Thursday, July 24, 2008


Scenes from St. Augustine -- One of the side streets during our Ghostly Experience walking tour. You can just see the guide, in period dress, beyond the blonde woman. The White Lion restaurant is to the left (I've always wanted to eat there). A wine bar was to our left and the drunk guys on the porch starting making ghost noises and following us. That was funny (and meant I had yet another drunk story to share from our trip). BTW, that's my DH to the right in the green shirt and white ballcap.
I've been doing school planning. Here are the outlines for my two ninth grade classes:
9th Lit/Comp

1st Semester: Fiction
The Short Story: Last Rung on the Ladder, The Scarlet Ibis, etc.
Novel Studies: TKAM, at least one more (A Day No Pigs Would Die or . . . something)

2nd Semester: Drama, Nonfiction, Poetry
Romeo & Juliet
Need one or two high-interest nonfiction books
Poetry study/anthology

9th Writers Workshop

1st Semester:
Skills for High School Success (Multimedia presentations, technical writing)
Literary response & analysis

2nd Semester:
Research: the I-search, unless I come up with something different for research since it seems to have migrated to the 8th grade, anyway an introduction to hefty research project
Poetry anthology to correspond with 9th Lit *or* writing a webquest
Here's my new assessment idea. One thing I do know I'm going to expect of my ninth (and eleventh) graders is the maintenance of an outcome-driven portfolio, which they will use at the end of each semester to lead a parent-teacher-student conference (I think this will be my semester exam the first semester). I've been sketching out my outcomes. Each portfolio should contain artifacts that are evidence of:

1) an engaged leaner
2) an improving writer
3) an active reader
4) a student working toward high school success
5) an active thinker

with the totality of the portfolio showing that the student is making progress on the standards and adapting the habits of mind. Portfolios can be multimedia. Following the parent conference, parents are asked to write a reflective piece on the student's portfolio/presentation. This will mean actively teaching kids how to be reflective, how to use the vocabulary of reflection.

I think I'm going to go back to my old way of teaching vocabulary, which is to integrate two words daily with my DOL. This way, they are still exposed to 360 new words per year. I am horrible about not grading vocab homework. Although, I hate to not use the vocab book. I may think of a way to integrate it (the book) differently, as part of an oral or journal activity.

1 comment:

MaryF said...

I always have the worst time teaching vocabulary. It's so hard to be consistent. My biggest concern is math and science vocabulary. I have a word wall but I don't know the best way to use it.

BTW, I HATED The Scarlet Ibis. I still remember how sad that story was!