Wednesday, December 23, 2009

let the festivities begin!

Here's a local Western New York landmark, the Roycroft Inn in East Aurora, NY where I met two lovely English teacher friends for lunch last Saturday.  The history of the inn includes the Roycroft Arts and Crafts Community founded in East Aurora by Elbert Hubbard in 1895.

Yes, I started winter break at about 3:15 pm today.  Monday and Tuesday this week weren't really difficult for me - my classes were running smoothly, students were OK in class.  Today was just zany.  But that's how it goes!

Hm... what should I say to sum up the last... 3 weeks?  NaNoWriMo wrapped up nicely, thanks much!  I will definitely repeat that writing unit next year and bump up my word count total expectations for students.  (Maybe 5000?)  I read The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place by E. L. Konigsburg and it was OK, not stellar.  My main struggle with that book is ... who's the audience?  I can't think of any student (that I know) who would be interested in the story or themes or setting or characters...  It's a grown-up book with young characters that incorporates a decent history of urban decline and gentrification from post-World War II era to the present time (approximately).  My second struggle with this book is the pace - my students (and I) like action, and this one is slow.  It's a perfectly good book, but I don't think 7th or 8th graders will GET it.

I started teaching nonfiction/informational texts and writing.  My 7th graders have been reading and writing about online news articles.  After winter break, they start a nutrition research project that incorporates action research (whereby they make an action plan to implement over a period of one month) and surveys.

Right now, REST!!!!!!  Until tomorrow, when my daughter and I have to procure carrots for the reindeer and cookies for Santa.

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