Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Annual Back to School District Institute Day

   The time has come, school is less than two days away from starting. I spent my morning at our annual district institute and got my first batch of ideas from my colleagues. I want to write them here so I'm sure not to lose them. It is also my first effort to continue using my blog as school gets started.

Topics: How to use writing in the LA classroom. We need to use writing to help students become better learners.

6 Reasons for Writing:
1. Evaluate & Judging
2. Inquire & Explore
3. Analyze & Interpret
4. Take a Stand/Propose a Solution
5. Express & Reflect
6. Inform & Explain

- Give students a newspaper and search for articles that they could write about. I may want to do this first and not until the students become good at writing questions, but it's a great idea. The questions would fall into the 6 categories above. Example of a newspaper article: What Chicago won by not hosting the Olympics. Evaluate and Judge: Is it right to get rid of natural resources and displace people to host the Olympics? Take a stand/propose a solution: Should we only utilize Olympic villages that are in place?
- Look at the article "Weighed Down by Too Much Cash?" by Rick Reilly. It is an article that is a  satirical look at athletes who go bankrupt after making millions. In teams, kids can create their own article on a newly minted (enter topic here). They can come up with 5+ essentials for their topic. Another possibility with this could be revising the piece to change the tone to seriousness and not sarcastic.
- Who is to blame.... Take a character from a story/history/other and students explain who is to blame for the war/outcome of the novel/etc.
- Use the news t o evaluate and judge. Kids fill out a 5 column chart on stories they see on the news. Column include story title and summary, time (how long did it run?), important, yes or no?, Who is the story for (audience)? Why?
- Explain idioms: where does that come from? Make a multiple choice ? for classmates, cite sources (use wordorigins.com for this)

Websites to use: