Spring Break

Arizona Marches On...

Arizona Marches On #Sweet…

There are no updates this week. Spring Break is upon us, and this is the time we take to prepare ourselves for the final stretch for the 4th Quarter. When I say we, I mean students as well as teachers… I will be taking the time to relax as well as catch up on some planning for next year when we switch over to common core standards. I’m currently working on my curriculum map for Language Arts/Literature for next year [see here]. With the focus on informational text being emphasized with next year’s switch to Common Core Curriculum, I will have to shift a few things around to meet those standards. However, it won’t be a major shift because informational text has been a point of emphasis during my first two years of teaching via Daily Reading Comprehension Worksheets, Vocabulary, and Active Reading Activities that focus on the previously mentioned. I look forward to the challenge.

Any students, parents, educators reading this enjoy your break because I know I will;) Arizona is still in the NCAA Tournament, so it will be an easy thing to do. I will also spend part of the break hoping my bracket numbers pick up the pace because my students are going to have a lot to say if they all beat me in our March Madeness Bracket Challenge…LoL

As a quick reminder to those who took advantage of the extension I offered, please make sure you turn your Research Paper Assignment in on our first day back, 4/3/2013…

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7 comments on “Spring Break

    • I think it has it’s negatives and positives, but that is just the nature of the beast. I’ve been looking over the ELA Common Core standards for 7th Grade, and I have to tell you there won’t be that much to adjust. I think fine tuning is a better notion that will be my main challenge. That being said, there will be an extra emphasis on informational text (lit) as well as evidence based writing. It’s something that I already do, and I think it’s good for the kids to be able to read like a detective and write like an investigative reporter. My teaching style and philosophy is all about preparing kids for the next level. On the flip side, there are people that resist change by any and all means. However, if the goal is to prepare a student for the next level, I can’t really argue with the process or switch to common core…

      Your thoughts?

    • We’ve discussed the novels the class reads during the school year in a previous conversation. I don’t plan on changing too much next year – perhaps a different novel instead of The Time Machine. That being said, I will change the points of emphasis when we do in-class reading. The motto of reading like a detective and writing like an investigative reporter will be emphasized and practiced regularly.

      A lot of folks are getting into a tizzy about Common Core and the notion that it will do away with fictional reading, and I understand their concerns. However, I have 60 minutes in a class period, and I plan on using every single minute to ensure they are well rounded readers. This push for informational text is not a bad thing in my opinion. Kids need to know how to read informational, expository and functional text which all pretty much go hand and hand. I digress, to the point of not losing my novels for the year. A typical Language Arts class will go as follows: bell work prompt, informational/ vocabulary acquisition/various reading comprehension skills worksheet, in class reading of Literary Textbook or Novel, and ticket out of class that displays some degree of mastery for the objective for the day. Furthermore, in order to achieve those new standards, one doesn’t have to spend each and every minute on them. However, there does have to be consistency, and that is why I’m working on the curriculum map and tweaking my lesson plans to create balance.

      I’m welcoming the shift, and I look forward to the challenges that are ahead of me. I’ve been looking as well as comparing/contrasting Common Core with the state standards, and to me it isn’t night and day in regards to change. It’s something that will help kids compete and be prepared for the next level. That has always been my goal as well as philosophy. Sorry to go on about it, but it’s something that I feel strongly about and am willing to put in work to help kids achieve.

      • Don’t know if CC is good or bad, but for my money, informational reading is best done in Social Studies, World History, ect. where one has to remember facts and dates for homework and reports.

        For me, literature has always been reading about great writers and their works. Nothing like reading and listening to Beowulf in the original language or reading Paradise Lost by Milton.

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