Teaching and Learning Abroad

The Traveling Teacher Adventures

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I want you to know
one thing.

You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists,
aromas, lights, metals,
were little boats
that sail
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.

Well, now,
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.

If suddenly
you forget me
do not look for me
for I shall already have forgotten you.

If you think it mad
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
remember
on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.

Pablo Neruda (via healthyshadeofgreen)

Pablo Neruda is perhaps one of my favorite authors/poets/writers/artists, etc. It’s a gift to be able to say something so clearly and so beautifully. We may not always appreciate poetry, but when I read his words, it’s like he’s speaking directly to me, directly to my soul. 

In short…this is pretty awesome and I’m happy to be sharing this next week as we continue our creative writing and poetry endeavors!

(via jojointransit)

Filed under Poetry Pablo Neruda English

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It’s arts integration time in room 8! 
My colleague and I have been trying to think of ways to A) make STAR testing week a little bit more fun, and B) color up our room with integrated artsy projects. While teaching humanities up in Oregon, I was all about small projects, but it’s only been since January that I’ve really made an effort to do more projects in our 8th grade classes. 
It was up in Oregon, while reading William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, that I discovered and tweaked (because all good teachers are really thieves who steal fabulous ideas from one-another) this mask activity. We all wear masks, and depending on the person you are this morning, or whom you’re with, or what activity you are doing, we all put on different masks, different identities and personas. This idea totally resonates with my young students as they begin thinking about high school and beyond. 
"We all wear these masks guys…" I try the casual approach. 
Stares, boredom and several students reading ahead on the assignment sheet. 
"How many of you guys think you wear a mask depending on what you are doing or who you are with?" 
This personalized question has bought me some buy in as they gradually come to pay attention and see my point. Being 85 degrees outside and absolutely gorgeous has somewhat hindered my ability to think and their ability to learn. 
"What do I mean by mask?" Asking questions is always a way to get students to talk…they LOVE talking, and it allows them to put the learning into their language. 
"You mean that we are different people when we are with different people…" some blank stares. Clearly, this is an existential crisis for some and for others it’s a concept to philosophical to ponder at 2:30 in the afternoon the Monday before STAR testing. 
"Well, I wear several masks throughout the day…" more faces turn to me…they love story time because it gets me off task and usually I say something silly and irreverent. "When I wake up in the morning, I wear the dutiful daughter mask…"
"Miss Hamilton, you have a daughter?!" This question was in earnest as I scowled over at the outburst.
"Then, I walk into Starbucks wearing my quirky and professional mask that says ‘I’m a professional, I’m mature. Black coffee…with a smidge of room you darling Starbucks man!’" My class erupted in laughter.
"Which Starbucks do YOU go to?"
"After that, I come to Willowside and put on my teacher mask - a little zany, cool and totally middle-school-ified." They seem to be getting it, smiling at me like they know some secret, like ‘Shh, don’t tell Hamilton that she’s actually the craziest teacher we’ve ever had!’
"Finally, I put on my Volleyball mask - in this one I say all sorts of things I can’t say in the classroom. I’m competitive, aggressive and it’s the ONLY time I’m willing to sweat…willingly!"
The mask above is my sample for this activity. My fancy handout explains it all, but in essence, students choose a character from the play A Midsummer Night’s Dream and will design a mask for them to wear while in the dream-like and mysterious forest. After that, they are supposed to explain the mask in three paragraphs. As I said before, I’ve done this with another novel with great success! In that case, students were asked to either create a mask for themselves or for one of the characters in Golding’s novel. In this case, I’m offering extra credit for a second mask…with the understanding that students are to do another write up as well. 
Because of their excitement yesterday, I’m hopeful that this activity will pull them out of their spring fever shells and get them back into the excitement and joy of combining learning with artistic endeavors. After all, last week I assigned sonnets and was pleasantly surprised at the artistic approach some took their lovely poems! 
If you’d like a copy of the worksheet, shoot me an e-mail/message. 

