What I’m Teaching This Week: 10/26-10/30

We’re nearing the end of the first quarter in my school district and Halloween will be celebrated on campus this Friday, so this week is going to be one of those “little bit of that, little bit of that” weeks as we transition between major units. Our first round of Book Talks are done (hurray!), our short story unit is wrapping up, and our first major work, John Steinbeck’s novella, Of Mice and Men, is about to launch. Also, this is the final week of this round of Quarter Trios, so I’ll need to add in a few last-minute point opportunities, just to keep things interesting.

Here we go…

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

Review answers to this past weekend’s Common Core-style test prep assignment.

Open a discussion about the biggest global problems we face today. What do students think we should do to solve these problems?

View Billions in Change, a documentary focusing on how technological advances are being used to solve global issues of access to energy, clean water, and healthcare. After the film, launch small group discussions of the film using these guiding questions. (This is a new lesson I built earlier this month. I had intended to save it as a print-and-run sub plan, but I just can’t help myself. I want to share this with my kids now and see what they have to say about Manoj Bhargava’s initiatives.)

For HW, students need only to continue reading their S.S.R. books.

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

Revisit yesterday’s small group discussion of Billions in Change with a full-class Q&A session.

Discuss how technology is improving life in our own homes. (This is a segway to our final sci fi short story.)

Watch a short video clip about Microsoft’s Home of the Future.

Begin reading Ray Bradbury’s short story, “The Veldt.”

For HW, students will need to finish reading the story on their own.

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

Take a One-Question Quizzer on “The Veldt” to ensure students finished last night’s homework reading.

The class will participate in a fishbowl of lit. analysis questions about “The Veldt.”

For HW, students need only to continue reading their S.S.R. books.

As preparation for studying John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, we’ll discuss dialect and what they already know about the Great Depression and John Steinbeck.

Check out copies of the book and begin reading ch. 1 aloud.

For HW, students need only to keep reading their S.S.R books. First-quarter Book Talks are now complete (whew!), so everyone’s now working on second-quarter page tallies, even though the new quarter doesn’t technically start until next week.

Friday (Halloween costume day)
Quarter Trios will compete in two rounds of Brain Teasers and complete this Frankenstein-inspired vocab. roots worksheet. Winners of the our first Quarter Trio Competition will be announced today. (New trios and a new seating chart will be announced next week.)

Since quarter Book Talks are complete and most students will be in costume for Halloween, this is a great day to take a break from our S.S.R. routine and enjoy this lesson based on a humor piece by David Sedaris, where he recounts a childhood incident when the strange neighbor kids from across the street decided to trick-or-treat the day after Halloween. I’ll even hand out tiny lollipops as a treat, since I still have 200+ Dum Dums in the bag I purchased to help me learn students’ names two months ago.

And that’ll do it for this week. Teach on, everyone!

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