What I’m Teaching This Week: 10/5-10/9

How is it already October? The Fall Semester Bullet Train has reached full speed, the days whipping by like the landscape blur of a passenger car window. This week is Homecoming, which means there’ll be an extra layer of hyper on everything. One of the best parts about being an older veteran teacher is that I no longer have to chaperone school dances. (Hallelujah for senority!) That task is wisely assigned to our newer teachers, the ones better able to keep up with all of that whip-and-nae-naeing. To those chaperoning the dance (Brynn and Angela, I’m thinking of you), you have my respect and condolences. Me? By the time the gym/dance floor gets warmed up on Saturday night, I’ll be asleep, recharging after another high-octane week.

Okay, here’s the run-down for this week:

Open with a five-minute M.U.G. Shot (Mechanics, Usage, Grammar) Monday mini-lecture/bell-ringer.

Recap last week’s Cask of Amontillado work, discussing students’ answers to a variety of text-based questions.

Give a one-question quizzer on this past weekend’s reading assignment, “The Rules of the Game” by Amy Tan.

Lead a think-pair-share of questions relating to “The Rules of the Game.”

For HW, students will complete a creative writing task where they mimic Tan’s style and create their own ending to the story.

Open with a five-minute Lit. Term Tuesday mini-lecture/bell-ringer.

Show a five-minute clip from The Joy Luck Club, showing how Amy Tan ended the story.

Begin reading “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell.

For HW, students will finish reading Connell’s short story.

Open with a ten-minute Words on Wednesday vocabulary mini-lecture/bell-ringer.

One-question quizzer on the ending of “The Most Dangerous Game.”

Quarter Trios will discuss the story, and then we’ll share answers in a full-class discussion.

Trios compete in a Simile Hunt, which requires them to dig back through the text to find numerous examples of this literary technique.

For HW, students need to read their S.S.R. books.

Read Saki’s famous short story, “The Interlopers.”

Group discussion of related literary analysis questions.

Practice thesis writing as a whole class and then each student will work independently to build an eight-sentence literary analysis paragraph, following a modified example of the Jane Schaffer model. (This is my district’s lit. analysis writing program.)

For HW, students need to read their S.S.R. books.

Friday (Homecoming Rally schedule, so we have a shortened class period)
Quarter Trio groups will play “Just Give the Word.”

Students will use the remaining class time to read their S.S.R. books.

For HW, students should continue to read their S.S.R. books because the first-quarter Book Talk due dates will be here soon. Also, they’ll be assigned to complete another Analogies worksheet, which we’ll go over on Monday.

And that’s a wrap for this week’s plans. Hope things are zooming smoothly down the track in your classroom, too.

Teach on, everyone!

6 thoughts on “What I’m Teaching This Week: 10/5-10/9

  1. Laura, I cannot thank you enough for keeping me with fresh ideas. Thanks for always sharing.

  2. Ah, thanks for this nice note to start my Sunday morning, Mommyrhetoric. So glad to have you here as a reader! 🙂

  3. Angela Houston says:

    What do the other students do while you are having book talks? Do the talks last one week? Two weeks? Do you do them for the entire class period or just a few at the beginning of the period and teach the rest of the period?

  4. Hi Angela,
    Thanks for reading! I actually split my students into three groups (alpha. by last name – A-H, I-P, and Q-Z) and have three different due dates tucked into the last two weeks of the quarter. Some teachers assign specific appointments for lunch/after school, but my life demands that I get the Book Talks done during the school day because I have my own daughter to pick up right after school. To make this happen, I conduct Book Talks quietly on Fridays while the rest of the class is reading. My students are good about reading while I work with individual students, partly because we’ve talked about respecting each other/proper behavior and partly because they don’t want to lose any of their 10 weekly reading points. Occasionally, I host Book Talks before school or during lunch, but those times are rare. Usually, I can take care of a third of the class within one SSR reading session because each talk usually only takes 3 minutes or so.

    Hope this helps give a picture of how this rolls in my world. 🙂

  5. Laura,
    I love to see your plans! They help me see what other teachers are doing for pacing, how they are dealing with the very real bumps like homecoming events and shortened schedules, and ideas how to implement some of your fantastic ideas!

    How do you deal with (if you deal with) students saying it is too much work? I’ve heard, “It is too hard!” or, “I can’t do all this!” I love to have high standards and expectations of my students and think rigor is so important. Any ideas other than the ole’ “It isn’t hard, it is just new and we will tackle it together” line?–thanks!

  6. Hi Teresa,
    Wait, you have teenagers who whine about their work? I’ve never heard of such a thing! 😉 Really, though, I tell those vocal ones that I’d never give them anything they weren’t capable of achieving. Also, you should know that this calendar is for honors freshmen; I’d definitely ease off the gas pedal/slow the pace a bit if I were presenting these lessons to the regular college-prep level. When I perceive that a student really is drowning in any class I teach, then I’ll make accommodations (assign, say, three salient HW questions instead of six questions or modify the reading load with audio resources) to help that student get to solid ground. Fridays during SSR are also a great time to check in with the struggling ones/offer extra support and resources. Each classroom community is different and you know your kids better than anyone else. Finally, please know that I present my calendar only as one way of doing things – not THE way of doing things.

    Hope this helps!

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