It's hard to believe we're starting our fifth week of school this week. How is that even possible? It seems like I was just celebrating the 4th of July in Michigan with my family. But, I'm glad we're here. I love the start of the school year; what I love more is feeling more comfortable with my students and knowing we have a fabulous year ahead.
There are so many things I'm proud of already. This new bunch of 8th graders are going to SHINE this year. I know this because I see so much good happening already. My kids wrote their first papers for me and wow, I've got some amazing writers out there! We definitely have work to do - I mean, writing is never completely finished! One of my favorite teachers and authors republished his book 4 times in the last 10 years! But this year is promising.
Here are a few things that made me proud this week:
1. My students have already finished 100+ books. Yes, you read that right. Over 100! Every year, they're challenged to read 40 books during the year and I've got some students who are well on their way! I have a student who said "yes" to helping me creatively display the books they've finished. I'll post pictures soon :)
2. Several students have come to me in the mornings with a little glimmer in their eye to show me the SAT vocabulary words we've learned in their novels. I even had one student find an example of an idiom we learned in her Twilight book!
3. In my 6th and 7th period classes, several students voluntarily forgo their 5 minute break to read. I'm not joking. They're in my class for 110 minutes every day and rather than getting a drink or gabbing with their friends in the hallway, they stay and READ! Amazing!!
4. We are already past page 30 in our ThinkBooks. That is CRAZY! My kids have created a ton of anchor charts to guide their reading and writing this year. I'm excited to see what more we can do this year because we have all of that done already. And for the most part, there was only a little complaining :)
5. I think the majority of my students are enjoying the first read-aloud I've ever done in my 10 years of teaching! Of course, I've read texts aloud before, but I've never done an official read-aloud; the kind the kids can just listen to and enjoy without "doing" anything with it. That being said, we actually "do" a lot with the book we're reading called Wonder. We notice the Signposts we've learned, review the plot, discuss the characters and how they change, apply the themes to our own lives. Honestly, this is probably my favorite 10 minutes of class each day. I'm excited to see what other books we will read together this year!
And with that, I leave you with some pictures :)
What are YOU most proud of this year? (Leave your response in the comment section of this blog. Students, please use ONLY your first name and last initial. It doesn't have to be Language Arts related, but it can be!)