11th grade English preclass and test prep

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by dovian, Jul 18, 2009.

  1. dovian

    dovian Comrade

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    Jul 18, 2009

    I like to have a preclass activity to kick off my classes. For the last 2 years I’ve been using Grammar with a Giggle, but now I’m going to be teaching 11th instead of 9th and I think it’s too young for them.

    There are a couple things I’m thinking about that need to get covered at some point during the year that might make good preclass activities.

    * writing skills/grammar
    * research skills (like rearranging pieces of info to make a correct bibliography)
    * PSSA (state exam) prep
    * vocabulary - roots or other

    If you have any activities that cover any of those things that would work for a preclass, or 10-15 minute minilessons, please please please I’d love to hear them. I’m thinking something like Monday is one thing, Tuesday another, etc., or M-Th one thing, Friday something else (like this year I did grammar M-Th and roots on Friday).

    I’m particularly interested to hear about test-taking lessons (and actually, those don’t have to be just preclass length) as our admins really want to see them and I’ve never had to worry about it before. PSSA has sections on writing in response to a short prompt (like, do you think freedom of the press is important?) and on reading/multiple choice/written response to reading, both fiction and nonfiction.
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 18, 2009

    How about SAT prep??? That's what I use in ALL my high school math classes (though I stop with the Seniors once they've taken the October exam.)
     
  4. dovian

    dovian Comrade

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    Jul 19, 2009

    There will be SAT prep but for English so much of it is "read the passage then answer the question," which takes too long for a preclass.
     
  5. ambritlit

    ambritlit Companion

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    Jul 19, 2009

    Are there TAKS prep exercises?
     
  6. dovian

    dovian Comrade

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    Jul 19, 2009

    Not in Pennsylvania :) We have PSSA instead. I'm trying to find some activities that can build useful skills for them that they can use on any standardized test without having it be "test question of the day".
     
  7. ambritlit

    ambritlit Companion

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    Jul 19, 2009

    LOL - I don't know why I thought it said TX.
     
  8. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Jul 19, 2009

    Ambritlit, it's because TAKS is pounded into our brains and tattooed on our souls. :p

    Dovian, I always mix up my beginning of class activity depending on what we're doing for the rest of the day. If we're writing, then it will be a grammar/spelling or editing exercise. If it's a literature activity, then it will probably be a prereading journal/discussion or vocabulary activity.

    I try to blend the whole day.

    I don't know what your state test is like, but ours is just basic English skills. If I just teach and use best practices, then I'll cover the material for the test.

    I only do activities that look *like* the test in the 3 or 4 weeks immediately going into the test. Otherwise, they hate it.
     
  9. ambritlit

    ambritlit Companion

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    Jul 19, 2009

    Yeah, and I'm in a bit of a TAKS attack myself - I'm moving from Catholic school to public school and thinking "Oh good Lord, TAKS???"
     

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