feeling a little overwhelmed

Discussion in 'General Education' started by teacherguy111, Jul 27, 2013.

  1. teacherguy111

    teacherguy111 Cohort

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    Jul 27, 2013

    hey guys,
    I have just got a new job teaching middle school english at a very excellent and modern school.

    The school doesn't use text books at all so I am all on my own trying to find what I am going to use to teach within the class. I am using 'anchor' novels to base my units around, then finding non-fiction etc to go around those books.

    One good thing is that all students have their own laptops at this school and I have a smartboard etc.

    I am just a little nervous about how I will perform etc. I am coming from a small christian school, so it will be a lot different.
     
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  3. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Jul 27, 2013

    You'll be fine! What novels?
     
  4. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Jul 27, 2013

    I've taught classes without a curriculum and without textbooks. It is very overwhelming. I can't give you advice since I'm teaching English for the first time this year and I'm terrible at it (gotta stay honest with yourself, right?) You'll find a way, but your second year there will be way easier than the first ;) Good luck!
     
  5. teacherguy111

    teacherguy111 Cohort

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    Jul 27, 2013

    Here are my novels
    6th grade - hoot, a wrinkle in time, the golden goblet
    8th grade - to kill a mockingbird, johny tremain, trouble don't last

    The classes at my new school are semester classes as students have the opportunity to go on and take the next classes early if they show 'mastery.'

    Students can get up to 2 years from the university close to us before they graduate high school.
     
  6. teacherguy111

    teacherguy111 Cohort

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    Jul 27, 2013

    Also my periods are 107 minutes long!!!
    Do you think it is ok to do journals, silent reading, reading lesson, writing lesson everyday?
    Then also have vocabulary, grammar most days also?

    I am nervous about not having enough to fill up the time!
     
  7. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    Jul 27, 2013

    I have used curriculum guides like this http://www.amazon.com/Guide-Using-Classroom-Literature-Units/dp/142062587X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1374943532&sr=8-1&keywords=hoot+curriculum+guide in the past. I didn't do everything, but they have some good activities, journal ideas, and quizzes.

    107 minutes sounds like a long time, but it'll go by pretty quick. Maybe alternate some things? My kids are tested in reading and writing only, with reading being the "big big" test. So, I do reading everyday and alternate the days I do writing and grammar. Maybe a journal entry with a question based on Bloom's that way you could do some writing everyday? However, my kiddos are 5th, so these things might not work for you. Just some ideas. :)

    You'll do a great job. :thumb:
     
  8. Ms.SLS

    Ms.SLS Cohort

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    Jul 27, 2013

    silent reading + reading lesson is A LOT of reading to do every day with that age group. What about giving them hands on stuff - talking opportunities, etc to break up the "quiet work." At least at my old school, 7th graders would not have been able to sit quietly reading and writing for 107 minutes without some sort of group activity or movement activity.
     
  9. thatgirlyouknow

    thatgirlyouknow Rookie

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    Jul 27, 2013

    Definitely chunk up your work and activities. I use an interactive student notebook (that I am TOTALLY in love with after trying this past year) and it has helped with class participation, moral, and scores tremendously.

    I teach English II at a very low income school and my students (for the most part) are a bit older than most other sophomores. I've found, though, that EVERYONE loves to color. We cut, glue, color, highlight, etc. almost every day. Using creative means to teach your lessons helps with student buy-in. I teach 93 minute blocks and have heard my students say "Class is already over?!?" many times. :D
     
  10. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Jul 27, 2013

    Our Reading teachers would die for that much time! You have so much opportunity here for hands-on activities.

    I knooooow haters are gonna hate.....but I just went to a PD where an 8th grade teacher modeled doing Daily 5 in middle school. It was...awesome. Maybe look into a structure like that.

    These were her rotations:

    Guided Reading - Small groups with her
    Word Work - Word games like Scrabble
    Read To Self - Independent Reading with journal response
    Read To Someone - Partners did a close reading of a text excerpt and an exercise to go with it
    Writing - There was a pile of notebooks with different topics. Whomever had a certain notebook had to read the responses before them and respond.
     
  11. AHS_Fan

    AHS_Fan Rookie

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    Jul 27, 2013

    Although planning instruction to fit into that length of time can seem overwhelming, I think you will find it will be perfect for you to teach all the different areas of language arts. I have 60 minutes a day, which doesn't always feel like enough time to teach everything!


    Wow. That sounds awesome! I sometimes feel like my classroom would strongly benefit from a Daily 5/Cafe type set-up. Does this teacher have a website or do you have anything I could read more about? :woot:
     
  12. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Isn't it neat? Old kids need to move around too! And what a great opportunity to differentiate. :)

    Unfortunately, she doesn't have a web site. :( But she did recommend reading the book and adapting it to your context. I feel like the book reads very primary/intermediate, but the spirit is the same. http://www.the2sisters.com/the_daily_5.html

    Also, the CAFE/conferring binder they talk about has been put online. I am pumped to use it better this year. http://www.ccpensieve.com/
     
  13. Rebecca1122

    Rebecca1122 Comrade

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    Jul 27, 2013

    Off topic a bit, but thank you for this link! I am trying CAFE this year and I have an Ipad in my classroom so I signed up for a virtual Pensieve! It looks awesome... can't wait to try it out. Hopefully I will be able to use it effectively!
     
  14. teacherguy111

    teacherguy111 Cohort

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    Jul 28, 2013

    I will definitely take the opportunity to do a lot of hands on activities in my classes. My school expects that anyway.
     
  15. teacherguy111

    teacherguy111 Cohort

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    Jul 29, 2013

    I have just found out that the school has decided to hire another middle school language arts teacher also. This has eased my tension a bit as now all the pressure isn't all on me :)

    We will teach one of the same classes and the others different... but at least it isn't just me in the whole middle school department now.
     

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