This morning, we worked with the vocabulary words from the last three weeks and recorded this week's words in our notebooks. The first thing we will do this class is practice using these new words (L.9-10.4d). Here is a list of the words. I will ask students to match up with their partner from the morning; together they will add sentences using the new words to their stories (L.9-10.4a and L.9-10.4b). They might need to rework their stories a bit, in order to make the words fit, which is good. It's important to practice editing skills (W.9-10.5).
I think this is time well-spent. Most students can memorize a definition for a quiz and then promptly forget it. It is much more difficult-- and much more useful-- to work with the word, to think about meaning and part of speech.
We shared some of their stories this morning, but I want to give more of the groups a chance to share, especially since they have added new words (SL.9-10.1).
Here is another sample, this time in rap form.
In addition to three new words a week, I also give a commonly confused words. We begin with more rudimentary issues, like their/there/they're, and progressively attack more sophisticated situations. The last two weeks are, in my opinion, among the hardest situations to learn: the difference between who and whom and lay and lie. We will spend some time today working through some sentences in which the students have to circle the correct word (L.9-10.2). Here is a link to a fun quiz on who and whom.
I will give students only a few minutes to read through the sentences independently, just enough time to get overwhelmed. Then I will remind them of a few tips I gave initially and provide a few others to help guide them. For instance, it is helpful to associate "whom" with "him," so that if it is appropriate to use him in the sentence, then often the correct pronoun.
I have purposely left ample time at the end of class to hand back their Great Expectations essays and stories. All extensive writing assignments are recorded and kept in writing folders; therefore, I will have a couple of students hand out the folders as I hand back their work. Then as students receive their work, they can record the details in this sheet, which they were given at the beginning of the year. Here are a couple of samples: Example 1 and Example 2.
I like the writing folders because it is an organizational tool for the students and for me. I know that they:
The writing folders help me because their work is available whenever I need it. They have been especially helpful when preparing for parent meetings.