What I’m Teaching This Week: 2/8-2/12

Short and sweet today, as I’m posting this from the hotel lobby before today’s Competition Civics state meet. Tomorrow, we’re taking the team to have some well-earned fun in the sun at Disneyland. I’ll try to post a few pictures on my Instagram over the weekend, so be sure to follow along. Happy Superbowl Sunday, everyone!

Here’s what my upcoming week looks like:

No school – Closed for (an early?) Presidents’ Day. I’ll be back on the bus for the long slog home up the I-5.

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

Collect the Analogies worksheet from this past weekend’s homework assignment.

Introduce our Greek mythology unit with a quickwrite and jigsaw activity where we’ll examine the common themes/motifs in international creation stories from Uganda, China, the Blackfoot Indian tribe, and the Book of Genesis.

For HW, students will finish a reflection writing piece from today’s jigsaw activity.

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

Explain the Greek Mythology Binder Project. (All of the mythology materials used this month can be seen in more detail here.)

Together, read “Uranus” (yes, I let them giggle once and then we move on) and begin completing a model notesheet together as a class.

For HW, finish the theme and modern connections portions of the “Uranus” notesheet and build character flashcards.

Review students’ work on their “Uranus” notesheets, discussing the types of answers that would earn top scores for the theme and modern connection sections.

On their own, students will read “Kronos and Zeus” and complete a notesheet.

If time allows, play Brain Teasers with Quarter Trio teams.

Complete an Exit Ticket, planning what they’ll work on during tomorrow’s first 20Time work session.

For HW, they’ll finish the “Kronos and Zeus” work, if not done in class, and complete character flashcards. Bring materials for tomorrow’s first 20Time work session. No S.S.R. this week.

Students will work on their 20Time projects.

For HW, they just need to read their S.S.R. books.

And…that’s another week done. Now it’s time for me jump on the bus because these seniors are ready to rumble at the state meet. Teach on, everyone!

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8 years ago

Hi Laura-I implemented Google Classroom this year and it’s gone very well! I found a great add-on called Orange Slice Teacher Rubric. I copied and pasted your rubric into the columns and adding your advice from Exhausted to this has accelerated my grading that much more! Thanks!

Laura Randazzo
8 years ago
Reply to  Ellen

Fantastic, Ellen! I’ve also played with automating things even further within my school’s Turnitin.com account. Every second we can shave off our grading time is valuable for our families – and our sanity! Thanks for the tip. Have a great week. 🙂

7 years ago

Hey, Laura!

I love your stuff. I’m a TpT fan girl. Ha! I’m planning for next year and I’m thrilled that I stumbled upon this. This particular week brought up an issue that I tend to have in my classroom. I see where you allow students to take work home to finish if they don’t finish in class. I do this too. I ran into a problem last year where students weren’t as motivated to finish during class time because they knew they could just take it home. I manage this just by mingling around the room, but I’m wondering how you encourage them to finish during class. What can I do?


Laura Randazzo
7 years ago
Reply to  jennifermodlin

Hey Jennifer,
Oh yeah, I’ve been in that exact position. When kids start to get loose and want to chat about non-academic work during the in-class work time (thinking they can just finish the actual work that evening as HW), I quietly remind those individual kids that they need to re-focus and get back to work. If the whole class is unraveling, though, I’ll call them out as a class. As I’m circling the room and hearing off-task chatter, I just make a loud announcement, “Okay, everyone, I’m hearing a lot of non-mythology chatter right now. Looks like you don’t need all of this time I’m giving you, so this assignment’s due at the end of the hour. You best hop on it.” That usually works to get noses back on grindstones.

If the problem of wasting work time continues (say, you’ve got a particularly social class), I’d limit the unstructured work time or assign teams/groups instead of letting students choose their own groups/friends. Each class can have such different personalities/issues, you’ll just need to keep trying different tactics until you hit the right one.

Oh, and know that we ALL have this exact same thing happening in our classrooms. Teenagers. Whattya gonna do? 🙂

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