My life in blog form

Am I worse than the students???

Like the student who never does his homework, I’ve been pretty lax about adding to this blog.  Don’t get me wrong, I have a million things to post about; I just don’t have a free minute in my day.

Unless you have a sick day, of course.

Yep.  I called in sick with the worst sinus infection ever.  So what does a teacher do on her sick day?  Check her school e-mail, update her gradebook, e-mail a few parents, grade a few papers, and I’m serious.  I’m certainly not going to leave the house feeling like this.  I might as well be productive!

People have been wondering how the independent reading is going.  It is definitely baby steps, and the students are VERY nervous about conducting their own booktalks.  I did a sample with Frank McCourt’s Teacher Man.  First, while I was checking homework, I had students look over the booktalk rubric with the idea they would be grading my booktalk.  After the talk, we went step by step through the rubric (some graders were super harsh; others were pretty reasonable).  I didn’t give the best booktalk on purpose because I wanted them to give suggestions for ways I could improve it.

That was a few weeks ago.  Since then, a few students have done their booktalks, and many more have been approaching me with ideas.  One student, reading The Lovely Bones wants to set the mood by coming into the class a few minutes before lunch ends and setting up music.  Another, reading Hannibal, wants to booktalk in costume.

Of course, we have a few who are really dragging their feet on this, and it’s my hope that they start to see their peers getting creative and will want to join in.  I think the competitive students in class will definitely want to see who can “set the mood” the best.

I’ve also caved on the public speaking aspect.  Originally, all students were required to stand and talk for 2-3 minutes.  However, I’m now allowing students to do their booktalk using blabberize. allows you to take a picture and “make it talk.”  The best way to understand it is to view my work  from our Julius Caesar unit by clicking here.

Students are already throwing ideas around with that one.

One last thing:  My students are slowly beginning to upload their book reviews to shelfari.  You can check those out by clicking here.