From Poetry to Poison Bottles: Contextualize this!

Okay, doing some lesson planning tonight. I’ve gone over the third interim benchmark test, the barometer against which our students (and their teachers, of course) are gauged. Here is what we need to teach this quarter:

Imagery, response to literature, recognizing the finer points of a persuasive essay, how to decipher the label on a bottle of herbicide, how read the directions for putting together the handlebars of a bike, how to read the directions for a clock radio (I wish I could read mine!), the meaning of the idiom “skirt the issue,” who the intended audience is for a writing contest flyer, and who it is most likely to attract, how to construct a research paper, how to revise a single sentence from an essay when there is no way that any of the options would sound right within the poorly constructed essay, how to read and add to an outline about something you know nothing of, superlatives, the use of the word whether, dependent clauses, prepositions, the appropriate use of commas, how to prepare a bibliographic entry using MLA format, how to recognize an adjective, figurative language, personification, sentence revision (again) active vs. passive voice, correct use of there, their, they’re, and how to find misspelled words: memorible, cenipede, mispelled, excape, along with all the other words that are spelled correctly in the questions, so they can recognize the difference. Oh, and preparation for the District and State writing tests. And giving those tests.

If I only teach to the test and do nothing else, will I be able to “cover” this mishmash of stuff? I’m trying to think positively. To be creative. To breathe smoothly, deeply. Being creative…positive attitude. The classroom cops are coming in from the county office this week to see how we’re doing, so don’t be teaching from a worksheet. Being creative…positive attitude dude.


2 thoughts on “From Poetry to Poison Bottles: Contextualize this!

  1. Angie says:

    Very challenging! When I was teaching gifted I was responsible for all the grade level skills that would be tested (most of the kids knew some of the skills) AND acceleration and enrichment activities. I worked hard to draw a “big picture’ of the things I had to teach before starting to plan. I can totally understand your dilemma!

  2. lynnjake says:

    Thanks, Angie. I think the big picture seems so huge for my English Learners, I can’t conceive of how to spin a web wide enough to catch them. It must be a totally different challenge to teach gifted students.

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