Sunday, September 8, 2013

Mid-Game Change

Have you ever started thinking about the next day's lesson and realized that it a) wasn't right; b) didn't flow well from what you'd just covered; c) that it was maybe a little too complex for the time of year? This happened to me on Friday after school when my special ed co-teacher, Robin, and I were reflecting on how the lesson had gone with our two co-taught classes as well as what was coming up. 

I've written about how Carly and I planned a lot this summer and gave new purpose to our first month--reviewing reading comp skills and teaching the routines we use in 7th grade for responding to lit--and heading from "Seventh Grade" by Gary Soto with a focus on making connections, making inferences, and vocabulary  into a non-fiction article with Cornell notes and article summarization seemed to be way too much for Monday.

"Is it too late?" (Robin)

" isn't Monday yet, I guess!" (me)

So instead of Cornell notes tomorrow, up on the block is Julia Alvarez's "Names Nombres" and a focus on writing long off of a Post-it, text to text connections, Costa's Levels of Thinking, and vocabulary.  They will also have a name paragraph to write. I know that seems like a lot, and in the past I would have considered this beating a dead horse (that idiom sounds really awful when written out...even more awful than when it is just said.) But I'm coming around to the concept that we aren't "teaching stories;" we are teaching skills and routines using stories to get there.

At any rate, since we don't have the photocopies for some of this done yet, I'm going to start the story and teach them about writing long off of a Post-it & give them time to do it in class  I'm still feeling a little scattered and trying to figure out the flow, but I think it'll go well.  I've taught this story many times, and we "wrote long" with students starting last winter.  It'll be nice to teach this routine early this year so they can use it all nine months. 

I made a PPT for writing long using a notebook example I made to go with Witness by Karen Hesse.  What do you think?

So here goes for Week 2 of 2013-14 :) Hope all is smooth sailing in your classrooms this week!


PS  Head on over to I'm Lovin' Lit!!  Erin, a huge Saints football fan, is graciously offering a freebie after each Saints victory this season.  Erin, I can't say I'm a football fan (although I have been in the Superdome!) What can I say?? I live in Vikings territory ha ha!


  1. Love this! Do you mind if I use the powerpoint with my students via Google Classroom?

    1. Hi April! Not a problem.😊 Happy teaching! Michelle