Caring – Character Counts

Class Caring Display

Class Caring Display

Today the class (Language Arts/Writing periods 1 & 4) participated in a lesson based on the character of Caring. The lesson will start with an introduction as to what Caring exactly is. I will share information from a document I obtained from the Character Counts website [here] with the students – only using the 1st page of the document. We will then watch a montage of commercials via values.com I will then open it up for a brief discussion on what the students feel Caring is to them and how it applies to their daily routine. We will continue the lesson on Caring with an arts and crafts activity in which the students will design 8 by 11 inch posters about what Caring means to them in collaborative groups. We will then conclude the lesson by having each group select a speaker to present the groups poster to the rest of the class. The posters will be displayed in the classroom as well as near the library. If time permits, I would like to do a quick view & respond to Michael Jackson’s – Man in the Mirror. I would like to provide a visual to reinforce that Caring as well as change comes from within. I think this video will be a good discussion starter. That being said, I’m not sure if they are old enough to connect with some of the images used in video… Continue reading

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First World Problems Read By Third World Kids – View & Respond

First World Problems Read By Third World Kids...

First World Problems Read By Third World Kids…

As the season takes full swing, my Language Arts/Writing classes will work on (7.SL.1) & (7.SL.5) common core speaking/listening standards with a view & respond about being thankful for what we have as well as learn about what others don’t have. The view & respond will be about an article I read on Huffington Post, “First World Problems Read By Third World Kids.” Students will began class with a bell work prompt about what “third world” actually means because some may not know that it means a group of underdeveloped nations of the world. The prompt will also include a question, list a few things that you may complain about or take for granted… I will be passing out a news story via Huffington Post. Along with that news story, students will have questions to answer before we begin classroom discussion. That handout can be viewed [here]. The class will then move to the viewing portion by watching this video [here]. Students will be prompted to actively watch by using the 5W’s (who, what, where, when, and why)… Students will be given about 5 to 7 minutes to answer the questions from the previously mentioned handout. Once students have completed the handout, I will open up the floor for discussion. Continue reading

Trustworthiness – Character Counts!

Trustworthiness on Display...

Trustworthiness on Display…

The class (Language Arts/Writing – Period 1 & Period 4) participated in a lesson based on the character of Trustworthiness. The lesson began with an introduction as to what Trustworthiness exactly is as well as a bell work prompt of the following: Are you trustworthy? Why or why not? I also opened it up for a brief discussion on what the students feel Trustworthiness is to them and how it applies to their daily routine. We continued the lesson on Trustworthiness with an arts and crafts activity in which the students designed 8 by 11 inch posters about what Trustworthiness meant to them in collaborative groups. We concluded the lesson by having each group select a speaker to present the groups poster to the rest of the class. The posters will be displayed in the classroom as well as near the library.

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View & Respond – The Weight of the Nation (HBO)

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Today, the class worked on (7.SL.1) & (7.SL.5) common core speaking/listening standards during a view & respond activity about the HBO Documentary – The Weight of the Nation. The activity began with a handout that can be viewed [here]. I instructed students to read the news article to give the background to the to the story. Students were prompted to use their active listening skills (who, what, why, where, when) during the viewing of Media clip. Once the clip was complete, I gave students about 3-5 minutes to jot down any information they couldn’t during the viewing to help guide the discussion. I then opened the floor up for discussion by asking initial reactions. I chose to watch Part 3, Children in Crisis, because it appeared to be the most age appropriate as well as relevant to this age group of students.

This is a very serious topic that affects a lot of individuals. That being said, I think it was important to see what my classes thought about the weight problem, perception or reality, that we have in this country. I think it’s important for students to understand that you can eat tasty food without overdoing it as well as the importance of exercising. One of my main objectives with this type of view and respond is to engage, effectively, in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) on topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own point(s) of views clearly. I hope to reach that outcome through the multimedia source presented as well as notes using 5W’s format, discussion, and the view/respond handout.

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View & Respond – Charles Ramsey

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Today, the class worked on (7.SL.1) & (7.SL.5) common core speaking/listening standards during a view & respond activity about Charles Ramsey tells Anderson Cooper how he found Amanda Berry, a woman who vanished years ago, in his neighbor’s house. The activity began with a handout that can be viewed [here]. I instructed students to read the news article to give the background to the to the story. Students were prompted to use their active listening skills (who, what, why, where, when) during the viewing of YouTube Media clip. Once the clip was complete, I gave students about 3-5 minutes to jot down any information they couldn’t during the viewing to help guide the discussion. I then opened the floor up for discussion by asking initial reactions.

This is a mature topic. That being said, I think it’s important for the students to understand the value of doing what’s right when they least expect it. One of my main objectives with this type of view and respond is to engage, effectively, in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) on topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own point(s) of views clearly. I hope to reach that outcome through the multimedia source presented as well as notes using 5W’s format, discussion, and the view/respond handout.

