Showing posts from May, 2015

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Today's art is a piece of stained copy paper. Think what happens when you spill something on a piece of paper and then it dries.
After it dried, I took a sponge and dabbed blue and cream paint on it.
It reminds me of a tile.
Remember to check out my Teacher's Notebook store for some great resources for the middle school teacher.

Book Review: Believers in Love by Alan Clay

Believers in Love by Alan Clay is a whimsical novel told in the style of a stream of consciousness~think The Notebook or Nim's Island.
Each chapter is told from a different character's viewpoint and point of view making this a great text with which to teach those elements of a narrative.
The prose/fiction lends itself to the fantastic while staying grounded to realistic fiction. The ending is circular so the writing teacher could pull the beginning and ending excerpts as a way to teach circular endings. It's easy enough that even older elementary kids could do it.
Each section begins with a motivational, Zen-like observation that could be pulled and used as close reads or as writing prompts.
The characters are likeable and easily identifiable so you could teach how authors tell the reader about character as well.
The word choice is easy enough for fifth graders and appropriate for a senior level AP class.
My verdict: Great all around choice for teachers and students of all ages.



Writing Territories

Our writing territories are topics and ideas that we just might want to write about. Writing territories are those places where we want to go as writers. What am I interested in?

When my father died
Isabel and Reno
Fishing Fever
Different Indian Tribes
Famous Tennesseans
Trips to Ocracoke
Trip to Ireland
Living in Germany
Living in the Panama Canal Zone
Growing up as a military brat
Growing up Church of Christ
Folk music
Writing descriptive sentences

Teach your students to keep lists of their writing territories as they come to them. 
Check out my writing structures posters!

Lesson Plan: The Teacher's Funeral (excerpt) by Richard Peck

If your teacher has to die, August isn't a bad time of year for it," begins Richard Peck's latest novel, a book full of his signature wit and sass. Russell Culver is fifteen in 1904, and he's raring to leave his tiny Indiana farm town for the endless sky of the Dakotas. To him, school has been nothing but a chain holding him back from his dreams. Maybe now that his teacher has passed on, they'll shut the school down entirely and leave him free to roam.
No such luck. Russell has a particularly eventful season of schooling ahead of him, led by a teacher he never could have predicted-perhaps the only teacher equipped to control the likes of him: his sister Tansy. Despite stolen supplies, a privy fire, and more than any classroom's share of snakes, Tansy will manage to keep that school alive and maybe, just maybe, set her brother on a new, wiser course.
~from description of the book The Teacher’s Funeral by Richard Peck
You can get the first two chapters f…