The Life of Bon: What I wore + What we did at school

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

What I wore + What we did at school

(This post idea is stolen from E Tells Tales.  I adore her.)

From left to right:
Shirts:  H&M, Forever 21, Banana Republic (white button up), Gap (cardigan)
Pants:  Walmart, Walmart, Forever 21 (Yes, I found colored skinnys for $9 at Wal-mart- and I bought four pairs!)
Shoes:  Forever Young (All three pairs!)

Seniors:  They bombed their parts of speech test, so it was time for some reteaching. To spice it up I took all the kids outside one afternoon to play a parts of speech game.  It was windy and a little bit miserable, but it was one of those days that is trying so desperately hard to be spring and we want spring so desperately bad in return that I thought we couldn't just ignore her valiant efforts.  ( Her?  His?  Is spring a boy or a girl?!?)

I taped pieces of paper to the wall, each paper with a part of speech on it.  Then, I made the kids line up on the other side of the field.  When I said a word they had to run to the wall and hit what part of speech the word was.  They ate it up, you know they did.






They tested today and did buckets better than the first time they took the test.  PHEW!

We've also been reading The Alchemist, which I am kind of liking less and less.  It starts strong, but the middle is pretty slow and boring.  Today my third period class was harassing me because they've hated all the books I've made them read this year.  I don't know what came over me, a case of the giggles or what, but I just sat up there on my stool and laughed away.  "I know!  It's true!  I have made you read some pretty boring books, haven't I?!?"  And then they all laughed along.  Sometimes when those kids start wanting to attack you it's better to just admit they're right and laugh and then all of sudden we're all on the same team again.
(Senior books we've read this year:  Othello, Catcher in the Rye, Les Miserables, Lord of the Flies.  Those aren't that terribly boring, are they?)

Juniors:  It's my favorite time of year with the juniors... It's Gatsby time!  I always save Gatsby for the spring because I love spring and it feels like this incredible reward that I give myself after a year of putting up with teenage drama.  The Great Gatsby is the most unique book- it is the only book that I like more every time I teach it.  This is my fourth time teaching it and I find myself stoked out of my mind for every junior class period thinking, "Oh, wait until they find out about the mistress!  I can't wait until they realize what a little sneaky devil Gatsby is!  Oh when they see how Tom reacts they are going to FREAK out!"  I threaten my students with classroom exile if they dare look up spoilers or ruin the ending for someone else and boy, do I mean business!  You ruin Gatsby for your classmates, you die.

The reason why I love this book so much is a true mystery to me because I hate every single person in it.  No character is likable, and yet I just can't get enough of the despicable dudes.  Half the time I just sit there pondering who I hate the most.  I find myself totally consumed by Fitzgerald's beautiful language. (I'm convinced there's no better American writer.)  The layers upon layers of text allow me to get something new from the text every time I read it.

We're just about to get to the part where all the shiz starts to hit the fan.  Ohmygosh I can't wait for my students to see what happens! Can you tell yet that I LOVE this book?  (P.S.  It's April's book club selection, so if you haven't yet, get reading!  We will have our discussion on it on April 28.)

Sophomores:  I'm in a total slump with these little dudes.  We're reading Ender's Game and I'm just not into it.  At all.  This is my third year teaching Ender, and certainly my last.  I didn't like it that much the first time I taught it, but my sophomore boys always eat it up.  So I sacrifice myself and my selfish literary passion once a year for a month so that my sophomore boys can have it their way for once, (because those poor sophomore boys really never get what they want in English class, do they?) but I just don't think I can take one more year teaching this book.  Sci-fi is not my genre and Orson Scott Card is in desperate need of a good editor.  I just don't love the book so in turn I don't love reading the book, talking about the book, or writing about the book.  Which is what we do all day in class.

Any killer ideas to spice up some Ender's Game?

48 comments:

  1. You're the coolest highschool teacher ever! You have cute outfits AND play games with them?? I would have been sooo happy if our teacher let us play a game like that in highschool :)

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  2. I always love your "what we're learning" feature! You seem to teach such engaging books. Wish I could give you more feedback on Ender's Game, but I can vouch for Lord of the Flies not being boring at all...at least I don't think so...

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    1. I'm so glad! I always get less Pageviews when I talk about what we do in school but I love sharing it so I just can't let it go!

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  3. I have an ongoing love affair with Great Gatsby. Yes yes and yes.

