Because Who Doesn’t Want More Anchor Charts??

I have never heard a “No” to that question before… 🙂

As I sit here, avoiding the end of my basic training for TELPAS, I remembered that I (yet again) made more anchor charts for my classroom. Here are more to add to yesterday’s collection. You might notice that yesterday’s “Thesis Statement” anchor chart is different from today’s. In the beginning of learning thesis, I like for students to add on their reasons. They seem to begin understanding easier this way. I guess it’s just making them connect the dots? Now that they have mastered the initial step, they should be able to create a thesis statement with purpose (without connecting their reasoning in the same sentence).

Also, I was asked to add in some more zoomed in photos of yesterdays anchor chart examples. Anything to keep me from TELPAS training.

Voila!

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Anchor Charts

Excuse my absence and lack of motivation this last week. The dirty little children gave me some fun sickness that made my only goal last week getting hot tea and a daily nap in. Grading definitely didn’t happen either. None the less, I realized this last week that we were only about a month and a half away from the EOC assessment.

It’s the most miserable, stressful, hectic time of the year. One of the things I am so beyond thankful for during all of the madness is anchor charts. I am always surprised when people ask me how to use them… Here’s the basic scenario.

  1. Teacher discusses items on the anchor chart. This is usually something they already know but many times forget the formal use of.
  2. Student forgets within 2 minutes and asks teacher.
  3. Teacher gets slightly annoyed because she just spent a good bit of time discussing exactly what student just asked about.
  4. Teacher takes deep breath and points to the anchor chart.
  5. Student feels silly and now knows to just look around the room.

The goal is to avoid my face from being permanently frozen like this…

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There are other ways to do anchor charts as well. Honestly, the original idea is to have them do the anchor charts and post them all over the wall. I have done this before also. Except in those situations, many students can’t read their own handwriting. So after it is all done, I will re-write what the kids wrote. Teachers are practically like navaho de-coders when it comes to students handwriting. It’s one of my many talents (among dancing and multiple accents…. always make those happen in class too. Gotta keep the crowds entertained).

Best of all, they’re so cheap to make. Markers + Giant Post-Its = Anchor Chart. Done.

It’s really one of the easiest ways to answer questions ever. I made a ton this past week, that way, once we get back from Spring Break, all of the essential items are around the room! I highly encourage you to use them or to make some of your own. So essential and easy!!

I’ll definitely add more to this post as the STAAR/EOC preparation goes on. Check back later or comment below if there is any unit in particular that might need an anchor chart. Lord knows I have probably made one for it!

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Poetry Mash – Up

One of our best qualities as teachers is our sneaky ability to beg, borrow and steal others work and take all the credit for coming up with something phenomenal. I won’t lie to you… This is definitely stolen from my brilliant Department Chair. After going over TP-CASTT and SIFT for better understanding of poems and their themes, we did the Poetry Mash Up!

In my experience, students hear the word, “poetry,” and automatically assume that I am going to have them analyze incoherent phrases and jumbled words they’ve never heard before. I’m trying to teach them, not torture them. Although they think that’s what I’m out do to. I just agree with them. I like that they think I’m evil. Muahahahahahaaaaa. (I have no idea how spell out an evil laugh. Use your imagination.) This assignment actually got them excited.

Let’s face it, if you can get them excited about learning. You may have magical powers, or you’re just a great actor when introducing something “fun.”

I made this Prezi that you are more than welcome to use. It has all of the basic directions.

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Basically, they need to use 5 songs total. Students will cut and rearrange the lines and phrases from the poem to create a poem with a completely new meaning. I have a few requirements, but you can change those according to your class expectations. The only extra supplies we needed was a folder and some art supplies (markers and glue). You can use my PoetryMashUp handout to the students if you would like! I also had them identify the theme of each song they used in the project.

They had a great time picking their own songs. I said if they had a couple cuss words, that they simply could just sharpie them out. Anymore than 2, then they were pushing it. But of course, I had some that gave me printed lyrics from these songs. If you don’t know them, look them up. I laughed out loud and used them as paper basketballs in my own trashcan hoops contest.

  1. Bump and Grind by R. Kelly
  2. Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO
  3. I’m Sexy and I Know It by LMFAO
  4. Grind On Me by Pretty Ricky
  5. Thank You by Lil Wayne
  6. Lollipop by Lil Wayne

The list goes on. I can’t remember all of them. Those were the ones that stuck out. Needless to say, I needed to do something about it.  I made several copies of these song lyrics (Poetry-MashUpLyrics) and they turned these into amazing poems. The only one I had to edit was The Monster by Eminem. It’s a great song for poetry, but you can understand why I could only print the first 2 verses. Anyways, I was so impressed impressed with the results! Enjoy!

You know you want to listen to the songs now. Do it.

(My brain won’t stop replaying the Buffalo Soldier chorus. Love it.)

“Why would I read the book, when there is a movie out?”

This question makes all readers want to yell obscenities . I know it’s easier to watch a movie than it is to read a book for weeks. What on earth will these kids do if there is an apocalypse? Surely, they are smart enough to hide somewhere for a while but what will they do if they don’t have their phones, iPads, TV’s or, heaven forbid, the beloved internet?? They would probably result to being that character that gets too antsy and walks out in the wilderness to look around at an area they already know is infested with the undead but go out there anyways.  Then, they’ll find themselves face to face with a herd of walkers (I’ve watched too much of The Walking Dead… I’m aware of this now).  Moral of the story (aka. the very real and possible scenario); the movie’s are based on the books for a reason.

