Monday, March 30, 2009


I am a rubric addict. I create rubrics for almost everything my students do in my ELA class. My students are so accustomed to receiving rubrics from me that they request them as soon as I assign a if I wouldn't give them one at the time I give the assignment! I do literature circles with my students during the third nine weeks every year. Part of the assessment that I do during this unit is requiring the students to evaluate the members of their group. I find this very helpful in determining an overall grade, since the teammates often know more about the day to day happenings in their circle. The students are usually very frank about how they performed in comparison to their teammates. Doing this module helped to reinforce my belief in the use of rubrics to score student artifacts, as well as the importance of self assessment and peer assessment

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

How can I use the Internet to support my teaching and students' learning?

Because I teach ELA I us the Internet on a regular basis to support my teaching and student learning. My students do research on the Internet, they check homework assignments on my Lex Connect page, and they do web quests which I create. I do mini lessons to teach my students how to determine which site are the appropriate site to "visit" once a search engine search has been conducted. I constantly get ideas to enrich my lesson plans from on-line sites. I am very excited about my curren unit on the Middle Ages. I will be conducting mini units on how to use the Internet to conduct research in order to begin discovering their family origins, the meaning of their last name, and other pertinent information for creating their family tree.

One way that I ensure responsible and appropriate use of the Internet, is to constantly monitor my students when they are on line. With the family tree projects, I have a se list of appropriate web site for them to use to do their research.

My student project will be my attempt to construct a family tree. I am excited about using the new resource that I have found: a book writen for children who are interested in doing their genealogy. Web sites and templates have been provided by the author, so I am really fired up! :-)

Friday, February 20, 2009

I am doing a shared study with my social studies teachers on the Middle Ages to meet the standards for the sixth grade curriculum. My sixth grade students will be reading either the novel Crispin, by Avi or The Midwife's Apprentice, by Karen Cushman. Their projects include creating a family tree, interviewing a family member to gather a story from the past, and participation in a team wide Renaissance Festival. This is what I have so far for my questions.

Essential question: How important is your family?
Unit questions: What was life like during the Middle Ages?
What are the elements of a well written essay?
Why is accurate research important in writing historical fiction?
Content questions: What is a family crest?
What is genealogy?
How do you create a family tree using Open Mind?
How does setting affect the plot of a story?
How did Avi create suspense in Crispin?
How do you write a nonfiction story based on someone else's
memory of an event?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Intel class reflections

Phew! I have finally connected to this blog site. It has not been without considerable stress.

The activity that I have found most beneficial is creating curriculum framework questions. I am a very detailed oriented person, therefore I find it easy to come up with the unit questions. However, I find it quite a challenge to come up with a question that is broad enough to encompass many disciplines as I begin my framework. Hopefully with practice this will become easier.

I am looking forward to finding out more about this blogging stuff. I think I could use this to do book talks on line with my students. I think that would be great fun.