Friday, September 3, 2010

Summer reading, had me a blast

WOOOHOOO Friday and the long weekend!!!! =)

I have successfully finished week two of teaching! Most days were good, some trying, others frustrating, but overall I like how the week went. I put in some long hours and two of the five days I was at school until at least 5:00 p.m.

I am happy to see that summer reading projects are finished! They were due today! The premise behind summer reading is for the students to read OVER the summer. Nine times out of ten that does not and will not ever happen and they will swear up and down that they had no idea about it! I gave out my project list within the first three days of class. I think it is safe to say I have about ten to fifteen students who have extensions, but everyone else had to turn theirs in today and for each day late it is ten points off.

Here are the options they had:
Summer Reading Assessment: DUE SEPT. 3rd

“Summer reading, had me a blast.”
“Summer reading happened so fast.”
“I met a book I’m crazy for…”

Secondary Character Perspective: Write five one page journal/diary entries from a secondary character's perspective during the course of your reading and then to share your entries with group members. Think deeply and carefully about what this character wants, what motivates him/her, what inhibits him/her, etc.

Letter-Writing between Two Characters: Write 3-5 imaginary letters between two characters in your novel. They should incorporate main conflicts, character motivations and eventual outcome(s).

Alphabet Scheme: For each of the letters of the alphabet, choose something from the book that starts with that letter. This can be a person, place, or thing. Then, write a brief explanation of the significance of this person, place, or thing was to the story. Put only one letter per page, but make them two-sided pages so it will read like a book. Add drawings/artwork on each page, or find passages from the book to quote and attach. Type these. Make a cover for the book and bind it together.
A is for...............
B is for...............

Persuasive Essay: Convince someone to either read or not read the book. Be sure to thoroughly explain your opinions and be able to defend your position. Do NOT simply write “Don’t read the book because it is boring.”

Interview: Write ten open ended interview questions for the protagonist. Then have the character respond in their voice.

Board Game: Create a board game based on events and characters in the book you read. By playing your game, members of the class should learn what happened in the book. Your game must include the following: a game board, a rule sheet and clear directions, events and characters from the story on cards or on a game board.

Add a Scene: Write a scene that could have happened in the book you read but didn’t. After you have written the scene, explain how it could have changed the outcome of the book.

I tend to pick more creative assignments as I am a creative person! I think next year, I will make the students do a writing assignment the second day of school on their summer reading book and be done with it!

The other thing I wasn't thrilled with this week was the vocabulary quiz I gave. I have only graded one class at this point and they were NOT good. I gave the students the exact definitions that would be on the quiz, but as the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water but it doesn't mean it will drink. Maybe this week will be better, we will see!

East River has a program called Falcon Guardians. Teachers can "adopt" a varsity football player in order to show support to our student athletes as well as school spirit. I "adopted" one and he is an extremely nice kid. I am looking forward to getting to know him as well as cheer him on at the games on Friday nights!

I am getting to know more and more about the students and some of them are quite the characters! I look forward to helping them grow as learners throughout the year.

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