Wow! It seems as though I am going to need a couple more months of summer to be able to finish sorting through the handouts, ideas, and examples that I have received in the last 4 days. After spending 2 days at the State Reading/Math Academy and another 2 days at the MACE/MTI conference, I am pretty much exhausted.

I have so many ideas that I want to try out in my classroom, but don't know where to start! I guess I will just pick one or two ideas and give it a whirl! :)

Views: 64

Comment by Mariam Raza on June 8, 2010 at 7:52am
Hi Gmmiller!

I feel the same way when I return from the conference! The way I ground myself is 1. my curriculum and 2. my students. I teach middle school language arts at small private school in Florida and we use Calvert homeschooling curriculum for our Language Arts lessons. It's very comprehensive, and has high standards- it's a grade ahead of public school standards. We cover 5 main lessons every week: spelling, grammar, composition, reading, and critical thinking. I'm very happy with the curriculum and have no complaints about it. It challenges the students and it challenges me too when I have to figure out how to present a grammar lesson to the kids so that they understand it! If there's something I don't like in it I just change it. For example last year, I took books like Julie of the Wolves and Theras and his Town out and opted instead for Homecoming by Cynthia Voight, and The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963 from the reading curriculum to suit my students needs. Basically, I like the curriculum I work with, and I trust it to deliver a good education so I use it. I get to know my kids early on so I adjust the activities I do to meet their needs and interests. I had all girls in class last year, and Homecoming is about a group of kids whose mom abandoned them. It quickly got their attention.

I also let the students write research reports on topics that are interesting to them like animals of the arctic, Japanese mythology, and south africa (the student's mom is from South Africa). So when it comes to new ideas from the DI (Differentiated Instruction) course I'm taking or new web 2.0 tools I can use in the classroom -- I go based on the needs and interests of my students and save the rest of the ideas for next year! Last year my girls loved to read and we organized a book blog based on their own book reviews -- we didn't get a chance to finish it -- but perhaps next year : ) Anyway, that's just my new cents. I hope can continue to share ideas for our language arts classrooms! I'm teach_mariamr on Twitter :)

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