Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Stealing Like Poets

We will be diving into Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman in the coming days. Before we are flooded with poetry terms and style details, we will become poets ourselves.

Poetry can be so scary; word choice, meter, rhyming, ugh. Overwhelmed is an understatement. So we will be stealing word to build poems. I love Blackout Poetry and how studnets become so creative when given a page of words to choose from. Check out a TedTalk by Austin Kleon about how Blackout Poetry started.

I gathered old books that were too damaged to be used at the library. Then ripped the pages out [it was liberating] and borrowed a ton of markers. I guided the students by showing them previous years examples and gave them some helpful tools.

  1. Find Anchors - These are often nouns or strong verbs.
  2. Build Emotion - Find words that surround these anchors the build emotion.
  3. Direction - We read top to bottom and left to right, so try to follow that flow.
  4. Focus - Do not read the entire page, look for words, not the story! 
  5. Color - Make it clear which words make up your poems, use the markers for this.

The results have been amazing. Take a look as the worked, so creative and committed. These are the things teachers heart live on.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Kind Words and Speeches

Today was my current Speech student's first speech. They did so good and I love getting to show them the video of all there positive comments. They giggle, and they joke about it, but I really do think seeing their positive comments makes this first speech go so much smoother than in years before. I am so proud of how hard the students are working to make their speeches perfect! They use notecards, handwritten outlines and formal outlines on Google Docs to keep things organized. Check out their video of positive comments and see some behind the scenes of preparing for speeches.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Newbies and Gameplans

It is a new quarter. The LAST quarter of the year. Time has been flying by this year. The weather in the last few weeks has been crazy. I only got to spend two days with my new speech class before Spring Break, thank you random snow day. So we have been spending more time together and growing together. I live and breath the idea of a Speech class needing to be comfortable with each other, much like a family.

We have been doing speed interviews and even an activity called "White Board Love" where kids write nice things around the frame of a student to help them build confidence. I will be sure to share the end result! Speech class will continue growing and completing the first few chapters before writing and presenting their first speech.

English 11 is in the middle of my favorite unit. We are working through Romanticism, Gothic Literature, and Transcendentalism. My favorite authors are in this unit and the studnets are currently enjoying Edgar Allan Poe. The dreary weather has made it even creepier when reading these scary stories. We will be working on our third writing assignment this week and focusing on direct quotes.

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