Monday, October 21, 2013

End of Quarter

I haven't posted in over a week due to travel, lack of sleep, a cold, chaos, and extreme grouchiness. When I wake up in the morning and can only think about how cranky I am, writing about teaching isn't a good idea. And yes, a flight that got in at midnight on a school night had a lot to do with how cranky I was. The trip was worth it, but exhausting.

Yes, I did fly out for a football game.
An afternoon on the boat was just a bonus.

This is the last week of first quarter. Next week we have 8th grade conferences for two nights, a day off, Halloween, and the first day of NaNoWriMo. Last week we finished our first read-aloud, Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock, and students took their first continent test, Europe. We have finished our study of the French Revolution, and we're now learning about the Haitian Revolution. For geography we're going to study the Caribbean and Central and South America. On Friday we started prepping for NaNoWriMo by creating characters; today we're going to talk about conflict. It was perfect timing to finish Dairy Queen last week because it gives us a novel that we all know really well to use as our example when we discuss elements of novels. They are begging to read the second book next, and I'm going to give in, but not until next week at the earliest. I actually think The Off Season is even better than Dairy Queen, so I'm glad they've embraced the series. And it actually works to leave the other read-alouds I've planned until after the holidays.

One new thing that I've done this year that is making my life easier is that we marked the reading and writing notebooks with colored electrical tape. I worried that this would be a waste of materials, but it's actually really helpful when I'm looking for reading responses to just grab the green and yellow notebooks. So simple, but it saves a few minutes every week.

Of course I straightened this up before I took this picture. 8th graders aren't this neat.

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