Wanting to go into my second year as gritty as possible! Advice needed!

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by LittleShakespeare, Jul 31, 2018.

  1. LittleShakespeare

    LittleShakespeare Comrade

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    Jul 31, 2018

    Hey, everybody!

    I hope you're all having a blessed summer. It's been so long since I have posted, and I really have missed talking to you, my colleagues. I've just been busy this summer with some amazing new adventures.

    I was going through a breakup towards the end of the school year, so I booked myself a vacation! I went on a cruise to the Caribbean by myself, and I swam with dolphins! :) I also took this professional development course from the Folger Library in Washington, DC. They taught me how I can teach Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" effectively this year. I'm super excited! I know this might sound crazy, but I've also been returning to the stage. I've been performing in a community theater in New York, and it's been a lot of fun! But as the summer is nearing its end, I'm thinking hard about my teaching.

    So, I decided to stay in this urban district for a second year. I made a chart with the negatives and positives, and it seems the benefits outweighed the downsides. I want to work as HARD as I can to become a wonderful teacher. I'm kind of afraid, though.

    I do have some classroom management books from Harry Wong. I've often been told by admin that I'm too nice, so I want to toughen up a bit and show the kids that I can be firm. But do you have any advice for me going into this second year? I would love to hear some resources, feedback, etc. I also do have a question about grammar. Do you guys have any good resources on teaching grammar and vocabulary on a daily basis to high school students? What do you think of teaching grammar/vocabulary in context?

    Thank you so much, everybody! Hope to hear from you soon! :D
     
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  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Jul 31, 2018

    It sounds like you have had a wonderful summer! It's so nice to see you starting out with such a good attitude.
    I would certainly try to teach grammar within your reading, rather than isolated lessons. I think your students will gain a much better understanding as they use the rules in their work.
     
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  4. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Jul 31, 2018

    At the risk of sounding like a broken record: teach vocabulary that your students can use to talk/write about the literature. Romeo and Juliet starts with an altercation. The Prince intervenes. Romeo is infatuated with Rosaline. You get the idea. Teach them words they can put to work. The first day of school every year, I taught my students two words: loquacious and disingenuous. I expected them to be neither of those in my class.
     
  5. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Jul 31, 2018

    I always frontload vocabulary. So even if it's just a short sstory, I pick out words my students probably don't know and we work with that during the duration of the story. This is what I mean:
    - novel: each chapter has 8-10 vocabulary words Every day they do different activities, copy word = definition, use it in a sentence, fill in blanks, match synonyms, antonyms, etc. with their chapter tests they get tested on vocabulary as well.
    - something shorter but still takes a few weeks: same thing
    - short stories, something we read in 3-4 days the still do the activities every day but no testing
    - short stories that take up 1-2 days, they copy vocabulary, we go over it, that's it. The point is so that they understand the reading.

    So in a way I always do vocabulary but it's always in context.

    I think you can do grammar in context but you can also have grammar as warm up every day. You can even test them on it every other week .
     
  6. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Jul 31, 2018

    I remember last year you had some issues with a co-teacher? Are you working with a co-teacher again this year? If so, have you thought about what can be done to make for a productive relationship?
     
  7. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    For vocabulary, I have a lot of success allowing kids to pick out their own words. I have them write down words they don't know as they read and define them. I want them to get into the habit of figuring out definitions while they're reading and putting them in context. This helped a lot because some of my kids had advanced vocabularies and others didn't. I also found that they were picking a lot of words I assumed they would for sure already know. That helped me a lot too.
    Grammar I'm doing weekly reviews that build where they have to use previous weeks' rules, too. I also ask them to use the rule in their writing and identify what rule they're using.
     
  8. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    Aug 1, 2018

    This is an excellent reading strategy! Kudos to you!
     
  9. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    It’s important to have variety and your classes certainly have that. I like it!
     
  10. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    This sounds fun for the students. Good idea!
     
  11. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    I like the front loading of vocabulary you believe a large majority will not know and then student led vocabulary study. Kids that have too low of a vocabulary to access the text will be frustrated by having to look up so many words. It impacts their comprehension and causes many to take short cuts to comprehension or to find alternate ways to accomplish the assignment for the vocabulary without it creating the desired learning.

    What you choose may have to do more with your population rather than choosing a way that works best for you. I've also seen advanced kids subjected to having to come up with 10 vocabulary words they didn't know for every reading assignment and it was a total waste of their time because they had extensive vocabularies.

    Having a lot of suggestions is fantastic. Pick the method that works best with your kids. You may find that one class needs one method and another needs a different one.

    Also, don't forget that many students might think they know the meaning of some words but do not actually know the meaning. Keep an eye out for this. I found with students who are behind, this can often be the case.

    Another idea, as the year progresses, is to make sure they know that these words may have many different meanings and introduce the idea of the subtlety of meaning between two words that seem to mean the same thing but really can't be used in the same manner due to the difference.
     
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  12. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    My class has one day a week devoted to "Mad Skillz", which is all about grammar, syntax, and punctuation. I've had a ton of luck using Chomp Chomp (aka Grammar Bytes) for this purpose.
     
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  13. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Agree with this. It all depends on your students. I couldn't expect my students to be honest and pick the words themselves, many would pick a couple only out of laziness, or wouldn't want to feel not smart. Also a lot of my kids think they know a word because they heard it, but in reality wouldn't know how to use it or explain it.
     
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  14. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Harry Wong is good. I do think Fred Jones Tools For Teaching is by far the best book on classroom management. Harry Wong is great for routines and preventing problems. Fred Jones addresses all areas of classroom management and also classroom motivation. Good luck to you.
     
  15. LittleShakespeare

    LittleShakespeare Comrade

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    Aug 1, 2018

    Wow! Thanks so much, everybody! I know this sounds a little OCD, but I'm going to try and plan my lessons now. Maybe make a rough lesson calendar, just while the Folger Shakespeare stuff is fresh in my head. And then I can implement a good grammar/vocabulary warmup system in context. I love the idea of testing them every other week to assess what they've learned.

    Let's rock this school year! :heart: Thank you so much, everybody!
     
  16. LittleShakespeare

    LittleShakespeare Comrade

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    Aug 1, 2018

    Hey, there!

    I think I'm on my own this year. She and I weren't a good match, and although I did learn so much from her, I think she and I clashed a lot. She just wasn't a very cooperative partner. May God forgive me. But I did buy her a nice present towards the end of the year, thanking her for her help. I think we're on good terms, but I'm not sure. I'm just going to stay away from people. :( It breaks my heart sometimes. People are so clique-y at this school.

    I talked to my mentor, who's really close friends with the VP and the co-teacher. When I told my mentor that I was worried about working with the co-teacher again, she said to me, "I think the message was received by the VP. It's not something you should worry about." But people are so passive-aggressive at this school that I have no idea... Lol!

    I've learned a lot. I think I was just going through some rough road with my ex and anxiety. Please keep me in your prayers, everybody. I want to succeed at this job. I think I'll see how I do this year, and if it's no good, perhaps I can switch? At least I'll know for sure I gave it my all, my whole heart.
     

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