Say what? That’s right! It’s time to start thinking about wrapping it up for the school year! Testing is finished in my district and Spring Break starts this Friday! Once school is back in session, we only have a few weeks before finals start in mid-May! Woah!
I have mentioned before that I like to schedule literature circles for my 6th and 7th graders and back them right up to finals review time. I know how antsy the students are going to be and during this time of the year I do *NOT* want to be teaching boring stuff and just coasting through like so many other teachers will be doing. I save my BEST stuff for last!
To celebrate Earth Day, I use the movie Wall-E to review various literature concepts I’ve taught this year and to incite discussions about taking care of our Earth. If you haven’t seen this Disney movie, you’re missing out! And Earth Day is the perfect time to launch into a genre study of science fiction with both Wall-E and “All Summer in a Day.” My kids LOVE this unit and it keeps me from working too hard (ha!) while being both rigorous and entertaining for the students!
For my 8th grade students, I always make sure to spend the last few weeks of school preparing them for their 9th grade summer reading assignment. About 95% of my 8th graders will go on to the Catholic high school in my city, and their summer reading assignment always involves annotating a book. I get a copy of that assignment every year and then run a simulation with my students so that they are well prepared to carry out that assignment independently. Last year they were required to read Animal Farm and I’m so glad I was able to prepare them for that so that they didn’t read the book thinking it was just about a bunch of farm animals. I use Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry for annotating because of the awesome imagery, figurative language, and character development. I’ll post a more detailed overview of what exactly we annotate in the next couple of weeks.
I hope to get my Monday reading post up in time to show you some of the books I learned about at TXLA last week!