We made serious progress this week, guys. It was a week of mentor texts, mentor text analysis, drawing/making/creating, musical chairs, and a STEAM Academy Rube-Goldberg challenge. I'll call that a win.
First things first. Early in the week we DEFINED mentor texts and we talked about WHY we'll use them to improve and elevate our writing. See below:
I talked to you about crocheting Katniss scarves and about my own mentor, my teaching sensei. We then took a look at a few portraits from Artists, Writers, Thinkers, and Dreamers and did a fair bit of analysis with our "noticings."
You were then tasked with creating your own portraits in the style of AWTD, and to use AWTD as your very first mentor text. When you had questions, I'd say, "what does the mentor tell you?" When you wanted to know how many illustrations, what colors, and what topics, again, "what does the mentor do?" You get the idea. Here was your task:
Finally, we had a day of Mentor Text Musical chairs, and man did you make my heart happy! The idea was to groove, walk around, sit down, and Read Like Writers. More on this next week, but you guys did a tremendous job, and you ended up building some really solid lists of the characteristics of literary vignettes.
So, woo woo! Well done, young grasshoppers.
Ok, somebody's gonna have to remind me to post these updates! I've been having too much fun to remember! :)
This is my attempt to get back on track -- to post your assignments with care and on time, and to ensure we're all on these same page, both IRL and here on the world wide web.
Last week was a good week. We began the week with...Play Doh! It was wicked fun. You sculpted and played and considered and interpreted.
After that, we spent some time finishing up The House on Mango Street reading, worked on a few more dialog journal entries, had a end of novel Socratic seminar, and...oh yeah, BUILT A HOMECOMING FLOAT!
Last week was a good week. Here are a few pics!
Here's to your first Week in Review! Took me long enough, right? :)
This week we got into The House on Mango Street, our 3 Close Reading Questions, and our Reader's Bios. We spent some good class time doing what students do in an English class: reading, writing, and talking about the text. I want to remind each of you that this is the work of the course, these are the skills you need for the year, and that this work can be rich and rewarding. I invite you to find the meaningful cow with me.
And I remind you that finding the proverbial cow is challenging and requires strong reading habits, strong work ethic, and a really great attitude.
On Friday, I presented Design Thinking to the group for Academy Day. I did have some technical glitches that threw me off, and it was wicked early, but such is life.
For my two cents, having an understanding of Design Thinking, particularly Human Centered Design is an important part of our Academy Project. My hope is that students understand that if our ideas are rooted in empathy, our designs are broad and limitless, our prototypes are tested and tweaked, and our implementation both succeeding and failing in ways yet to be determined, that we will always be circling back to what inspires us and why we need to work to solve problems and contribute to a greater good. We will constantly be ideating, testing, and refining.
There are plenty of TED Talks, and maybe we'll watch some. But for now, please know that yes, you do and have had a say in this project. And please also know that your teachers have intentionally designed this process for you. And finally, please know ESPECIALLY that you are a powerful, intellectual, spirited, and inspiriting group of students. And we will work and work and work and work because that is our job.
Finally (*she said climbing off of her soapbox), you also spent a few minutes Friday mind mapping some potential community garden ideas. Check 'em out here.
We've miles to go before we sleep (or plant). And in English, you've just got to trust me. ;)
All the best, everybody, and see you tomorrow.
We've officially begin Sandra Cisnero's novel The House on Mango Street, a short read made up of a series of vignettes about various themes, topics, and characters, and so far it promises to be a meaningful first whole class text. There's lots of positive buzz and smart thinking, and you guys are doing a GREAT job talking about the "meaningful cow" in these little short, short stories.
For tonight's homework, you are to read the following stories:
Boys & Girls
Cathy Queen of Cats
Our Good Day
Please also begin your THOMS DIALOG JOURNALS. Click here to access that assignment.
Click HERE to access an online text complete with audio.
Also, please keep in mind our 3 close reading questions. We'll be talking through these tomorrow.
I am so incredibly pleased with your progress and where we're headed this year, both in English and STEM Academy. We have a chance to truly make the world a better place and YOU have the chance to learn, apply, and create designs that, right now, are only notional. How cool is that?!
Typically, I'll give you a proper Week in Review, like this one over at www.hilliardsclass.com, but for now, I wanted to take a moment to hit the high notes.
This week, we've taken the STAR test, talked a bit about the importance of choice reading, and jumped into what is the very first square of The House on Mango Street, which is this beautiful prose poetry novel that I think you're really going to like.
As mentioned in class today, we will use this text to sharpen our literary analysis skills, write some inspired and well-crafted narratives of our own, and to expand our ideas and thinking about the concept of Community and Identity.
Today we completed the anticipation guide and began our first round of Philosophical Chairs. Y'all are some pretty smart cookies, and things are looking up.
Now, get ready for a full court STEM Academy project presentation press, and be prepared to share, ideate, and inspire!
Hello! It's been an inspiring few days with you lovely STEM students. For an ultra-quick (and I hope useful) post, below are the Where I'm From deets:
Where You’re From
Your task: Think like a poet and create your own “Where I’m From” poem that shows us who you are.
Use the poem as your first ever “mentor text” – or text that we learn a writer’s moves from and gives us inspiration.
You could think of your poem as a poetic fill-in-the-blank.
After you’ve used the mentor for inspiration to craft your own poem…
Have fun. DUE MONDAY!
ps. For extra help, CLICK HERE for the fill-in-the-blank.
Your teacher, Mrs. Hilliard :)