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View & Respond – I Hate School But Love Education

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On Friday, the class worked on (7.SL.1) & (7.SL.5) common core speaking/listening standards during a view & respond activity about I Hate School But Love Education. This view & respond came rather timely considering today was the day that 4th Quarter Progress Reports went home. The activity began with a handout that can be viewed [here]. I instructed students to read the news article to give the background to the poem. Students were prompted to use their active listening skills (who, what, why, where, when) during the viewing of YouTube Media clip. Once the clip was complete, I gave students about 3-5 minutes to jot down any information they couldn’t during the viewing as well as answer the questions (6 of them) to help guide the discussion. I then opened the floor up for discussion by asking initial reactions. Initial reactions were mixed. One thing students struggled with was the concept of school being slightly different than education. However, students all understood that learning does take place outside of school. All in all, some students understood the overall theme of the poem, and some students were working towards comprehension…

This is a controversial topic. That being said, I think it was important to see what my classes thought about school as well as their goals in education.I think it’s important for the students to understand the value of learning in general in whatever format it is delivered to them. Overall, the students and I had a good conversation, and that was my hope all along. One of my main objectives with this type of view and respond is to engage, effectively, in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) on topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own point(s) of views clearly. I hope to reach that outcome through the multimedia source presented as well as notes using 5W’s format, discussion, and the view/respond handout. Continue reading

Class update #19 [Week of 4/29/13 – 5/3/13]

Week #3: Vocabulary HW, Vocabulary Quiz, In-class reading of The Old Man and The Sea,  Direct Instruction on 9/11 Terrorist Attacks (Back To The Future - Unit 4)

Week #6: Vocabulary HW, Vocabulary Quiz, In-class reading of The Old Man and The Sea, Direct Instruction on 9/11 Terrorist Attacks (Back To The Future – Unit 4)

Here is an update for 7th Grade Language Arts (Literature & Writing). I have a hyperlink to my lesson plans for the week of 04/29/2013 to 05/03/2013. If you would like to view the lesson plans, please do so here >>>Lesson Plans for Week 6 – Quarter 4  [click to open].

In Language Arts/Literature,  students will continue reading The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway. During in class reading, students are encouraged to take notes for comprehension in the following format – Question, Quotation (MLA Format), Characters, Setting, Connect, & Summarize. Those notes will help students with their ticket out of class via journal entries that they will be completing after daily reading.  Students will also work on Week #6′s vocabulary words. This week students will be given Week #6′s vocabulary words on Monday, and they will have two assessments in the form of homework due on 4/30/2013 as well as a Vocabulary Quiz on 5/3/2013. I will be pulling all of this year’s regularly scheduled vocabulary words from the Scripps National Spelling Bee & SAT lists for 7th Graders >>> [vocabulary guidelines & instructions]… Please make sure your student is completing their vocabulary homework every Monday because we will have a quiz assessment on those words every Friday. Continue reading

Permission Slips

Permission Slips

Permission Slips

When handing out permission slips,  kids/students will insist they’re grown – they’re not grown… It’s always a good rule of thumb to keep parents, grandparents, and guardians in the loop. I do this for two reasons. The first being, I am NOT any student’s parent. It says PG for a reason. Second, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Again, keep in mind, kids will insist they’re grown. I repeat, they’re not. Most kids these days watch inappropriate movies with or without their parent’s permission. I know I did when I was a kid. I certainly watched my fair share when I was ages 12 to 18. However, it was always on my own time. Some kids tell me that other teachers and/or adults have let them watch certain movies in the past in other schools. My reply is simple, hope you enjoyed that while you could because that’s not how I run my classroom.

The process is simple, send the permission slip home. Here are a few examples [here] [here] and [here]. Continue reading

Class update #18 [Week of 4/22/13 – 4/26/13]

Amistad

Week #5: In-class reading of The Old Man and The Sea, SSR Journals, Direct Instruction on slavery, and viewing of Amistad (Back To The Future – Unit 4)

Here is an update for 7th Grade Language Arts (Literature & Writing). I have a hyperlink to my lesson plans for the week of 04/22/2013 to 04/26/2013. If you would like to view the lesson plans, please do so here >>>Lesson Plans for Week 5 – Quarter 4  [click to open].

In Language Arts/Literature,  students will continue reading The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway on Monday (4/22). During in class reading, students are encouraged to take notes for comprehension in the following format – Question, Quotation (MLA Format), Characters, Setting, Connect, & Summarize… Those notes will help students with their ticket out of class via journal entries that they will be completing after daily reading.  Students will also work on Week #5′s vocabulary words. This week students will be given Week #5′s vocabulary words on Monday, and they will have two assessments in the form of homework due on 4/23/2013 as well as a Vocabulary Quiz on 4/26/2013. I will be pulling all of this year’s regularly scheduled vocabulary words from the Scripps National Spelling Bee & SAT lists for 7th Graders >>> [vocabulary guidelines & instructions]… Please make sure your student is completing their vocabulary homework every Monday because we will have a quiz assessment on those words every Friday. Continue reading

Back To The Future [Integrated Unit – 4th Quarter]

Back To The Future (Integrated Unit)

Back To The Future (Integrated Unit)

The last quarter of the year is upon us, and students will journey back in time during their Language Arts/Writing class in the 4th quarter of 2013. I’ve been looking forward to this unit all year. At this point of the year, there is a battle for attention going on – School vs. Summer Vacation. My goal isn’t to win that battle, as absurd as that sounds, but it is to win the war by keeping the students actively engaged during the last quarter of the year when they begin to checkout due to impending vacations;]

Students will be reintroduced to topics that they may have already had a prior knowledge to via their Social Studies classes as well as History, Language Arts/Writing & Literature, Fine Arts, and Media. The topics are very serious in nature as is the goal of this unit. The goal is simple, get students to respond via writing about incidents that changed the course of history. Students will also be posed the question, what if these events never happened in order to jump start their imagination… The theme of the unit is going back to the future. Back To The Future, a cult classic movie during the 1980’s, poses the question, what if you had the power to change history, should you do it and what are the ramifications of your actions? There will be multiple lessons via direct instruction as well as several view and respond activities using multi-media devices to give students basic background to several important events in history. Students will also be given reintroductions on how to write an informative, expository, and persuasive essay to better prepare them for the upcoming assignments in this unit. Below there are details that include curriculum maps, writing assignments, and lesson plans for your viewing pleasure.

Curriculum Map(s): Continue reading