So this last week was our first jumping into our critical reading unit. I have to say I was excited to hit the ground with some of our skills lessons.
Overall, I made very few changes to the plan I posted. I just switched my overview of Standards Based Grading to Friday. (It was a pep rally Friday - so discussing the Rhetorical Triangle didn't seem all that enticing).
We started our My Dream for America speeches. Already the kids are off to great ideas, using MLK's iconic speech as a model. It's proving to be a great assignment for the beginning of the year - a chance to see what they are most passionate about. As they picked topics, I told them to think about what they would "march on Washington" for, and they aren't disappointing me with their fiery beginnings.
This week, we are continuing on with our critical reading strategies, but first - I have to be gone for two days. (Of course). I figured they could always practice more expository writing, so I outlined a compare/contrast writing assignment using Washington and McCain's farewell messages. To fit in with our prior strategy - the Rhetorical Triangle - I am having them compare and contrast the speakers, the audience, and the subject to ultimately distinguish between their purposes.
(It's actually looking to be a happy inconvenience that I have a training).
For me, teaching always seems to get interrupted. Part of Teaching Sincerely is finding a way to maintain your focus and intent when things like... MANDATORY TRAININGS... get in the way.
When it comes to sub plans, I go back to those BIG Rocks - those things I care most about for my kids. As much as it kills me to be away, I have a few "go to" filler activities that still move us toward my big goals. Hence, the expository writing practice. As long as my kids are going writing that is intentional and focused, I am down.
As I mentioned in a past post, my BIGgest rock is that students find a voice of their own - so this lesson, which is analyzing the voice of others, is a step in the right direction.
UPDATE: Here is a link to the document for the Expository Compare/Contrast essay. Sorry it's a PDF. My original was corrupted. (My life this week...)