Teaching a Plot Diagram in a Weird Way…

Dear Readers,

Today, I needed to reinforce the lesson taught by the 10th grade English teacher (literary devices). I did the usual and defined them and gave examples. I even read the 10th graders a very simple story- The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and THE BIG HUNGRY BEAR. I wanted them to complete a plot diagram like the one below:

They weren’t quite understanding it, so I decided to try a different approach. I asked them about a television show they watched. One student told me about an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. We discussed it and I showed her where the each part of the diagram was happening as she described it to me. She didn’t believe me when I told her that the plot diagram plays out in every day life; she thought it was some kind of trick. So, I took her through a fight just to really prove it to her. She laughed. That’s when I gave her a homework assignment to watch an episode of Grey’s Anatomy and report back to me tomorrow. She said that it wouldn’t be fun. I told her that I beg to differ, that it can be fun to see what we’re learning in everyday life come to life, so to speak. I don’t think she quite believed me, but she agreed to do it. I’ll report her findings back to you.


Today’s Observation

Dear Readers,

Today, one month into the new school year, I had my first of 4 observations. My organization decided to split it up into four bite-sized observations instead of two major ones. I actually like this way better than the old way because I feel like the observer can get a better picture of how I teach.

Here’s a technique I learned in the summer regarding how to gather evidence from a video.

Students pick a side. For this video, they were looking for evidence to support Beyonce being weak or Beyonce being strong in the IRREPLACEABLE video.

For the sake of brevity and chaos, I put the students in a group.

Students watch the video one time just to get a feel for it and collect 1-2 pieces of evidence.

Students then watch it a second time to gather more evidence. At this point the student should have at least 3-5 pieces of evidence. If you, as a teacher, feel that your students need to watch it again, play the video a third time.

Write your evidence down

We’ll watch it a third time to gather even more evidence

Write even more evidence down

Here’s a link to my lesson:





Emotional Turmoil

Dear Readers,

I’ve been going through much emotional turmoil lately. So, I’ve been researching ways to help me through it all. In my research, I happened upon these little tidbits of information.

crying face (KimK)

  • Always remember that emotions come and go, rise and fall.
  • Resistance is the cause of every form of emotional pain.
  • When you stop refusing, defying and fighting against yourself, other people and life, you stop suffering.
  • Honor your emotions for the lessons they bring you in the moment.

I had to write this because I broke down at work today and cried. I didn’t even realize that I was as stressed as I was. I really don’t like crying at work. I think previously thought that it showed weakness. After today I don’t think that anymore. When I cried, members of my team rallied around me, gave me a pep talk, and offered their help.

I guess you learn something new everyday!

As I Went Along…

Dear Readers,

Yesterday, the first day of school, I did something I’ve never done before. I completed the day’s ppt. as I went along. The problem was that I had to unexpectedly do my braids. Usually my sister braids my hair, but she was really tired and I didn’t want to burden her. The problem is that it took about 6.5 hours to complete. After I finished braiding my hair, I still had to complete my powerpoint. Another problem was that I did not have it in me to complete any ‘real’ work. I was trying, but it just wasn’t happening. So, what I did was complete the first half of the presentation and went to bed at 2:30 a.m.

This is how it all went down. I planned for the students to complete:

  • a Silent First 5ive (It’s basically a MUST DO)
  • agenda & objective review,
  • Syllabus review,
  • Resource Lab Mission Statement, Purpose, Structure, & Focus
  • Learning Styles Survey
  • S.M.A.R.T. Goals video & worksheet
  • 3 Reasons for Plan Failure (No plan, No follow through, Taking too long to follow through)

I knew that I had the information on one of my previous power points, but was out of time and too tired to look for them. So, I made the power point with the Silent First 5ive handout, readied the syllabus, learning style survey, smart goals, & 3 Reasons for Plan Failure for printing the next morning, I cut and pasted the Resource Lab Mission Statement, asked the question: What is the purpose of Resource Lab, the new structure & focus of the Resource Lab. I did not have the S.M.A.R.T. goals video or a real plan for 3 Reasons for Plan Failure. As the students completed the activities, I disconnected my laptop from the projector, went to my desk and finished and/or refined the presentation.

I’m not sure if this would have been stressful for you, but it was stressful for me. I like to have everything completed before I step into the class. As a matter of fact, I like to plan at least 2 weeks ahead of time. Here’s a link to my Weekly Focus Plan (click here).

I will NOT be doing this again anytime soon. As I type this, I’m finishing up my lesson plans for the next 3 weeks.

I’ll keep you updated. Bye for now!

You Know You’re A Teacher On Summer Vacation If… by Melanin Kidz

Hey Dear Readers,

I read this post on Melaninkidz. Here it is:

You Know You’re A Teacher On Summer Vacation If…

Monday, June 26, 2017

During the school year, you’re standing and raising your voice much more often than you would at home. Bathroom breaks are few and far in between and when you finally coerce a fellow teacher to watch your class while you sprint to the restroom, the chances of you coming back to a chaotic classroom are much exponentially higher.

If you work in a special education classroom like I do, strong vocal chords are imperative to restoring order when Maria decides to mercilessly taunt Joshua for all to hear when they’re supposed to be doing a quiet activity. However, this is June and you’ve gone back to civilian life where you can sip on your coffee in complete serenity right? Well here are 17 off-the-clock teacher moments that haunt Sped and Gen Ed teachers alike:

1. You’ve gotten used to fighting the urge to use the restroom so you sometimes still hold it while you’re at home.

2. You’ve organized all your summer plans in your calendar down to the hour.

3. If you don’t eat lunch during your school’s lunch time, you feel like you’re starving to death.

4. You wake up at 6:30 am every day because your body’s natural clock won’t update

5. You are extremely tired around 9:30 PM.

6. You’re directing your significant other/spouse around to do tasks around the house as if you were delegating tasks out to your students.

7. You begin to feel so unproductive and restless that you start lesson planning two months in advance.

8. You read books focused on teaching/education in the summer because you can’t help it (if you’re lucky they’re mandatory reading from your principals lol).

9. You see kids misbehaving in public and get sudden urges to give them consequences.

10. You refuse to go to any event that may have a lecture/Q&A because of the trauma you’ve experienced from attending too many PD’s.

11. You aren’t obsessed with using as much Lysol and other germ prevention chemicals.

12. Unless you have children, you rather not go to any event that has too many kids in one place.

13. After you’ve been on your laptop for about 15 minutes at home, you still expect a child to tap you on your shoulder and ask you to tell Jonathan to give her her pencil box back.

14. You’re overprepared for every single summer event you go to.

15. You catch yourself laughing out loud at something funny a student said to you during the school year while in the car by yourself.

16. You eat painfully slow and stretch out your lunches to 1 hour and a half or more because you can since you can finally taste your food.

17. You finally come to terms with that fact you’ve worked hard all year and summer vacation is one of the best perks of the profession.

Happy Summer!


As always, here’s the link: http://www.melaninkidz.com/2017/06/you-know-youre-teacher-on-summer.html