Showing posts from August, 2013

"The School Play" and "All Summer in a Day"

This past week saw the end of the second week of school~the first two weeks of me teaching sixth grade. Cross your fingers, so far I'm enjoying sixth graders. They are more innocent and sweeter than seventh graders, but not "too sweet." I've never been the kind of teacher that likes her students "too sweet." I like being able to joke around some with my students.

On Tuesday, my students will be tested over "The School Play" by Gary Soto~I know, the second week of school and already we've finished a story. Then we begin "All Summer in a Day" by Ray Bradbury. About fifteen years ago, this story was included in a seventh-grade anthology. My, how times have changed.

Upon first glance, I thought it might be a bit too difficult for sixth-graders, but the powers-that-be in the textbook world gave it a readability level of 5.2. Go figure.

In these two stories, the students are learning the basic elements of a story and the five stages of plo…

Close Read Questions for Literature

Check out my close read question sets for literature. Eight sets that can be used as whole class or as a center activity. This set includes a cover sheet with student instructions and a rubric. The questions are general enough that they can be used with any story.

Close Read Questions

This year the sixth-grade English Language Arts teachers are going to begin each day with silent reading and reader response. I've created a list in poster or handout form that can be used by students and teachers as a general reference for questioning.
Melissa Reese Etheridge

Working Weekend

This weekend is definitely a working weekend for me. I just completed my Welcome Letter that I'm sending home with my students on Monday. I'm actually going to use it as a close read and then have them write a letter of introduction to me. Doesn't Common Core sound a great deal like Whole Language?
Melissa Reese Etheridge

Back to School Icebreakers

Last week when I was moving classrooms and setting up for the new year.

One bulletin board complete and one more to go~this theme is "Stepping Up With Sixth Graders."
School begins next week for the students in our district. The first few weeks are called "the honeymoon" because everyone (including me) is on his or her best behavior. This is also the time when everyone is just getting to know everyone else. Today I'm compiling a list of fun, back-to-school icebreakers that you can use to get to know your students.
One of the things I like to do is write a welcome letter to my students; I make sure that it is at least a page in length and includes a variety of verbs, specific nouns, and sentence varieties. I want to start off the year modeling good writing.
I also play Back-to-School Bingo with my students~these are easy to create or you can purchase or find them for free online.
Another fun game is Two Truths and a Lie~students write down two truths about them…