It's been a fabulous week so far! This year marks my 9th year as an educator and the group of students I have the pleasure of working with right now are some of the best I've had. I know it's only been 6 days and often it takes awhile for true colors to show, but honestly, I think I've got a fantastic group. I'm impressed with their work ethic, their positive attitudes, and their willingness to try new things.
The end of last week brought our annual ThinkBook Decorating party. I loved watching my students use their creativity to cover their ThinkBooks in things that represented them. We had covers adorned with Mac n' Cheese pictures, inspirational quotes, outdoorsy themed books, and everything in between. The ThinkBook is the HEART of our class and it's something students can take with them when they go on to high school. Click on the "ThinkBook" tab on our website to learn more!
This week we've dove head first into Reading Workshop. Reading Workshop allows students to choose their own books, while learning reading strategies aligned with the Common Core Standards. I absolutely love this format because not only are students learning how to be better readers, but their invested in their books because they got to choose them. I want my students to become lifelong readers. Reading is something that they will carry with them and it can help them in so many areas of their lives. This week, students are learning the ins and outs of a successful workshop. We've already had students FINISH books! FINISH them! Today, one of my students did an impromptu Book Talk on the book Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers. This girl came into class excited about the book and was willing to share in front of the entire class without any preparation. When I saw students open their ThinkBooks to their "To-Read Lists" and adding the title without my prompting, my heart leaped. I want them to be PASSIONATE and that's exactly what I saw today.
Also, we've had TWO...yes, TWO!...young adult authors tweet our class with our hashtag #CCMSRead! In the same week! Jennifer Nielsen, author of book The False Prince and Geoff Harbach, author of Stupid Fast, tweeted our students! This is a HUGE deal! We never expected authors to use our hashtag when we started it and I cannot wait to see what happens this year.
In writing, we're beginning our first unit called "Be The Difference." We're brainstorming ideas and writing about the essential question, "How do the needs of others affect how you live your life?" We're also preparing to start Daily Grammar Practice next week. In order for students to be successful, they must review and master knowledge of the eight parts of speech. The picture above shows students playing a grammar game to review. I think they've been surprised at their engagement, and most students are seeing improvement in post-assessments.
I love my job