Monday, July 6, 2009

Final Installments & Goals - #31

Ah, I'm too lazy to re-post the final installments of my trip, so if you are interested in seeing the non-teacher side of me doing fun things, here are the concluding sagas:

On the Road Again: Van Gogh West, Young Man!

On the Road Again: We forgot the flowers!

I was out of town last week for an AP Conference, which was not only fun but also inspiring and challenging (in a good way). I teach 10th grade, as you know, so it was a bit intimidating. Sometimes I had to remind myself that some of the skills we discussed were intended for 11th graders--our facilitator didn't expect 10th grade to grasp it. He really challenged me to incorporate more nonfiction into my curriculum (and he gave us some great resources, so I have someplace to start!) and to speed things up a bit. I spend WAY too long on pieces (plays/novels/etc) because I'm trying to teach/address EVERYTHING in that one piece. I cannot do that. I need to accept the fact that there are just some things that we won't be able to "get to" or talk about, maybe because it's over their heads or it's not crucial to the skill-set I'm trying to teach.

So, those are a few goals this year (I'm a little worried I'm overwhelming myself with too many, but we'll see what gets dropped once the year starts):
  • call on every student each class period - mark in the grade book if I've called on them
  • read at least one nonfiction contextual piece for every unit
  • spend no more than 2 weeks (MAYBE 3) on a novel or unit
  • add Life of Pi to curriculum
  • MORE grammar-in-context - I tried last year but wasn't entirely successful. But now I have a new plan.
Honestly, the time issue worries me most; I never INTEND for a novel/unit to take 4-6 weeks, it just happens when we lose class time for pep rallies, homecoming, in-school plays & shows, etc. We have all kinds of things that go on throughout the year that make us lose class time. That will be the biggest struggle, I fear.

1 comment:

  1. As someone who also struggles with teaching grammar in context, I'd love to hear your plan!