Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ~Elizabeth Stone

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sunday Salon- January 3rd

January 3rd- Sunday Salon

I planned to spend some time today preparing for tomorrow's lessons as it is the first day back after the holidays and I want to hit the ground running. I have two English classes tomorrow and two History classes, so really I just need one lesson for each subject and I will teach it twice! I knew a few days ago that I wanted to do a reading reflection with my students. My current reading program allows for students to choose about 85% of their own reading and then write about it in a Literacy Log that is handed in to me every cycle. I give prompts (questions) related to the strategies we are studying and try to guide students to think deeper about their reading. I don't discourage any of their reading choices because I read an amazing article in one of my courses that students who read, even poor books or the teeny-bopperish stuff, has a taste for reading. Their reading taste has the ability to improve. A student who reads nothing has no taste at all. For reading that is, and therefore, no taste to improve as they get older. So I would rather they read, and read anything, than not read at all.

I then moved on to planning some History lesson. We are currently studying the Indian Act and the Numbered Treaties. I never like my History lessons the first time I teach them, I really believe it is a subject you need to grow into to become a good teacher. I was REALLY good at Grade 7 History, but I moved to Grade 8 this year and am back to the drawing board. Finally, I did a little planning for Health as we will be starting out unit on Substance Use and Abuse in the next few weeks. I did not do my marking! That will wait for another day.

Now I know this may not be "reading" as many bloggers would write about in their Sunday Salon but for me, since it is my first year teaching Grade 8, it requires that I read a lot to know my content well enough to teach it. So I think it counts!

I finally moved onto my own personal reading. I am reading Gone by Michael Grant for my school board review committee, and Emma by Jane Austen because a) I love it, b) it fits with my reading challenges, and c) I want my reading to focus more on what I want to read this year and less on stuff for my students. I am being selfish this year!

I decided that this afternoon was a good time to continue with Gone. I am not sure how I feel about this book yet, it's a sci-fi thriller. There is quite a bit of violence in it so I don't think I will recommend it for a middle school library, but there are some good possibilities for teaching moments in a high school classroom. I will post a more comprehensive review when I finish. So far I am on page 325 of 558, so there is still a ways to go.

Enjoy your Sunday! And to all the teachers out there, have a great day tomorrow!

3 Thinks and Thoughts of Others:

Literary Feline said...

Welcome to the Sunday Salon! I really like the sound of your reading program--and your philosophy about letting them read what they want. It's a great way to foster a love for reading and books.

I don't mind you talking about your lesson plans and teaching. You do such an important job and it's fun and interesting for me to read about it. I grew up surrounded by teachers. My mom, cousin and brother are teachers and my grandmother was too.

I love Emmma. I am slowly working my way through all of Jane Austen's books. Very slowly. LOL

I hope you have a good week!

Brian DeWagner said...

PLease, please, please, plan your lesson to include prescription drugs...It's the biggest thing going and under everyone's noses it had decimated some teen populations. I have one high school that I deal with that I've sent FIVE kids to detox and rehab in the past year. It's in everyone's medicine cabinets and kids have no idea of it's cruelty. Oxys, percs,'s as bad as heroin. Seriously...16 year olds in debt four and five thousand bucks. I wish I could sit down with 8th graders and tell every one of them about how crazy the drug world is.

BTW...a great "reading" discussion could be "Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines" by Nic Sheff, and the follow up by his Dad, David Sheff, "Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction."

English Teacher said...
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Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one's thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world.

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe