I work as a high school teacher and teach across four subject areas: English, English as an Additional Language, Humanities and Creative Writing. I have been teaching for six years and each year is getting easier, mostly because I have now taught across all year levels 7-10 and subject areas and have created resources to support my teaching.
In the first five years of teaching more than 50% of teachers leave the teaching profession. I came dangerously close to becoming a part of this statistic after numerous burn outs throughout my first four years. I want to do something to change this and so every Monday I will be a mentor by sharing my teaching resources and classroom tips.
Creating resources is where I get to put to use my creativity and my writing background and I want them to have a larger audience. Feel free to share, use and adapt my resources.
In Year 7 English we teach Two Wolves by Tristan Bancks as a text and get students to write a Text Response Essay. This is a great young adult novel that deals with deep themes around family, ethics and morality,
Pre Reading Activity
This is a pre-reading activity we developed to teach address the ethical capabilities and discuss the concepts of Ethics, Morals and Morality. I have taught it twice with two different year 7 classes and it was great fun. I love playing devil's advocate with students and asking them to justify their answers.
Cornell Summary Notes
While studying the text students create Cornell Summaries for chapters. I give them the first two lots to write up in their notebook, and create a modified version for students to write out some parts, and copy and paste the rest.
Then I get students to work in groups to create Cornell summaries with the headings: Characters, Themes, Setting, Important Quotes.
I give them the important quotes and support them by adding feedback to the Cornell notes. These notes are then given to each student to use for their text response.
Table of contents:
Modified student activities
I have created a booklet of modified activities for students who are not able to participate in group work to create Cornell notes. I bind a copy of this and get them to complete the activities and copy out the chapter summaries in their notebooks.
Text Response Essay Scaffolds
When students are undertaking writing activities I provide scaffolds with sentence starters to support them and then slowly remove these as they build up their skills.
I teach students to write TEEL paragraphs first and then the introduction. For modified students I provide the evidence for them and get them to fill in the rest.
Attached is a booklet with the activities that I teach to undertake writing activities.
Table of Contents:
The sentence starter models are based on the book The Student Guide to Writing Better Sentences in the Classroom by Ticking Mind. This book is a incredible resource and I can't recommend it highly enough.
I have done a few professional learning workshops and bought units of work from Ticking Mind and they are brilliant resources.
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Amra Pajalić is an award-winning author, an editor and teacher who draws on her Bosnian cultural heritage to write own voices stories for young people, who like her, are searching to mediate their identity and take pride in their diverse culture. She writes memoir, young adult and romance under the pen name Mae Archer.
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