A Little Holiday Downtime.....

Saturday, December 28, 2013
I'm linking this post up with I'm Lovin' Lit for herThursday Throwdown!


 So.... I have about 6 hours of grading to do and at least 4 hours of planning.  Of course that means that I am sitting here putting together things for Teachers Pay Teachers and blogging.  Procrastination is my yearly gift to myself!  The holidays here were great..... lots of fun, food, family, and spoiling of my midgets.  The Wii U is hooked up and the princess costumes are strewn throughout the house!  We're probably cuddling too much and spending too much time in our pajamas when the sun is out, but I'm okay with that.

Before break we had some great work happening with my little tribe of students.  My district has started a pretty intense new teacher evaluation system and one of my SMART goals was to increase scores for nonfiction text features and structure as a support to the ELA teacher.  I was trying to find the best way to support here and I just kept coming back to entrance tickets and something I have been doing for months.  I finally got off my butt and made these:

My Twitter boards for entrance and exit tickets!  Every class gets their own board and every kids gets a Twitter space. In order to support the nonfiction work done in the ELA classroom, I created text structure questions based upon our current content.



For my eighth grade, I was able to ask them some great questions that would prepare them for a district Declaration of Independence module.  I track all the information in a spreadhseet on Google Drive and am able to share this information with my ELA tam mate.  We're going to be creating intervention groups and this information came in real handy!

This question was, "What was a Patriot?"  I got amazing and speedy data from using this method.



What I really love about this method is the rich and SPEEDY data I get.  I am horrible at timely grading and this keeps me on my toes because I can't give a new question until I have taken down the last question.  This means, I have to grade it or I end up throwing away great data.  I have started a new page on this blog to share my entrance ticket questions with you.  They are extremely tailored for my classroom but they might be helpful to you if you are looking for ideas!  Click here to take a peak.

My seventh graders thing that Hammurabi's Code is hysterical and mesmerizing all at the same time.  To capture their interest, I created a full Launch, Explore, Assess activity.  First  I have the kids explore the code, then I have them play a group game where I give them various scenarios that break a law in ancient Babylonia.  As a team they need to find the law it breaks and tell me the punishment Hammurabi would have doled out.  As an assessment, I put the kiddos into groups and they had to create plays to portray their three favorite laws.  They had to act out the crime, the trial and the punishment.  We are putting the plays on after break and I'm going to use the stage in our cafeteria.  The kids are so excited to use the stage.

Having more fun making the props than they should!

If you are interested in my Hammurabi Unit, it is currently on sale at Teachers Pay Teachers.  It's 20% off till the new year and includes a whole bunch of resources.  Go on over and check it out!
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Hammurabis-Code-Launch-Explore-and-Assessment-the-Kids-Will-Love-1032601
My eighth graders had a really intense argument writing module to do before break.  One of the mandatory things hat needs to take place in the module is a full class share out.  I
used an activity I already created with my seventh grade and it work fabulously!  The kids gathered their evidence with one group, made group posters with another group, and were able to do a gallery walk to gather evidence from all the posters.  I also did this in the hall because, man..... the kids just love to leave the classroom!!!


Not only did the kids love it but it really helped to ease anxiety.  Many of my students are still struggling with gathering textual evidence and in this situation, they were going to have to write an essay based on evidence.  Knowing they would be able to gather information from the peers eased their tension and for me, I knew that they would have good modeling to use for their next activity in gathering information.

I'm going to go back to cuddling with my kids now.  Super Mario 3D world is calling me and a 35th episode on Phineas and Ferb.  The best part, though, is the hugs and kisses!










6 comments

  1. Once again you have amazed me with the engaging things you do with your students.
    1. Do have another launch, explore, assess activity for maybe US history?
    2. With the writing using evidence-how did you divide the kids into those 3 different groups?

    I'm LOVING your blog and ideas!

    Shannon
    http://www.irunreadteach.wordpress.com

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    1. Thanks for the love! Engaging the little ones is my passion. I don't have a U.S. History Launch, Explore, Assess....yet! I'm slowly building more store o wait and see.
      For groups.... When they work on reading, annotating and gathering, I place them into groups based upon reading ability. Jigsaw wise, I have random groups.

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  2. I love your text structure slides! Do you have more that you have made? My 7th graders really struggle with this.

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    1. I'll be making some more this week but there are some amazing text structure task cards on TPT!

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  3. I also do the same thing with text structures, making up paragraphs like that to match our content.
    :) Erin
    I'm Lovin' Lit

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    1. My students hate it because I'm making them do ELA in social studies:)

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