Well, hello there friends! It’s been a minute (or several).
这是我第13年教学的第3周 - 这对我来说很疯狂。是的，疯狂的是我们在八月初开始上学，但我一直在做这件事13年的疯狂。I’m halfway through my career give or take a little… I’ve said this before, but when I first started teaching, I honestly could not IMAGINE how people did this job for 25+ years… Now, I see how fast the time FLIES by. I guess that’s what happens when you love what you do. And I really, really do: Every year more than year the year before. Last year, in fact, was one of my best years in the classroom EVER.
I’ve always cared about the space I’m working in, but about a year ago, I finally felt like I had the energy and time/resources to go “all in” in creating a classroom that really felt like home to my students. (Please note, that was ELEVEN YEARS into my career. I don’t think this should be anyone’s first/top priority or that it makes anyone a good teacher!)
There are a lot of articles etc. out there suggesting that “flexible seating” options actually improve student focus and learning (and, in fairness, plenty saying the opposite too), but the bottom line – for me – is this: I want my students to WANT to come to my class, to ENJOY reading/writing/discussing/learning, and to get a sense that I care about them and I know them when they step through my door. A more casual, welcoming learning environment does that for us. Now, when we discuss books on the couch over coffee, it feels more like a Book Club than like being in school; and, I hear from them over and over again, that that matters. So, until it stops working for me, I’ll keep adding and adapting and making my classroom a safe, happy, and comfortable place for my kiddos!
三年前（ISH），我写了一个博客文章，分享了第九，第十和第十一年级英语的整个课程。我真的很自豪地分享它，除了一项评论之外，我大多是关于它的积极反馈，除了每次困扰我。评论者基本上叫我只为“白人”写的教学书，她绝对是正确的。It was horrified to realize that I’d never even noticed how NOT inclusive my reading list was… I *believed* in featuring diverse voices in my classroom and giving kids literature that provided “mirrors, windows, and sliding glass doors,” but my syllabus sure didn’t show it…
然后在那里，我发誓要做得更好，而且我有。我还有很长的路要走，但是，慢慢但肯定地，我正在建立一个图书馆，我为所有学生都是代表的。由于资金，学校规范等。这不是一夜之间的变化;但是小步骤 - 每年一两本新书，遵循组织@ProjectLitcomm.on Instagram, giving my students choice in the things they read, taking risks and trying something different – have added up to a significantly more well-rounded library/curriculum; and my students and I both are SO MUCH better off as a result!
Speaking of student choice, as my classroom library has developed, I’ve been doing more Book Clubs / Lit Circles where students sample and choose from several different books to read and discuss in small groups OR simply choose a book they want/are excited to read to read independently instead of whole-class reads. *Full disclosure, I still do whole-class reads for a lot of the year, but I have implemented this methodology for at least one unit in each of my three classes, and it is a FAVORITE (of mine and theirs) every time. I hope to do even more in the future!
*One of my favorite ways to assess Independent reading is with creative One-Pagers (shown above).
I’ve taught the Serial podcast (using my own version of这些plans) for awhile now, and it is one of our best units every year. Students get SO into the story, and we have a blast dissecting Koenig’s rhetoric, studying satire with the SNL spoof, and – ultimately – writing our own arguments for or against Adnan’s innocence. It is one of those lessons that checks all the boxes for my AP Language class, so it’s kind-of silly that it has taken me so long to add even more podcasts to my curriculum…
Podcasts are SUCH a big part of culture today, and I really suspect that they will be recognized more and more as a form of storytelling art (i.e. literature) in the future, so it makes sense to use them to supplement discussions and studies whenever I can. Thanks to lots of IG inspiration, I’m excited to use an episode ofGangster Capitalism今年伟大的盖茨比和美国人歇斯底里withThe Crucible, to start. I’m also working on an entire intro to persuasion unit with my ninth graders based on粉碎繁荣（我的第二年级学生的最爱之一）今年晚些时候我认为我的思想会很有趣和超级有效。
A classroom transformation is, essentially, turning your classroom into something else (a masquerade ball for Act 1 ofRomeo and Juliet，犯罪现场为讲述的心脏，葬礼结束了Gatsby) to bring the literature (or whatever it is you are studying that day) “alive” for students. These are super fun and, in my experience, the students (even high schoolers) REALLY get into them and appreciate the extra effort it takes on your part to transform your classroom..
There are some REALLY amazing examples of these on Instagram, but I tend to actually keep them pretty simple… For example, I just finished “Kindergarten Day” with my ninth graders where I set tables with brightly colored paper, markers, scissors, and glue, played “The Wheels on the Bus” over my speakers, and served goldfish crackers while we read children’s books to review the elements of a narrative. We all had a blast and the total money/energy exerted on my part was minimal.
我在学校的第一天用“回到学校站”，让孩子们互相交谈，是创意，而不是坐在椅子上审查教学大纲。I also love stations for introducing context before a novel study, reviewing concepts, and analyzing short works like political cartoons, speeches, quotes, etc. There are a ton of great station activities for high school English classes on Teachers Pay Teachers, but I’ve found that they are really easy to create in yourself PowerPoint too… Just ask yourself, “What do I want students to learn today?” then break that up into small, actionable parts, type up instructions on slides, print, and go!
This is a last minute add-on, but also an ESSENTIAL part of the positive changes I’ve made over the last year or so: posting a Daily Agenda for students at the start of EVERY class. (Mine is fromWrite on with Miss G’s TPT store在我看来，胜利1.25美元。）
我喜欢课程规划 - 真的，我做 - 但我长期以来一直在努力解决最有效和有效的方法。每日议程一直是我需要的！基本上，我在我的简化教师计划者中写下所有计划纸/铅笔（很快就会 - 承诺），然后我将它们转移到学生友好的语言中，并在我的日常议程幻灯片上添加一个可爱的bitmoji。然后，这些幻灯片（从Power点转换为Google），然后在我的Blackboard页面上链接，以便学生可以在任何时候访问最新的实时计划。这为我节省了我每周“邮寄”东西的额外步骤，孩子们发现它很容易和可访问。然后，在课堂上，当学生进入我的课堂时，我将当天的幻灯片放在我的Activpanel上，并作为当天课程的指导。虽然我认为有一个明确的议程对我的学生来说非常伟大，但更多的是，这是一个可视提醒我，我需要通过每一天达到+特殊公告，提醒等。我需要确保分享。这让我非常适合更多组织/轨道，而且......他们也很有趣！
P.S.S. It’s also worth noting that I met many of the lovely ladies behind these Instagram accounts and got to experience some in-real-life inspiration at theKeeping the Wonder工作坊去年秋天。这对我来说是一个游戏改变，如果你有机会参加他们的一个会议，我强烈推荐它。（还有一个虚拟会议，您也可以在链接中了解更多信息！）