Lesson Plans on Teacher Pay Teachers

Teachers Pay Teachers Store

After numerous requests for lesson plans, I’ve decided to put some materials on Teachers Pay Teachers. Some will be free and others will be for sale. Materials will include but not be limited to the following: lesson plans, vocabulary units, class notes,  and various writing assignments. Material will cover grades 7th, 10th, and 12th. Material will be relatively cheap, and the money earned will go towards buying things for my current classroom. If you’re looking for 7th Grade Lesson Plans, they will be available for free download (limited time) on the TPT store.

Summer Shoe Contest

– Open Google Doc for details

image1Students will have the opportunity to win these pair of all leather size 10.5 Air Force Ones. A little extrinsic reward for extra motivation, you bet… These shoes will be earned by any summer program student that wishes to participate. Participation is not required, but it is highly recommended even if you can’t fit the shoes. Once you’ve earned the shoes, you can do what you wish with them.

 

Here are the details about how to earn them on June 19th.

 

  • Students that wish to participate will have to write a 3 to 5 paragraph essay and will have following topic options: why they deserve the shoes, plans after high school, or how they will budget the money earned from the summer program.

 

  • Students should remember that I expect the following to be included in the essay: an introduction, body paragraphs with supporting details, and a conclusion.

 

  • Students should view the rubric (below) because I will be grading for grammar.

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Farewell

Any former students that may come across this blog, I want to say goodbye to you. It has been a pleasure teaching as well as being around all of you for the past 3 years! Although I have moved on to another school, I will make sure to stop by LPA whenever I get the chance. Make sure you continue to work hard and aim high. The sky is the limit. When times get hard, you keep moving! I will miss you all.

~ Mr. Sye

Arizona Teacher Talks About How CHARACTER COUNTS! Works

Best Practices in Character Education: Q & A With Teacher James Sye

Best Practices in Character Education: Q & A With Teacher James Sye

The following is courtesy of Character Educator Blog:

In his latest blog post, CHARACTER COUNTS! Director Jeff McMurdy spotlights a few exemplary educators who are doing great things with CHARACTER COUNTS!. James Sye, a seventh-grade language arts teacher at La Paloma Academy in Tucson, Arizona, was one of them. We asked him to share his perspective and a few pointers on how he makes CHARACTER COUNTS! work in his classroom.

What is your most important goal with your students? How does character education or pro-social learning factor into it?

As a 7th-grade language arts teacher, I have several goals. Over the course of the year, my primary goal is to get my students to read like detectives and to write like investigative reporters. In terms of including character education, I feel it’s my responsibility to teach my students life skills that revolve around being productive citizens as well as people of high character. CC! is a great tool to model good behavior.

In your blog, you’ve written about CHARACTER COUNTS! and the Six Pillars of Character. How have people responded to these posts? 

I’ve received nothing but positive feedback. Continue reading

Closed for the Summer ;)

Summer Time!

Summer Time!

In my Boys To Men voice, we have come to the end of the road. School is now officially out for the Summer. We’ve all said our goodbyes, and 8th Grade Graduation was yesterday. I will miss that group of students, but it is time for the next step in their academic journey. I wished them well, and told them to make good choices because this is the next step in their life and the choices they make will determine who they will become in the near future…

As for my 7th Graders, the majority of students will be returning for their 8th Grade year, but a few won’t. Those were the hardest goodbyes. I told them my door is always open for them to stop by and say hello. For those leaving the state, I let them know the blog is open to say hello as well.

This year has flown by, and I have enjoyed it tremendously. I know I have given my best effort to prepare this group of kids for 8th Grade academically as well as socially.  Soon it will be time to get ready for the next group of kids. Until the end of July rolls around, I will have a busy summer. My first child will turn 1, so I will have my hands full. I will also start my Master’s Degree in Education this summer, so I will stay pretty active. I will keep this blog updated periodically… Enjoy the Summer!

View & Respond – #LookUp

Language Arts/Writing classes will work on (7.SL.1) & (7.SL.5) common core speaking/listening standards today. I put together a view & respond about a viral video called, Look Up. As the year comes to an end and summer is almost upon us, I thought this video had the right kind of message. If you haven’t seen the video, below, the overall message is to get off social media and enjoy life. The students had a very deep discussion. The overall response was that this was a nice message for multiple reasons, but it won’t make a big difference. However, a good portion of students did say it would make them think before diving into social media and possibly miss out on the real world around them. I can accept that – small possible change is better than no changing at all…

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The Old Man & The Sea – Trivia Game

The Old Man & The Sea - Trivia

The Old Man & The Sea – Trivia

On Friday, I wanted to liven up the class with some sort of competitive game, so I put this trivia game together in the morning. In case you’re adverse to reading, here is The Old Man & The Sea Trivia Game [here]. I grabbed a few things on several sites as well as came up with a few questions on my own. Feel free to take it, share it, add a few questions, point out any errors, or play the trivia game… The students loved it, and it really brought out their competitive side. I split them in teams of four, and they went at it. The main objective was simple – collaboratively be able to display understanding of the book they had just completed. Today, they will get their essay assignment [here], and we will also watch the T.V. movie starring Anthony Quinn [here].

Overall, the majority of the students enjoyed the novel. It was above their grade level (7), but we had plenty of dialogue to break down the conflicts, inner struggles, themes, and overall meaning. We will continue to gain understanding through our essay assignment, and then we will finish the 6th book of the year (Of Mice & Men). I am very proud of my students for completing 6 books during the school year. I try to have trivia for all the books we read because it’s a fun way to display/recall knowledge…

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Letter Writing Activity #Dreams

set goal, make plan, work, and stick to it...

set goal, make plan, work, and stick to it…

I decided to do an impromptu writing activity in Language Arts/Writing today. The students will participate in a letter writing activity about their future aspirations. Students will begin class with a bell work question, “Describe 3 realistic life goals that you want to reach by the age of 18.” Once they have completed that, they will be given the following instructions:

 

1) You will be writing a letter about your future dreams and aspirations.

2) Address the letter to yourself (future you)

3) List specific goals that you hope to attain by the age of 18 and beyond.

4) For every goal, give yourself advice on how to reach that goal.

5) Open the letter upon high school graduation or when you feel yourself getting off track later in life. Continue reading

One Shining Moment #LifeGoals

On Wednesday, I will pose the following question during bell work, “what will be your defining moment(s) in your lifetime?” I will use the “One Shining Moment” media clip via the NCAA montage of highlights that they have at the end of March Madness to jump start the discussion (below). Students will see this question before we watch the 3 minute clip. Once the clip is finished, we will then open up the floor for discussion about life goals. At this age, students are beginning to define who they are. That being said, they are in the beginning stages of that process, but it’s never too early to start thinking about their future. My main objective is for students to think about their future, and I will reach that objective through multimedia as well as classroom discussions. This should serve as a nice break from AIMS (Arizona’s Measurement for Measuring Standards) that we have on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday… Continue reading

AIMS Week – April 7th to April 11th #7thGradeChallenge

AIMS - April 7th to April 13th!

AIMS – April 7th to April 11th!

I’ve tried to motivate my students in various ways throughout the years (here & here), but this was a little different. I decided to have a little fun with my 7th Graders. On Thursday, we brainstormed for ideas that would embarrass Mr. Sye (me) as well as motivate students if they met/exceeded a certain level on their upcoming state standardized tests. There were several outrageous suggestions, but the classes settled on having me change my hair color. On Friday, I gave each of my Literature classes the following announcement: Have you ever wanted to embarrass Mr. Sye? Here is your chance! Mr. Sye has agreed to bleach his facial hair blonde as well as what little hair he has on his scalp Of course, there is a catch. He has challenged his 7th Graders on their upcoming AIMS (Arizona’s Instrument for Measuring Standards) test. If 95% of 7th Graders either meet or exceed the state standards (Literature Assessment), it will happen at the beginning of next school year…  Are you up for the challenge?

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