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Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Department that Grades Together Stays Together

I am a new teacher at Malden High School this year, so it's a year to continue lessons and ideas that have worked for me in the past and try entirely new routines and systems.

I am finding that our department shares ideas and works together to achieve more: shared rubrics, shared diagnostics and midterms, shared grading categories and terminology, everyone prepares their students for the Poetry Out Loud contest, etc.

As an older teacher, I didn't know how I would feel about it, but I love that so many good decisions have already been made for me.  It's so great to have a whole group of people I can turn to for advice and materials.

Another aspect of our work is independent reading.  We schedule time every week for silent reading time.  I've been trying to expand my classroom library, so today I took a trip to a local Used Book Superstore.  Awesome!  So many books for cheap.  The excellent organization helped me find some of my kids' favorites.

http://www.usedbooksuperstore.com/

Hope everyone is enjoying the new year!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

Hello, all.  Happy 2014!  I am struggling to prepare for tomorrow's first day back to school (while also keeping my fingers crossed for snow days!), but I am also quite excited to get back.  It was a wonderful break, though.  Lots of reading, sleep, and good times with friends and family.

Classroom resolutions: keep more on top of grading, try to plan as far ahead as I can, and cut myself some slack--although I've been teaching a long time, the first year at a new school is tough!  I'm trying to develop some better systems for next year as well, in terms of writing and vocabulary instruction.

While I read a few grown up books over break, I also got to tear through these excellent, engaging YA novels.  A handful of my kids have read them, but now I have a few more copies to pass along to them.

Enjoy the rest of term 2, everyone!