It’s arts integration time in room 8! 

My colleague and I have been trying to think of ways to A) make STAR testing week a little bit more fun, and B) color up our room with integrated artsy projects. While teaching humanities up in Oregon, I was all about small projects, but it’s only been since January that I’ve really made an effort to do more projects in our 8th grade classes. 

It was up in Oregon, while reading William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, that I discovered and tweaked (because all good teachers are really thieves who steal fabulous ideas from one-another) this mask activity. We all wear masks, and depending on the person you are this morning, or whom you’re with, or what activity you are doing, we all put on different masks, different identities and personas. This idea totally resonates with my young students as they begin thinking about high school and beyond. 

"We all wear these masks guys…" I try the casual approach. 

Stares, boredom and several students reading ahead on the assignment sheet. 

"How many of you guys think you wear a mask depending on what you are doing or who you are with?" 

This personalized question has bought me some buy in as they gradually come to pay attention and see my point. Being 85 degrees outside and absolutely gorgeous has somewhat hindered my ability to think and their ability to learn. 

"What do I mean by mask?" Asking questions is always a way to get students to talk…they LOVE talking, and it allows them to put the learning into their language. 

"You mean that we are different people when we are with different people…" some blank stares. Clearly, this is an existential crisis for some and for others it’s a concept to philosophical to ponder at 2:30 in the afternoon the Monday before STAR testing. 

"Well, I wear several masks throughout the day…" more faces turn to me…they love story time because it gets me off task and usually I say something silly and irreverent. "When I wake up in the morning, I wear the dutiful daughter mask…"

"Miss Hamilton, you have a daughter?!" This question was in earnest as I scowled over at the outburst.

"Then, I walk into Starbucks wearing my quirky and professional mask that says ‘I’m a professional, I’m mature. Black coffee…with a smidge of room you darling Starbucks man!’" My class erupted in laughter.

"Which Starbucks do YOU go to?"

"After that, I come to Willowside and put on my teacher mask - a little zany, cool and totally middle-school-ified." They seem to be getting it, smiling at me like they know some secret, like ‘Shh, don’t tell Hamilton that she’s actually the craziest teacher we’ve ever had!’

"Finally, I put on my Volleyball mask - in this one I say all sorts of things I can’t say in the classroom. I’m competitive, aggressive and it’s the ONLY time I’m willing to sweat…willingly!"

The mask above is my sample for this activity. My fancy handout explains it all, but in essence, students choose a character from the play A Midsummer Night’s Dream and will design a mask for them to wear while in the dream-like and mysterious forest. After that, they are supposed to explain the mask in three paragraphs. As I said before, I’ve done this with another novel with great success! In that case, students were asked to either create a mask for themselves or for one of the characters in Golding’s novel. In this case, I’m offering extra credit for a second mask…with the understanding that students are to do another write up as well. 

Because of their excitement yesterday, I’m hopeful that this activity will pull them out of their spring fever shells and get them back into the excitement and joy of combining learning with artistic endeavors. After all, last week I assigned sonnets and was pleasantly surprised at the artistic approach some took their lovely poems! 

If you’d like a copy of the worksheet, shoot me an e-mail/message. 

Filed under Art Masks English Lord of the Flies Shakespeare A Midsummer Night's Dream

3 notes

"I Am Not Yours"
Sarah Teasdale

I am not yours, not lost in you,
Not lost, although I long to be
Lost as a candle lit at noon,
Lost as a snowflake in the sea.

You love me, and I find you still
A spirit beautiful and bright,
Yet I am I, who long to be
Lost as a light is lost in light.

Oh plunge me deep in love — put out
My senses, leave me deaf and blind,
Swept by the tempest of your love,
A taper in a rushing wind.

Today, April 18th, is “Poem in Your Pocket Day,” and while the evening is almost over, I thought it worth while to share at least some form of poetry. This particular poem by Sarah Teasdale speaks volumes to me as I continue on this strange and frustrating path. Was I wrong? Was I not? Was it circumstance? Was it me? Was it…well, was it simply just a big mistake? 

