Friday, February 27, 2015

Junior Poetry Projects

The Juniors just finished their poetry projects. For this project, students chose two Emily Dickinson  and two Walt Whitman poems. They annotated all four poems, made a timeline of both author's lives, found or create pictures that illustrate the poem, and create a chart showing how the poems were relevant during that time period and how they are relevant how. Students could choose any means to present these. Here are some of their projects!

“Because I Could Not Stop for Death”

“A Bird came down the Walk”


“Beat! Beat! Drums!”


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

3rd Hour New Endevour

Much research shows that self-reflection, especially in education, is imperative for growth. How can we know what we need to work on if we don't ever examine our work and see what we did well on and what we didn't? Yet, I often found myself examining my student's progress and examining their work for them. Sure I explained to them what they did wrong, but wouldn't it be better if they were able to assess what they need work on and what they have mastered? Shouldn't this be an every day occurrence? I encourage student-centered work in my classroom and decided I need to encourage student self-reflection as well. I am going to start with one class, 3rd Hour English 3, and have them self-reflect on their learning through a blog daily. They are asked to really look at their work in class that day and describe what they need to do better and/or what skills they are doing well on. The goal is this purposeful self-reflection will help them to see which skills they need more work on, which they have mastered, as well as which activities help them learn the best.

We started by reading this article together and discuss why should we self reflect and what does that mean. We discussed all three components of reflection the article discusses: metacognition, applicable, and shared. For the first blog post, the students wrote what they should reflect on, what their reflection should include, and why as a reminder for themselves and to explain it to others. We are experimenting with how long it will take them to complete this as the end of the day. We decided that currently it will not be graded, but everyone will still be expected to complete it. We decided we will review this as we get better at reflection and see if we want this to be graded or remain not graded. We decided that we will not require anyone to comment on others, but are encouraged to do so. We want everyone in the class to know the information so we will help each other and share our strengths. We discussed how looking at what activities we learn best at will help us now and in the future. We discussed how if it is an activity we struggle with now, we will get more help from our peers and our teacher. We discussed that knowing this will help us in the future to supplement our learning in college.

See their blogs here!

Click here for student reflections and Bloom's Taxonomy

Monday, February 23, 2015

Comparing Common Themes Across Two Texts

In English 3, we compare all of the texts from two units (Romantic and Gothic Literature and Civil War Literature). The students created a mind-map that showed the themes of these. The students listed the texts associated each theme, quotes that demonstrate how that text is part of that theme, and essential questions for each theme. Here is some of their work:

Thursday, February 12, 2015

English 4 Hip Hop and Shakespeare

The seniors are working on Shakespeare as part of their poetry unit. They were asked to either turn a song into a Shakespearean sonnet or a Shakespearean sonnet into a song. Below are their videos:

2nd Hour:

5th Hour:

6th hour: