things clearer for me! We also did some social justice and bullying stuff, and I’m excited to show you next week the projects that we’ll be working on with precepts and Wonder-style faces…
I’m still trying to get my head above water after starting school again last week, but hopefully by next week I’ll be back on track!