Sometimes - scratch that - most of the time it’s easier to ask questions than to answer them. It’s easier to ask ‘why?’ than to take the risk in answering. Because really…who’s your audience? Again with the questions…but, in most cases we are speaking to ourselves. Why did he say that? Why did I say that? How can two people, living within each other be so in sync with each other, but at the same time so out of it? 

Circling back to the poem, I’ve begun writing creatively again; it’s amazing what a little bit of distress will do for the creative soul. One of the avenues I’ve begun exploring is poetry and I’m enjoying this new voice, these new words and patterns of writing and expressing myself. My students have just finished up a series of poetry workshops spread out over six weeks. It was amazing to see and hear what they had to say - I think we forget that teenagers are little people, caught half way between child and adult. They have so much to say! In writing these poems in class, I see some of these students taking risks, expressing themselves truly without fear of rejection and judgement. It’s amazing how a few lines, in a non-sensical order will make us feel so much better, so much more understood or heard.

The teenaged years are such a turbulent time…I remember being so incredibly angry and confused…and even more confused and frustrated because I couldn’t figure out how or why I was angry and confused. I keep thinking that if I’d had some sort of outlet - poetry, song, writing, painting, whatever - perhaps I’d have been a little happier, and potentially a little nicer. 

So, in the spirit of self-expression, enjoy this little poem for what it’s worth. It may not speak to you, you may not get it, but that’s the beauty of poetry. We can take whatever message we like from it, molding and morphing it into our own little personal mantra, fanning it out in front of us when we need it most. 

(via travellingteacher)

Filed under Poetry Sarah Teasdale

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More from the Shakespeare adventures in room 8! To encourage students to play with these Shakespearean insults even further, I’ve allowed Insults for Submission…for extra credit points of course. Here are a few examples of the super-high quality insults I’m receiving. It’s pretty cool what these 8th graders are coming up with…and to think…they are insulting wisely and without using vulgar (i.e. swear words) language! 

Amazing!

Examples:

Thou art a fie, a stenching, filthy zound on a paraquito, a periwig-pated pignut from Scotland! 

- Translation: You are a curse, a smelly, dirty wound on a small parrot, a bewigged peanut from Scotland! 

I say…that one’s pretty scandalous! 

It is thine choice to be a hard-hearted as thee.

Translation: It’s a choice to be as harsh as you are. 

Thine odor gives off the pungent smell of farts. 

Translation: You smell like stinky farts. 

Filed under Insults Shakespeare Middle School English

1 note

Habits, Happenings - and Teaching: Finally, or at last, I got the chance to hike up one of the mountains...

habitsandteachings:

image
Finally, or at last, I got the chance to hike up one of the mountains hereabouts in Chashan ‘Tea Mountain’ town. I’ve been living in the Wenzhou envi for close on three years now, and I’ve never got round to doing a mountain round coupled with a resevoir combined with a golf ball (radar to you…

Some wonderful photos of Chashan - Tea Mountain - where I spent last year teaching. Never made it up to the top - it’s been one of those Chinese regrets….

Filed under China Wenzhou Chashan

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H7N9, North Korea, & Censorship

mkinchina:

H7N9, North Korea, & Censorship

The total count is now at 38, with 10 deaths. It’s still situated in Eastern China in Shanghai City, Jiangsu, Anhui, and Zhejiang provinces. If you don’t know where these are in relation to Xi’an, take a look at Google maps.

The government seems to be…

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Interesting!

2 notes

Welcome back - this week our insults are in full swing! My fifth period class is really taking a shine to these things, actually thinking critically about the words and how they work/fit together. If you are unfamiliar with my Shakespearean Insults, I post one each day in full-blown Shakespeare text, have the students generate their own meaning on whiteboards, share and then we discuss them together. 

