Skip to main content

The Road Back...


I'm attempting to get back into blogging again, now that I have my little cutie on somewhat of a schedule, and can usually find an hour in the day to sit down with my laptop. Who knew taking the laptop out would become such a luxury once a kiddo comes around?

So what's new? Not much, which is why I haven't been blogging. I settled into a routine this year that works, and with maternity leave sneaking up on me two weeks early, I kind of left everything, and didn't think about school once she got here. I never thought I'd be like that, but it really does change everything...


Since it's still January, I figured I'd start off today with some things I want to continue with my teaching, and some goals for when I get back in April. Yes, I'm staying home till April, which is amazing, and also requires some very strategic budgeting on our end, but I know it'll be worth it!

Things that work:

Grammar Invitations- Without a doubt, this strategy has been absolutely amazing for teaching grammar to students in an authentic way. Also, writing small assignments and then having choice for a larger piece is great for my students!


Which leads me to Writer's Workshop- Hands down, the best time saver and effective use of instruction and discussion I've done in my classroom. I love the feedback students give each other, and I've only had a few students not turn in a paper, which is a win on its own!


Google Docs- Students this year were all given google accounts at our school, and having all papers digital makes it easy for me to track progress, give comments, print for workshop, and note revisions! I also have students color code their grammar invitation sentences, which makes it easy to grade!




Classroom Management Strategies: I started using a paper gradebook in my EC Planner again this year, in addition to our online gradebook, because we switched to a new system (Schoology) that was a little glitchy at first. This, along with my No Assignment Forms, were a lifesaver when assignments didn't save! My While You Were Out spiral has also been great, especially for students with a lot of absences!


Things I want to try or transition:

1. Interactive Notebooks. I love them, I do... but I'm tired of justifying the amount of time spent putting pages in. It's worth it for students to always have everything, but I'm craving to have them be digital and go paperless. I want to find a balance for both, so this is something I'm currently working on!

2. Incorporating skills more with novel studies. Novel studies have been demonized a bit with common core, but I really feel they are valuable for teaching the CC skills. How can I justify using novels all year to teach skills, along with relevant nonfiction and fiction articles and stories? 

3. Advocating for change. I really want to see some changes in education, and I want to jump away from being a bystander to helping develop change in education. 

4. Streamlining materials in my classroom. I LOVE organizing, and I'm again on the hunt to re-evaluate how my classroom runs in a functional sense. I actually may survey my students on how my room layout is or is not meeting their needs.

5. Finally- providing valuable content to people who read this or follow me! 
  • What do you want to see more of regarding middle school language arts? 
    • Content/Lesson Plans, Classroom Management, Organization, Technology?
  • How do you want to get it? 
    • Blogging? Instagram? FB? Twitter? Periscope? 
  • What works for you?
Since my time is a little more limited, I want to make sure I reach the majority of you where it is easy and convenient. :) What are you working on for the new year/semester? I want to know, so comment here or on facebook!




Comments

  1. Yay, thanks for posting! You are one of my favorite bloggers! I'm also currently struggling with the ISN conundrum this year. This year our school started block scheduling, which ironically cut our ELA instruction pretty much in half! Thus, I have the same feelings as you about justifying the time spent on these note books. I'm continuing to do so this year, as it is the way we started. AND I really can't go 100 percent paperless, because we are nowhere near being a 1:1 school.

    Sorry for rambling! In any case, I'd love to see what you come up with or even just read more of your thoughts on this topic!

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's great to see that you're finding time to write again, even with a little one in tow. Your goals for teaching and your classroom management strategies sound fantastic. It's great to see that you've found strategies that work for you and your students, like grammar invitations and writer's workshop i hope you're also good in care certificate standard 3 answers providing. Your plan to incorporate skills more with novel studies and advocating for change in education are admirable. It's always great to see teachers who are passionate about their profession and want to make a difference. I look forward to reading more about your journey and hope that you continue to find success in the classroom. Good luck with all your goals!

    ReplyDelete
  3. we are going to the seminar and my friend asked a question: Explain the meaning of the word confidentiality, our teacher explained it clearly, and now he is comfortable with the topic of confidentiality terms.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I empathize with the challenges of juggling blogging and teaching, especially with a little one. As someone engaged in Health & Social Care assignment, I'm intrigued by your effective use of digital tools like Google Docs for tracking progress and giving feedback.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This post about teaching teenagers in the twenty-first century was really informative, in my opinion! Teachers must modify their approaches if they want to empower and engage this technologically literate generation. Learning results may be significantly improved by utilizing digital resources and incorporating creative teaching tactics. Additionally, getting dissertation assistance to do additional study on efficient teaching strategies might yield insightful information for teachers trying to change the way that classrooms operate in the modern day.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Now new year has fresh start, showing that young enterprenuer must be on the track, now the things goes up and going to do amazing and make some creative ideas. some how I am going to hire cheap assignments because my exam will be going on next month.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by! JW

Popular posts from this blog

Before the School Year Begins...

I decided that before I can start posting about what I'm doing this year, I needed to share some of my favorite strategies from last year that went really well with the students. I was completely inspired by Kelly Gallagher after reading devouring all of his books at the beginning of the school year! I had the opportunity to go to a Kelly Gallagher workshop at Judson this spring, and it was absolutely amazing! He was so nice when I went up to him (I was terrified and starstruck), and even wrote "You're Welcome" on this piece of paper, because my students actually asked me to THANK HIM for changing the way we read novels in class.  Students + asked me + to say thank you to an author + about school stuff = UTOPIA! Here are some of my abbreviated notes from the day: His TOP Points: Kids should write 4X more than you can physically grade  Students suffer from word poverty. Must get students reading more in order to be exposed to vocabulary. We ne

RAK Classroom Kit + Enjoy the Magic of The Holidays at Oakbrook Center!

Last week The Middle School Mob hosted a FB Live Holiday Hop, and I shared how I do a RAK (Random Acts of Kindness) activity with my students during the holiday season . This was my first time doing a FB live and I had so much fun! You can check out the RAK Classroom Kit here If you live in the Chicagoland area and want to have a fun family outing this Christmas season, be sure to check out my post over at Modest House, Extraordinary Home ! Save Save Save Save

Writing Notebook: Finishing up "Write Ideas" and first Invitation: AAAWWUBBIS!

Happy Monday!! Today I am continuing on with the Writer's Notebook! Last time I left off, students had just finished their "100 Things I Love". After that, students completed their writing territories, which I got from Nancie Atwell's book   Lessons That Change Writers.  We spent the first day discussing writing territories out loud, going through the list in detail, so that students had ideas of what to write about. I told them to think of it like the caption for a picture. One to two sentences that could become something more. Students had to complete this for homework. We also completely numbered our table of contents so that we could add in sections and start working in other parts of the notebook.  Students wrote their writing territories on these pages. Then we moved on to the Writer's Eye (I). Students had to place terms that described them within their "I" or around their "Eye". I created my o