Since I am starting at a new school, I was unable to choose the books my students would be reading. I was given the list that my incoming 6th graders will be reading, and have already begun to read all the books on the list. I’ve heard of some of them, but not all. I am happy that I am being introduced to even more literature.
The Summer of the Monkeys by Wilson Rawls
Students get to then select one of the following:
Elephant Run by Roland Smith
Under a War Torn Sky by L.M. Elliot
Gossamer by Lois Lowry
Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan
The Single Shard by Linda Sue Park
Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
Of course, I will be reading all of the above. I’ve actually already read Under a War Torn Sky, Gossamer, Esperanza Rising, Maniac Magee, and I’m about halfway through with The Single Shard.
I will be doing my book movie trailer project with my students the first couple of weeks in school with these novels. They’ll work in groups. I’m pretty excited to see how it turns out. The books are fantastic, and I can foresee lots of wonderful things being turned in. I love being able to see what students put together, and letting their creative juices flow. It’ll also help me get to know them, and see how they work with one another.
Next year, I’ll get to do my own list, and I think I will be keeping some of the above novels on it. Does anyone else have any great novels they’ve enjoyed doing with their middle school students?
First off, I have to credit, Jacqui Murray and her post:
5 Digital Goals for Summer
It got me thinking about my own digital goals for this summer. Technically it’s not summer for me quite yet. I still have 7 school days left before I can truly think about it.
I am switching from a public school with almost no technology to a private school with tons. I do know how to use Smart and Activ Boards. Although, I do think there are many tricks I hadn’t learned with them. My students are 1:1 on laptops at the new school. This means that there is just so much that we can do in the class when it comes to writing, editing, and research. I am very excited! This wealth of technology also means that I need to really get myself acquainted with all of this technology. We are an Apple school. This also excites me as I am familiar and own Apple products. There is still much to learn though.
I have been registered to attend iSummit, which is a technology conference this summer. This should also help me in preparing before the upcoming school year.
I want to check out some other avenues of technology. There is so much out there, I only need to educate myself.
I also want to check out Teachers Pay Teachers. I think there is something to be learned through it.
I am taking a group of students on an EF (Education First) trip to Germany in a few weeks. This I am very excited about as well. Much to learn and do this summer.
Another Pinterest find. This was posted as a Vocabulary Journal. I like the idea of this mixed with another website I found:
I have used interactive journals with social studies classes before, and I am not sure why i have never thought to use it with Language Arts. I might have to figure out exactly how I will be using it this coming year. I will be teaching 3 Grammar classes and 3 Literature. I am not sure if I want to do just one notebook for both classes, or if I want to split them up. Either way, it’s something I am at least interested in considering. My students all have laptops as well for notes. This is one thing that has me leaning against it.
One of the wonderful appeals of my upcoming job at a private school, is the use of technology. Each middle school student is assigned an Apple Airbook to work with fully loaded with software and fun programs such as iMovie.
As I was thinking of fun ways to integrate technology in the upcoming year, I decided to search through Pinterest. I then stumbled upon the above video, and fell a little in love.
This summer I will create a rubric for students to create their own book movie trailer. I might even do this towards the beginning of the school year with their summer reading. This way students can work on this in small groups. We have the equipment at the school, and I think it’d be a lot of fun to see what they come up with.
If you have done this or something similar please feel free to leave me advice and/or suggestions.
As I am sure most of you know or at least have heard of Edmodo. Edmodo is a social media site with a format similar to Facebook. It is geared towards students and educators, and I absolutely love it! I have a friend that shared the site with me this past fall. I implemented it very soon afterwards, and my students seem to love it.
Edmodo is a wonderful way to upload and post hand outs and resources for students. If a student is absent, they are able to look for the date they were absent, and see what was done in class that day. I also love that students are unable to friend each other or send each other messages. I also am able to monitor what gets posted onto each class “wall.” The apps aren’t my favorite that are on there, but they do have things where students can review. I can also create quizzes that will get automatically grades if labeled multiple choice. It does make things a bit easier. I also enjoy that I can set things up by class period, as well as customize calendars per class.
It’s definitely a resource I would recommend for 5th grade and up. Most middle schoolers have computers at home, smart phones, and tablets with apps they are able to access the software.
We have reached yet another end of the year, and I have so much going on in my life.
First, I apologize that I have not updated in a year. As you will see in my About me page, I had a lot of changes this year. It was a very tough year, and I am excited to say that it is almost over, and I will be heading to a new school this next school year. I plan on blogging more often as I share ideas and my thoughts as I revamp my lesson plans for the upcoming year. I will be leaving public education for a Christian private school, but most things I talk about of course can be used at any school.
I hope you will enjoy reading about this next step in my career, and will continue to give me feedback and suggestions as I already begin to plan what I will do this next year.
A friend of mine who is also beginning her first year teaching, recommended that we should create blogs and blog our way through our first year teaching. We have both noticed that while there are many resources out there for and about elementary school teachers, it seems as though Middle School teachers have less of a voice in the education blogosphere. Why not start a blog and discuss ideas, as well as the ups and downs we are likely to face as first year middle school teachers.
I will have a bit of a different experience as I am beginning my first year teaching at a magnet school. Here in the United States, magnet schools are public schools usually with specialized courses. These public schools draw students from all over the school district. Usually there is an application and a lottery to get in these schools. Needless to say, I have found out that most of my kids are going to be brilliant, with parents who might be a little overbearing. None of my previous experiences with student teaching or working as a substitute teacher have prepared me for this. I never had the honor to work with kids like those I will be teaching. I will have to be on my game at all times, and truly develop lesson plans that are fun, enriching, and entertaining.
I am excited to get started with this school year. Hopefully this blog can be informative to anyone thinking about being a teacher, is going through this process, has gone through it, or is curious about what it is like being a teacher. If no one reads this blog but myself, then it will be a way for me to work out my ideas, my achievements, and my failures.
“Teaching is not a lost art, but the regard for it is a lost tradition.”