Yesterday fifth period did so well that I decided to give them a second one…against my better judgement. The first one: Thou spongy, ill-nurtured moldwarp  morphed into a discussion on what constituted an actual insult. 

"How is that insulting? How is being a mole insulting? They’re just animals!"

"But they burrow underground…and look like giant tics!" I replied, aghast. 

"Ms. Hamilton, don’t hate on the mole…"

"Ok…well, perhaps this one will change your mind about Shakespearean insults: thou art a gleeking, brazen-faced, flax-wench."

Now…a more experienced teacher might have omitted the term ‘wench’ because we all know where that one went…needless to say I’ve learned this lesson in a painfully obvious way.

"Ms. Hamilton, can I write ‘hoe’ on my whiteboard?" 

WHAT?! How is that even an ‘okay’ question?! While I loved the fact that she asked, I was inclined to say no at first, “why don’t we think of a better word, a more descriptive and more class appropriate word to describe this one.”

"SLUT!" hollered my star pupil, a quirky and bright student who’s always blurting out stuff that is border-line. EPIC FAIL Hamilton!

"X (insert student’s name) - there is this imaginary line of appropriateness…and you definitely just crossed it." I wasn’t chastising him, simply informing him and the rest of the class that ‘slut’ really isn’t classroom appropriate. 

However, using his powers of argumentation and persuasion, “well Ms. Hamilton, you asked for a better, more descriptive word and I have given you one.” He leaned back in his chair, crossed his arms and sat there smiling at me with a look that said “I’ve caught you now!” I have to admire his logic. 

"Ok…I guess we can use ‘hoe’ but I’d rather you use something you’re comfortable with your grandmother hearing - "

Before I could complete my rationale another student pipped in, “it IS a tool after all Ms. H!”

So, that’s how I got responses like “You are a spitting, brazen seed ‘hoe” and “you are a spitting, unashamed flax-hoe.” Despite the inappropriateness of the whole situation, we had a wonderful conversation about the insult itself once I’d gone over the meaning. 

"Gleeking means?" I asked. 

"Spitting!!"

"Close…when you spit on someone you are…."

"Spitting?!" 

"No, you are teasing and taunting them." I receive a few nods and ‘ah’s.’ "Now, brazen-faced means what?"

"Brazen!"

Backstory…last week a friend of mine came in a visited our classroom. One of my students took this time to ask the question…is he your boyfriend?! Deciding this was a perfect time to address ‘brazen’ I used her as an example. 

"When Y (Insert student name) asked me ‘is that guy your boyfriend?!’ she was asking in a totally brazen way. She was unashamed, unembarrassed and shameless, right?"

"Huh, so she didn’t really care if it would embarrass you, so she just asked?" someone clarified. Apparently, this example totally made sense…I’m so glad my personal embarrassment has led to some sort of learning. 

"Flax is…"

"A seed!" Star pupil X. "And a wench is a babe or a hoe…so she’s a seed hoe! No wait, a seed prostitute!" 

I roll my eyes…”well in a manner yes, but no. Why can’t you just say ‘seed babe’?” We discussed the thing to death, and discovered that by taking out the word ‘flax’ the insult totally made sense: A taunting/joking, shameless babe.

There must be something so wrong with me, but yesterday’s lesson was probably one of the most fun I’ve had in forever!!

Filed under Insults Shakespeare Middle School Teaching English

2 notes

travellingteacher:

It’s a short afternoon of paper grading for me and as usual, I find myself sitting at a table, sipping my coffee and laughing out loud uncontrollably.
Sometimes I’m amazed at the humor these kids can covet in a single sentence.

travellingteacher:

It’s a short afternoon of paper grading for me and as usual, I find myself sitting at a table, sipping my coffee and laughing out loud uncontrollably.

Sometimes I’m amazed at the humor these kids can covet in a single sentence.

