Thursday, May 28, 2009

Random Thoughts from a Random Memo Pad

I suffer from Too-many-notebooks Syndrome. I have a house notebook (all my dreams of remodeling / decorating for our house), a Lost notebook (all of my theories and questions about one of the greatest TV shows ever), a Writer's Notebook (duh), a Staff Development notebook (duh), and countless other little note pads where I jot things down.

Here are some ramblings I found and wanted to record before I lost them:

Teaching with The Outsiders
  • If we're going to call the unit, Friend, Foe, or Frenemy, then we need to focus on friendship and bullying. Maybe we can (1)start with a survey about bullying {we already kind of do = our anticipation guide} (2)share the bullying matrix and identify examples in the book as well as in our own lives and (3) incorporate a PSA about bullying
  • Maybe throughout the reading, we can have warm ups with sentences from the book and others that have similar themes, like (1) The Revealers (2) Romeo & Juliet (3) The Chocolate War (4) Scorpions (5) Schooled (6) Star Girl.
  • I'm not satisfied with how we do vocab with The Outsiders. I would like to try an ongoing word wall that kids add to throughout. I think the words become more meaningful when the kids select them. And I don't want to assess the vocab like we have in the past.
  • How much can we really continue to read in class? I think of all the activities we could be doing in class, but we're always reading. We also need to talk to 6th and 8th grade and see how we're handling this topic at each level. I would like to attempt a read in and out of class model, more like Reading Workshop.
  • Let's let the kids count The Outsiders on their Reading Log.
  • And like we've said for years, we need some non-fiction articles on bullying.

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