Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Good News Calls and Parent Teacher Conferences

Yesterday was Parent-Teacher Conferences at my school. Though I had met most of the parents before, I was still nervous, but overall they went great. I love getting to meet my students’ parents, as so often I can see exactly where my students get their personalities from. It is also fun to get to tell parents how great their child is. Although conferences are littered with the conversations of your child “is talkative”, “needs to stay in his seat”, or “needs to do her homework”, it is always easy to come up with good things to say about each student (which parents love to hear!).

This has been so evident this year as my school has taken on the initiative for each teacher to make a weekly “good news” call. Once a week, we call home to a parent about something nice, thoughtful, or academically good a student has done. I have made phone calls ranging from students hard work to get an A+ on a test, working to help other students understand class material, or asking great questions in class. Parents are always surprised to get the call and some even start with “What’s wrong?!?” but they loving hearing great things about their child. This is not a new concept to tell parents good things about their kid, but how often do we take the time to do it? I can say it truly pays off as it creates a great parent-teacher relationship and a positive school atmosphere.

Ms. H

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Talking Text Evidence - Literacy Integration Example

Common Core.  Sometimes I look over what my seventh grade students are expected to do and become slightly overwhelmed.  They are so new to the concept of a rigorous, daily social studies course, and the reading and writing tasks can be daunting.  I am doing my best to break it down for them visually so that the process is more easily understood.  This week, we are focusing on the following standard:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.

 My students are completing this chart to help them with the task of citing textual evidence.  While the initial set-up was challenging for many of them, most have found success once I  provided one-on-one support.  I think this will be a graphic organizer we go back to throughout the year, and I am hoping they will develop into text evidence pros by June!

What are you using to teach ‘text evidence’ in your classrooms?

--Mrs. K