1 note

Thou Wayward Milk-Livered Boar-Pig! (uncontrolled cowardly male pig)
Yesterday we began our official start to Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” It was CRAZY as we began with Shakespearean Insults and moved into sonnet work. As usual, my students (whom I teach after lunch) began the class in a loud and energetic manner, running in with enthusiasm, peppering me with questions and generally turning what was a peace-filled room five minutes before into a forest of wild tigers chasing turkeys.  
Each day during our Shakespeare unit, I’ll be giving them an insult. Today’s (above) really captures how some view middle school teaching and learning. 
An observer in my classroom yesterday commented on how he’d never be able to teach middle school because it’s simply CRAZY. This thought resonated with me all night as I tried to tweak my lesson for today. Yes, my students are crazy, yelling out stuff, not raising their hands, generally enjoying sharing their ideas at inopportune times. However, rather than berate myself for not having better classroom management, I’d like to think they were unruly because of the post-spring break coma, the post-lunch madness, the 8th grade-itus and attitude that’s begun crawling up the walls of my classroom. 
I don’t have the strictest of classrooms, but what I lack in structured discipline I make up in the relational aspect of my teaching. The phrase “different strokes for different folks” really gets to the heart of this. If I wanted to be a dictator, I’d instill a system of rules, regulations and discipline each student harshly who broke those. However, I personally think that rules were made to be questioned, bent and broken…after all, who got to make the rules in the first place? If it affects them (my students), shouldn’t they have some say in regards to which rules they have to follow (tangent for another post)? 
No, my approach has everything to do with developing relationships with my students. They know I love them, they know I love teaching them, and they know that they can say things and explore taking risks in their thinking and writing in my class. That exploration aspect is unique to my classroom because they know I care about them as human beings rather than cogs in the Industrial Revolutionary model of education. 
Setting boundaries is important - I’ll be the first to admit it that in my personal life I have a set of unwritten boundaries that once crossed muddy the waters and confuse things. But, there is something so wayward, uncontrolled, wild and untamed about middle school that deserves to be explored. 
This whole idea begs the question: do I have poor classroom management skills or are my kids plain old crazy? Today I’ll go with crazy. After all, “wayward” seems to be my word of the day. It’s just so perfectly middle school that I can’t help but laugh at out loud. 
Perhaps a better question is, am I the crazy one?

Thou Wayward Milk-Livered Boar-Pig! (uncontrolled cowardly male pig)


Yesterday we began our official start to Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” It was CRAZY as we began with Shakespearean Insults and moved into sonnet work. As usual, my students (whom I teach after lunch) began the class in a loud and energetic manner, running in with enthusiasm, peppering me with questions and generally turning what was a peace-filled room five minutes before into a forest of wild tigers chasing turkeys.  

Each day during our Shakespeare unit, I’ll be giving them an insult. Today’s (above) really captures how some view middle school teaching and learning. 

An observer in my classroom yesterday commented on how he’d never be able to teach middle school because it’s simply CRAZY. This thought resonated with me all night as I tried to tweak my lesson for today. Yes, my students are crazy, yelling out stuff, not raising their hands, generally enjoying sharing their ideas at inopportune times. However, rather than berate myself for not having better classroom management, I’d like to think they were unruly because of the post-spring break coma, the post-lunch madness, the 8th grade-itus and attitude that’s begun crawling up the walls of my classroom. 

I don’t have the strictest of classrooms, but what I lack in structured discipline I make up in the relational aspect of my teaching. The phrase “different strokes for different folks” really gets to the heart of this. If I wanted to be a dictator, I’d instill a system of rules, regulations and discipline each student harshly who broke those. However, I personally think that rules were made to be questioned, bent and broken…after all, who got to make the rules in the first place? If it affects them (my students), shouldn’t they have some say in regards to which rules they have to follow (tangent for another post)? 

No, my approach has everything to do with developing relationships with my students. They know I love them, they know I love teaching them, and they know that they can say things and explore taking risks in their thinking and writing in my class. That exploration aspect is unique to my classroom because they know I care about them as human beings rather than cogs in the Industrial Revolutionary model of education. 

