What I’m Teaching This Week: 2/29-3/4

We’re ready to set sail across the Mediterranean as we join Odysseus on his long trek home. I used to teach the full 24 books/chapters of The Odyssey, but to fit in the 20Time work sessions I had to make some tough choices and, like Agamemnon butchering sweet Iphigenia, I was forced to sacrifice something I hold dear to move forward with my bigger plan. (Did I just compare myself to Agamemnon? Yikes.)

The books/chapters that survived the knife include: 1, 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11 (we read only lines 1-267 of Book 11), 12, and 17-23. Yes, it hurt my heart to make those cuts, but I’m able to quickly summarize the bits we skip and last year’s classes still enjoyed the ride. Honestly, the real-world lessons of 20Time are well-worth the loss of a third of our time with Homer. Yeah, I said it.

Okay, here’s the launch of our new unit this week:

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

Review answers from this weekend’s Analogies worksheet homework.

Return graded Greek mythology binders and discuss results/trends in students’ work.

Give a one-question quizzer on Book 1 of The Odyssey, which students were assigned to finish reading this weekend.

Discuss the use of epithets and complete a Build Your Own Epithet nametag activity.

Answer questions from the reading with small group discussion.

Together, begin reading Book 3 of The Odyssey aloud with the class.

For HW, students will finish Book 3, if not done in class.

One-question quizzer on Book 3 and discuss the reading, focusing on Menelaos, Agamemnon, and Nestor’s decisions at the end of the Trojan War.

Students will begin reading Book 5 on their own.

For HW, students will finish Book 5, if not done in class.

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

One-questions quizzer on Book 5, discuss the reading, and dissect three epic similes in the chapter.

For HW, students should read their S.S.R. books because their third-quarter S.S.R. book talks are due at the end of March.

Complete the Two Views of Helen poetry compare/contrast activity in teams of two. Once finished, we’ll review the answers with a full-class discussion.

Toward the end of the hour, students will complete a 20Time exit ticket, explaining their plan for tomorrow’s work time.

For HW, students need to remember to bring their 20Time materials to class tomorrow and continue their S.S.R. reading.

We’ll begin our weekly 20Time with Mastermind Groups (accountability teams of four assigned students who meet twice during the 12-week process – at the Week 4 and Week 8 marks – to informally report their progress and receive problem-solving ideas/support from the peer group) and then use the remaining time as an in-class work session.

For HW, students need to read and be ready to discuss Book 6 of The Odyssey and, as always, keep chipping away at those S.S.R. books.

That’ll do it for another week. Hope your spring semester is flowing as smoothly as Nestor’s ride home from the Trojan War. Teach on, everyone!

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7 years ago

I saw your explanation as to why you can’t have a full calendar posted. Any chance you could do the full calendar without links?? I would still love to see the big picture!

–mentee from ND

Laura Randazzo
7 years ago
Reply to  Teresa

Thanks, Teresa, for being a reader! Glad you want to see more. Unfortunately, posting my monthly or full-year of calendars presents a technological knot on my end of things that I just don’t have time these days to untangle. Sorry, but these weekly run-downs will have to suffice for now. I’m running short on bandwidth, as I’m sure you can imagine. 🙂

7 years ago

Would you be willing to share how you grade your one-question quizzes?

Laura Randazzo
7 years ago
Reply to  Angie

Sure, Angie. In fact, I wrote a previous post all about the procedure, which includes a paragraph about the super-easy grading. These take me less than five minutes to grade each day. Here’s the post: https://laurarandazzo.wpengine.com/2014/06/23/hold-their-feet-to-the-fire/

Kaitlyn Shouse
Kaitlyn Shouse
2 years ago

Hi, Laura! Which version of the The Odyssey do you use with your classes?

Laura Randazzo
2 years ago
Reply to  Kaitlyn Shouse

Hey, Kaitlyn, we used the Robert Fitzgerald translation. The cover looks like this: https://tinyurl.com/39a6zeeu

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