It's Monday! As always on Mondays, we will celebrate the weekend and the upcoming week.
Since this is close to the end of the semester, I am going to take a walk around the room and look at the to-do lists. I really ask students to use this list. Unfortunately, very few students use planners/agendas. The to-do list is a way for them to organize themselves as students.
The mini-lesson today is to practice procedures so that our lesson is successful. I am going to tell the students that we will read the last 3 chapters of Night aloud. Before we do that, we will develop some norms. I often have a class meeting to develop or review norms with the class before having a lesson or activity that is out of the norm. Class meetings and common norms allow students to have an opportunity to practice adult behaviors and to have ownership in the classroom.
We will be sure to mention these norms:
Follow along in text
Taking notes is always okay.
Don't visit with neighbors.
No fake reading, rather stay engaged.
During student work time, students and I will be reading the last 3 chapter of Night aloud. The last three chapters are highly emotional. I choose to read it aloud with the students so that I can stop and ask lots of questions and assure we are scaffolding this grade level text (RL.9-10.10). I will do a few things to make this experience successful. I will make sure that I am sitting at the tables with the students. This helps me be a part of class, rather than the teacher who is telling them what to do. I don't ask students to read aloud in a big group setting often, so when I do, I make it as comfortable as possible. I will ask students to read however much they are comfortable with. When they finish reading however much they want, another student jumps right in. Some students want to read only a very short paragraph and others are comfortable reading a page. It moves pretty seamlessly. Here is an example of what it looks like in class.
Reading an entire book is something to celebrate and today's closure will give students an opportunity to celebrate, reflect on what they have learned and communicate that learning with their parents. I often ask students to write letters to their parents. It's difficult for parents to stay involved in high school and this helps bridge that gap. It also gives students an opportunity to write explanatory texts (W.9-10.2)
Students are going to write their parent(s) a letter following a template.
Appropriate Salutation (no slang)
First paragraph: Explain to your parent what we have been doing in English for the last four weeks.
Second paragraph: Explain which of the four themes (loss of innocence, silence, courage, bearing witness) you are most comfortable with AND explain how that theme emerged in at least 3 of the works we have read ("Out, Out-," Long Way Gone, Twelve Years a Slave, Night).
Appropriate closing with signature
If they don't finish in the ten minutes, students will return to class tomorrow with the letter finished.
For homework, students will be reminded that all 19 of their note cards for their theme folders must be turned in tomorrow. I will ask students to refer to their Unit Assignment and note card anchor chart.