Setting boundaries is important - I’ll be the first to admit it that in my personal life I have a set of unwritten boundaries that once crossed muddy the waters and confuse things. But, there is something so wayward, uncontrolled, wild and untamed about middle school that deserves to be explored. 

This whole idea begs the question: do I have poor classroom management skills or are my kids plain old crazy? Today I’ll go with crazy. After all, “wayward” seems to be my word of the day. It’s just so perfectly middle school that I can’t help but laugh at out loud. 

Perhaps a better question is, am I the crazy one?

Filed under Shakespeare Teaching Middle School English

1,342 notes

The Best of the Book Lists 2012

randomhouse:

image

One of our favorite things about the holiday season is the recap of the year in books! Publications, websites, and readers everywhere begin pulling together what they think is the cream of the crop — the best books of the year. Take a look below through some of the lists we’ve pulled together, and keep an eye here for additions to the list as we approach the end of this stellar literary year.

Read More

In need of a good book?! Here are dozens of lists of great books from 2012…

Filed under books

404 notes

npr:

One Monday two years ago, Bay Area poet Sonya Renee Taylor did something many people wouldn’t: She picked a photo of herself that she hated, and made it her Facebook profile picture. Taylor already had her hundreds of  well-curated images on the Internet. And, before this move, she had been regularly combing her Facebook profile for unflattering images and untagging them.
But Taylor had also just launched a “positive body image community” called The Body Is Not an Apology, and had grown wary of the ways in which she upheld the same beauty standards that her new website was railing against. “I had this secret cyber world full of images of myself that I hated,” she recalls. “I realized the reason that I was so intent on making them disappear was because I had this idea that I should only be seen if I looked a certain way.”
via Ugly Is the New Pretty: How Unattractive Selfies Took Over the Internet - The Cut
====
Do you untag unflattering images of yourself? — tanya b.

What a positive message…this is SO appropriate for 8th grade!!

npr:

One Monday two years ago, Bay Area poet Sonya Renee Taylor did something many people wouldn’t: She picked a photo of herself that she hated, and made it her Facebook profile picture. Taylor already had her hundreds of  well-curated images on the Internet. And, before this move, she had been regularly combing her Facebook profile for unflattering images and untagging them.

But Taylor had also just launched a “positive body image community” called The Body Is Not an Apology, and had grown wary of the ways in which she upheld the same beauty standards that her new website was railing against. “I had this secret cyber world full of images of myself that I hated,” she recalls. “I realized the reason that I was so intent on making them disappear was because I had this idea that I should only be seen if I looked a certain way.”

via Ugly Is the New Pretty: How Unattractive Selfies Took Over the Internet - The Cut

====

Do you untag unflattering images of yourself? — tanya b.

What a positive message…this is SO appropriate for 8th grade!!

(via overpackedunderpaid)

Filed under NPR

0 notes

My students’ Career Presentations are today and tomorrow - I’m looking at 60 3 - 5 page research papers and 60 presentations. Initially I wanted them to work on panels to deliver their information or to give formal presentations - I had in mind my Graduate School Symposium…only 8th grade-ified. Needless to say we had to scale back. 
In addition to the in-class time factor, I’ve essentially only had one day with my students before these projects. Because I was working mainly on the rough drafts and second rough drafts the week before break, we didn’t really have time to work on the presentation aspect. So…that left me in a lurch as Monday was dedicated to Poetry Day with our guest poet and Tuesday relegated to a Shakespeare Workshop day. 
Problem = Time
Solution? = Elevator Pitch!
See below:
Have a ton of student presentations to get through?! The Elevator Pitch is the perfect solution to your presentation problem. 
Students are required to pitch their ideas in 30 seconds OR 225 words or less in a friendly environment. 
This particular worksheet is designed for 8th grade Career Research, however, you can format or change the questions to suit your needs. 
Directions: 
1. Go over instructions
2. Do an example together
3. Students to another example on their own. 
4. Students do their own
Remember to have them practice the examples so they don’t freak out on presentation day!

