Flipping through my yellow notebook

As many of you all may remember, I keep a yellow notebook of random ideas that come to me at random times…times that do not necessarily allow me to thoroughly investigate my ideas until awhile later (such as now, on summer break…well what’s left of it anyway. Wait, actually, what break? I’m on break? Whoops, I digress… ๐Ÿ™‚ ).

Anyway, I’m beginning to Continue reading

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The start of my NCTE journey…

First, all of my NCTE posts are done! I just need to tidy them up and remember to push “publish!” So have no fear…They will be streaming into your RSS feeds very soon ๐Ÿ™‚ However, this post actually starts my NCTE journey with a thought that I had when asked how my first year of teaching was going so far…Let me explain.

I have a confession to make (as I sigh heavily with disappointment): I haven’t fully utilized my class nings in all the ways I hoped and all the ways they should be. I think it’s a good thing I am acknowledging this point though, and a good thing that I have a new goal to set for myself. To be honest, I don’t know why I haven’t. I could say time or maybe lack of really knowing everything a ning does as I’ve been learning Continue reading

Legit lessons

Now that life has calmed down some (ha!), back to reflecting…

You may remember students referring to me before as being “legit.” Well it seems this group of kids think the same thing as I’ve been hearing this same comment recently. Not going to lie, it makes me feel good. I want students to realize we aren’t doing just busy work, we’re doing work to benefit them. Too many times I’ve heard, “Well Mrs. (fill in the blank) only had us do busy work stuff. English was so boring!” Though not every student is all about English class, I have noticed that even within the first few weeks of school, some students now have more confidence within the English classroom and are opening up. Positive steps towards the learning environment that is beginning to take shape in my classroom which is definitely awesome to see happen.

One of the big projects Continue reading

More on Nings

Also, I love this idea.I’m working on an adapted version of this activity because I really see potential with it…and because I’ve already had students write a class version and a “real” version to hand in to me (so the whole class couldn’t see it). Though the main purpose of me incorporating the blog is to get people writing with a “real” audience, I want them writing. Thus, I think this idea allows them to do that AND gives them a place to write “safely” (if that makes sense).

And going back to “Mrs. Follis’s Teacher Page,” her class ning is great. I modified my “ning rules” from her list and loved the Grammar Girl widget! Be sure to check her blog out for more links to her class nings!

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Where did summer go?!?

Well…summer is sadly slipping away. Though I’m not really too sad, but more excited for the year to come. More sad that I’m looking back seriously wondering where summer went, ha! I honestly thought this summer would be the first “relaxing” summer break, but instead have found myself in this crazy whirlwind of massive road trips all up and down the east coast from beginning to end! However, finally getting settled in and adding some consistency to the schedule will definitely help me out (after all, I’m such the “planner” that I’m craving some consistency!). Anyway, I thought I would share a bit about what I’ve been thinking about in the past few days involving tools that will be put to use here shortly…

First things first: moving is TOUGH. I’ve never been more exhausted! But the point of this note is that during moving, I had to pack up a lot of books. I mean, I didn’t even realize I had half the books that I put into boxes! Which brings up another point: I HAVE read a lot! I have to admit that being a “new” teacher I started to think, “Wait a minute…have I read enough?” (as I frantically searched online for every literature anthology I could findย  to scope out some titles). And as I packed up my books, I realized Continue reading

Burke’s Ning

Well, since I’m on break, I’ve been able to check out some of the blogs I like to skim through. (Ah, break. It’s such a wonderful thing!)

Anyway, here is a post about none other than Jim Burke himself! If this name doesn’t ring a bell, look him up. Some of you may recognize his name from some of my other posts. (His book is one that I read throughout the semester.)

The ning is becoming an increasingly popular avenue for attracting people into a social networking realm based specifically on what the admin person assigns it to focus on. (Think: facebook for teachers only — well, kind of, but not really.) Burke’s ning can be found here. I haven’t joined yet (though that is on the top of my break to-do list), but definitely think English teachers at any level should check it out. And, I particularly like the focus for “new teachers,” which is mentioned in Burke’s commentary on the EdWeek blog post.

Another reason I find this ning beneficial is because I think as educators, we need to join together and strengthen not only our own pedagogical strategies, but help others see all of the neat things we are doing in our classrooms, too!

So break or no break, check out the ning…