The list of my responses include (and are not limited to)…

  1. “Want to go to Chick-Fil-A? I’ll give you some McDonalds nuggets instead.”
  2. “Wait, you’re serious?”
  3. “It’s like ordering a pizza and the crust is cardboard.”
  4. “Ever wanted a new pair of Jordans? Well your Mom got you Walmart Keds instead.”  (They obsess over Jordans… it’s almost unhealthy)
  5. “What’s wrong with you?”
  6. “Have you ever had a dream about flying, then woke up and jumped off your bed thinking you could do it? How’d that work out for you?”
  7. “Don’t you understand why your friends hate movies that you love?? IT’S BECAUSE THEY READ THE BOOK AND THE MOVIE BLOWS CHUNKS!”
  8. “You know Katniss almost died like 3 times and was actually in the games for nearly 7 weeks? Oh you didn’t? What a shame.”
  9. “I have some donuts for everyone!” (Hand students a cheerio). “Enjoy.”
  10. “Ladies, let me read to you what Jace” (or Edward) “was supposed to look like.” (One of my classes is full of girls. Lots of estrogen.)
  11. “You’re right. They paid millions of dollars to turn the book into a movie because it sucked.”

Being in a dream world for weeks is more fun than a 2 hour movie. Period.

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Freaky Friday

Every teacher in secondary world knows that there is one day out of the year when you are guaranteed to see more PDA from children than you would every care to think about. It’s the day I fear the most out of the year because of the giant stuffed animals, chocolates and thorny roses that will inevitably be thrown across the halls, in my room or even make its way to hit me in the face. It’s the day that makes all teachers ready for a nap by lunch and about to scream by the time they leave.

Valentines Day

Only this year, it felt more like the apocalypse. It was on a Friday, during a full moon and a district fun food day all rolled into one satanic PDA covered obstacle course. For those who are blissfuly unaware, a full moon makes children insane. The great ones turn into gremlins, the silly ones give up on all education needs, and the struggling ones who typically work their butts off suddenly feel frisky and dangerous. Yes, I said frisky. They all go insane in the membrane. It’s like the gravitational pull of the moon takes their brains into space and doesn’t give them back until I need therapy.

Then there is Fun Food Day. In the lovely state of Texas, no club or group can sell non-nutritional or district approved food for fundraisers during school hours. The only day they can is on an approved Fun Food Day. This usually falls on an early dismissal day. On those days, they love to get as much candy and junk food (which makes them fart) as they could possibly need. Right when it all starts to hit them, it’s time to go home… because it’s early dismissal.

However, either by fate or punishment, this year it fell on the one and only Valentines Day. All of this rolled together brought on a day that I hope would never happen again. Once they had their Fun Food Friday junk food and candy from  all the Valentines Day “love,” they ran like a bunch of hyper kindergarteners to all their classes. It was sort of like…

All I can say is, “Thank the Lord for computer labs.” They had the one thing that kept them distracted for at least 80% of our class together… The internet. I love Edmodo and all of the glory that it has to offer teachers. I made a quiz, a poll and a writing assignment in which they had to research the Red Cross and their efforts towards natural disasters. This kept them working for a while, until they realized again what day it was, then it was all about keeping their hands off each other, their faces out of chocolate and their text messages rated G.

Don’t get me wrong I love Valentines Day when I’m at home. It’s romantic, cute and we always watch the episode of The Office when Jim and Pam get married. I cry every time. 🙂

Here’s to hoping this Valentines Day never repeats itself!

Reason Numero Uno

Answer the following question using the choices below.

1. Why would an English and Reading teacher post his/her stories, trials and tribulations on their own website?

A. The stories behind being a teacher are too good not to share

B. To avoid grading at all costs

C. To share ideas and resources that have been proven terrible or freaking awesome-sauce

D. To warn the world about what on earth teachers really do for a living

Key: All of the above

Naturally, I am so hardwired to think in assignments and lesson plans, I must start my blog in the same fashion! To those who don’t know me… I’m Mrs. Pearson, an English Language Arts teacher in the land where the word “ya’ll” is accepted by all teachers in writing, legal documents and social conversation. I adore what I do and I’ll never understand why.

I’ll never forget the day I told my mother that I wanted to be a teacher.

Mrs. Pearson: “Hey Momma. I finally know what I want to do with my life!”

Momma: “Be a doctor? Get a husband? Make me a Grandma?”

Mrs. Pearson: “I want to be a teacher!”

Momma: (after a few moments of silence,shock and possible nausea) “Oh no. Have I taught you nothing?”

Truly, my mother is the real reason I am teaching. She is a genius in a world of teachers doing the same thing every year for their entire career. She is nearly in retirement and every year she changes it up, is extremely sarcastic and is loved by all of her students. The woman is more popular than I am. Hence another flashback moment….

Once upon a time in the days of awkward moments and unknowingly huge frizzy hair, I went to the same junior high AND high school my mother taught at. She loved me so much she moved up with me…. Or maybe just to make sure I wouldn’t become a nightmare to her teacher friends. Every day in school I was known as Mrs. House’s daughter. I didn’t even have a name of my own. It was badass though. Best years of my life and she was a huge influence on why I came into the profession. I have never seen a teacher with her flair in the classroom. She was the teacher you were deathly afraid to make angry, as when you did, she would resemble what one would imagine to be a much prettier version of the devil. Very scary stuff. However, at the same time she was hilarious, sarcastic and dang could she teach! She never did the same thing twice in a row. By the end of the year, the students hardly realized they had learned AP Biology completely and successfully.

Now back to 2014.

After walking the halls with her breathing down my neck, why wouldn’t I want to teach? I definitely know now why she does this and why she was so afraid for my mental sanity when I had that dear conversation with her many moons ago.

Mom, this is for you. Not only to thank you everyday for this beautiful career you inspired me to be in, but to also show you that I am the way funnier than you are. You’re old and I love you.  WTF (Whose the fox)? 😉