E-mail or message me if you’d like the lesson plan or worksheet!

My students’ Career Presentations are today and tomorrow - I’m looking at 60 3 - 5 page research papers and 60 presentations. Initially I wanted them to work on panels to deliver their information or to give formal presentations - I had in mind my Graduate School Symposium…only 8th grade-ified. Needless to say we had to scale back. 

In addition to the in-class time factor, I’ve essentially only had one day with my students before these projects. Because I was working mainly on the rough drafts and second rough drafts the week before break, we didn’t really have time to work on the presentation aspect. So…that left me in a lurch as Monday was dedicated to Poetry Day with our guest poet and Tuesday relegated to a Shakespeare Workshop day. 

Problem = Time

Solution? = Elevator Pitch!

See below:

Have a ton of student presentations to get through?! The Elevator Pitch is the perfect solution to your presentation problem. 

Students are required to pitch their ideas in 30 seconds OR 225 words or less in a friendly environment. 

This particular worksheet is designed for 8th grade Career Research, however, you can format or change the questions to suit your needs. 

Directions: 

1. Go over instructions

2. Do an example together

3. Students to another example on their own. 

4. Students do their own

Remember to have them practice the examples so they don’t freak out on presentation day!

E-mail or message me if you’d like the lesson plan or worksheet!

Filed under Presentations Elevator Pitch English middle school

1 note

marbenphoto:

HaiZhou, LianYunGang, JiangSu Province, People’s Republic of China.  March, 2013.

One of my friends, a wandering teacher/traveler and photographer like myself, has this wonderful blog filled with her photography. She’s been all over the world and has some amazing shots of people doing their everyday thing. The images I like best are the ones close up - smiling Chinese faces, a conversation between two people, little children staring unabashedly up at you the viewer.
During my long year in Wenzhou, I can’t tell you how many times I was greeted by those same faces - wandering through the fruit market, the vendors smiling at me thinking - “this lady ought to be easy,” as they hawk their fruit in front of me, trying to catch my attention. The little kids on the street, clad in down comforters sewn together to look like bundles of bedsheets and blankets, their pink faces poking through their hooded down jackets. But, perhaps my favorite “scenes” (as my Chinese students like to call these everyday sights) are the ones with whole families on motorcycles. 
The photo above roughly captures this idea of the ‘family motorcycle’ perfectly. I’m always surprised with the Chinese inventiveness and ingenuity when trying to make something work. That poor girl sitting on the front of the motorcycle must have no fear!! 

Check out the photo blog at: 
http://marbenphoto.tumblr.com
OR
http://www.redbubble.com/people/mmbphosal

marbenphoto:

HaiZhou, LianYunGang, JiangSu Province, People’s Republic of China.  March, 2013.

One of my friends, a wandering teacher/traveler and photographer like myself, has this wonderful blog filled with her photography. She’s been all over the world and has some amazing shots of people doing their everyday thing. The images I like best are the ones close up - smiling Chinese faces, a conversation between two people, little children staring unabashedly up at you the viewer.

During my long year in Wenzhou, I can’t tell you how many times I was greeted by those same faces - wandering through the fruit market, the vendors smiling at me thinking - “this lady ought to be easy,” as they hawk their fruit in front of me, trying to catch my attention. The little kids on the street, clad in down comforters sewn together to look like bundles of bedsheets and blankets, their pink faces poking through their hooded down jackets. But, perhaps my favorite “scenes” (as my Chinese students like to call these everyday sights) are the ones with whole families on motorcycles. 

The photo above roughly captures this idea of the ‘family motorcycle’ perfectly. I’m always surprised with the Chinese inventiveness and ingenuity when trying to make something work. That poor girl sitting on the front of the motorcycle must have no fear!! 

