Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Vocabulary Sort and a Trip to My Classroom

Happy Wednesday!

I've been busy working on 7th grade LA curriculum as well as anti-bullying curriculum for our mid-day class meetings and sometimes have a hard time deciding what to dive into first.

Yesterday, I decided to add a free Gary Soto "Seventh Grade" vocabulary sort--great to use with the story or to download for layout ideas.

TpT "Seventh Grade" by Gary Soto FREE Vocabulary Sort

I'm hoping it is helpful for you!

I also made another vocab activity for this story where each page has the word, the definition, and visuals.  Student groups get 30 slips (10 vocab words, each with a word/def/visual) and have to match the word with the definition and visual.  I don't have access to free stock photos so I can't put it on TpT, but here's what it looks like so you can use it for inspiration!

Today when I was driving and thinking about vocabulary activities for Names/Nombres by Julia Alvarez, it dawned on me that the same type of sheets/cards can be used, but instead of having small groups sort or match them, I could hand out one slip per student and have them find each other!  Of course there is some fine tuning that would need to be done because we all know classes aren't all 30 or 40 kids exactly, but I think it will work!

I was also out in my classroom today, you know...just "to grab something quickly!" I ended up bringing home that "something" (lower level books that kids have donated) along with a tote full of files.  It's just so much easier going through that kind of stuff now when I don't have 160 essays looming in the horizon. Well, they'll be coming soon enough! But I still have some great time to plan and dream and create while the boys are napping/resting/sleeping, so I might as well use it!

Happy teaching,


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

My Classroom!

I love looking at other teachers' classroom set-ups, and while my room is still under wraps and will be for the next few weeks, I thought I'd post a few shots from last year so you can see the space I work in.

Fifteen years ago, when I started teaching, I was assigned to Room 250 in House 72 (7th grade, second house.) I stayed in that room for 12 years!  At the end of that 12th year, a lot of change happened.

     1) Our district re-vamped the middle school model, eliminating houses, going more departmental, etc. This meant my final year working closely with my colleagues from House 72.

     2) I was unexpectedly put on bed rest at 20 weeks (yep, that's only half way through!) during my pregnancy with my second son and ended up missing the last ten weeks of school. My bed rest blog in case you are interested! Well, and then I might as well link my preemie information blog, too...

     3) Because we were going to be working departmentally the following year, I was moved to Room 156. At the time, Carly (my now-super-awesome colleague) was my long term sub, and she, the students, and my husband packed up the room.

It's the long way of saying that for the past two years, I've been getting used to some new digs!

Here's Room 156 when it was brand new to me...


And here's what it generally looks like now on a day to day basis...

Currently, my bookshelves are covered with pink Ikea shower curtains (cut in half the long way)--covering them each June is easier than boxing all my books!  I'll post more from the trenches when I start unwrapping the room in a few weeks!

Happy teaching!