Check out the photo blog at: 

http://marbenphoto.tumblr.com

OR

http://www.redbubble.com/people/mmbphosal

Filed under Marbenphoto Motorcycles China

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What an awesome idea! Wherever I am next year - high school, middle school, international school - I’d love to recreate this awesome and encouraging idea to get young adults reading. Totally cool…and yes, for middle schoolers, bragging rights are SO worth it!
talesofan8thgradeteacher:


After deciding to challenge myself to read 50 books for personal enjoyment this year, I thought, “Hmmmm wouldn’t it be fun to get my 7th/8th Graders to do this?”
Therefore, on Monday while talking about resolutions, I brought up my personal book challenge to the 7th graders. After their initial shock and staring at me like I was insane, I presented them with my idea. And then they took it to another level…
“Miss, do you think we’ll read more than the 8th graders?”
And thus created the Great Book Challenge of 7th and 8th Grade. Two homerooms competing for a secret prize (a week free from vocabulary units…shhh…since they will be reading so much!) and more importantly in middle school world, bragging rights. 
Rules: 
Books you read for a grade, or as a whole group do not count. This is going above and beyond for personal benefit and satisfaction!
Novels, graphic novels, and nonfiction all count
Report them as you read them! Miss has a master list. 
Cheating calls for disqualification; a teacher will check with parents if necessary
Be encouraging to others and push yourself - do your best!
You can read over or under a goal, but you have to read at least one book to participate in the prize
The homeroom with the greatest number read in the first week of May wins! 
The counters and rules are posted in the hallway, generating excitement for my classes and the younger kids who pass. Student made pledges (the goal they are trying to read towards, at least 1 book to be able to have the glory in the prize!) and signed their names around the counters (Not posted b/c of names!).
The response so far: AWESOME! Since Tuesday, 5 books have been read and even better, the kids want to talk about books all the time! What they’re reading. Recommendations from me and one another. How terrible movie adaptations are. How incredible some authors are. Any down time, we are talking about books. Parents are loving it and am astounded I’m getting their teenager to voluntarily read over watching tv. 
I am living the dream. 

What an awesome idea! Wherever I am next year - high school, middle school, international school - I’d love to recreate this awesome and encouraging idea to get young adults reading. Totally cool…and yes, for middle schoolers, bragging rights are SO worth it!

talesofan8thgradeteacher:

After deciding to challenge myself to read 50 books for personal enjoyment this year, I thought, “Hmmmm wouldn’t it be fun to get my 7th/8th Graders to do this?”

Therefore, on Monday while talking about resolutions, I brought up my personal book challenge to the 7th graders. After their initial shock and staring at me like I was insane, I presented them with my idea. And then they took it to another level…

“Miss, do you think we’ll read more than the 8th graders?”

And thus created the Great Book Challenge of 7th and 8th Grade. Two homerooms competing for a secret prize (a week free from vocabulary units…shhh…since they will be reading so much!) and more importantly in middle school world, bragging rights. 

Rules: 

  • Books you read for a grade, or as a whole group do not count. This is going above and beyond for personal benefit and satisfaction!
  • Novels, graphic novels, and nonfiction all count
  • Report them as you read them! Miss has a master list. 
  • Cheating calls for disqualification; a teacher will check with parents if necessary
  • Be encouraging to others and push yourself - do your best!
  • You can read over or under a goal, but you have to read at least one book to participate in the prize
  • The homeroom with the greatest number read in the first week of May wins! 

The counters and rules are posted in the hallway, generating excitement for my classes and the younger kids who pass. Student made pledges (the goal they are trying to read towards, at least 1 book to be able to have the glory in the prize!) and signed their names around the counters (Not posted b/c of names!).

The response so far: AWESOME! Since Tuesday, 5 books have been read and even better, the kids want to talk about books all the time! What they’re reading. Recommendations from me and one another. How terrible movie adaptations are. How incredible some authors are. Any down time, we are talking about books. Parents are loving it and am astounded I’m getting their teenager to voluntarily read over watching tv. 

I am living the dream.