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  4. I can ask my hubby about Ender's Game! While he wasn't an English teacher, he was a teacher and loves the book. I'll see what he has in mind if you're interested at all!

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    1. Yes please! My husband loves it too and I'm just like what? My brain doesn't work that way

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  5. Your hair looks very, very cute straight.
    morrellfairytale.blogspot.com

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  6. Clearly I need to be reading this months book! And LOVE your outfits.

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    1. Yes you do! It starts a bit slow but gets sooooo good! I could talk about this book for days. Read it and join in!

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  7. Oh lucky you finding colored skinnies for only $9!
    Also, I truly think you are THE coolest high school teacher around. You rock!

    Loved this!
    http://ironicprincesse.blogspot.com/

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  8. I seriously need to get started on The Great Gatsby. I've only read it once and loved it. I think re-reading it will help me get into the story more now that I have the gist of it down.
    And for some reason, this post made me curious as I what you thought of the movie Midnight in Paris. Have you seen it? It seems like one you would love.

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    1. I love midnight in Paris! Its one of my faves. I'm also reading the Paris wife right now which is about Hemingway and his wife dieting that time. The 20s is one of my favorite time periods ever

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  9. i love the outfits you posted. you can come and match up outfits for me at anytime :p

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  10. i would have loved reading Les Mis!! and Lord of the Flies was one of my favorites- it made me really think about what would happen if kids lived an adultless world!!! soooo eerie but so thought provoking.

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    1. I agree! I think one kid starts complaining and then the rest just hop on the band wagon to be cool but there's some that like the book just don't want to admit it.

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  11. Seniors are lucky if they made it to their senior year without having to read some of those books... I remember Lord of the Flies in 8th grade and it was TORTURE. Also, LOVE The Great Gatsby... we read it in our sophomore English class and to this day it may be one of my favorite books ever! Also, I may have to jump on your book club train... I am already in one, but always looking for more books to read and hey, who says you can't be in more than one book club??

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    1. Yes please join! You can totally handle two books a month! :)

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  12. No. No ideas for you. I too, HATE Ender's Game. I hated it even more the second time I read it. Orson Scott Card is just weird. Except for his religious books (women of the scriptures series is great... If he ever finishes it), those are pretty good.

    This series looks familiar... Does Elizabeth from E Tells Tales do it? It's fun to read about what you do in class :)

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    1. Yes she does! I forgot to link to her so thanks for reminding me. She's totally my inspiration.

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  13. Man where were all the awesome teachers like you when I was taking English classes? Seriously that activity is brilliant. And man I still don't know what an adverb is and now I know why!

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  14. I don't think your seniors read boring books...Othello is NOT boring!! But I can see how Catcher is "boring"...meh they are suppose to think books are boring!! I am sooooo stealing you parts of speech game for Fri!!! what a fun activity!! I always saved Gatsby for spring too!! My students needed some spoilers so I gave them hints of whats to come and we had this big socratic seminar about cheating, relationships, females playing damsel in distress--Daisy-- they really got into those discussions!! Do you show the Robert Redford version of the movie? I like to break apart reading and watching the movie...at least for my group of students. And I never did Ender's game for Sophomores...maybe next year try A Separate Peace? Maybe have your sophomore do some kind of play...create an alternate ending and act it out? Jigsaw the end of the reading and have them present to the class in the most creative way they can think of?

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    1. Yes! I love talking about affairs when we read Gatsby... Such a fascinating discussion. Next year I well definitely try a separate peace if that book is available! I would love to know more about what you do in your classroom

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    2. A Separate Peace is one of my favorites! I seriously love that book!

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  15. Bless your heart for teaching high school!! I teach 2nd grade and could not imagine dealing with teenage drama, 7 year old drama is plenty for me. It's great to see you mix things up for the kids, because we all know sitting at a desk all day is miserable!

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  16. I got the same pants from Walmart....total score!

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  17. I didn't think Lord of the Flies was too bad, but it definitely wasn't on the top of my list. But it always breaks my heart when I hear that someone doesn't like Ender's Game! I am NOT a sci fi fan, but it is tied for my favorite book EVER. It's one of the only ones that I have chosen to read multiple times! (The only others are To Kill a Mockingbird and Gatsby. :P)

    I just lovelovelove Ender's Game, and I don't even know why. But it's so strange because I had never even heard of people using it in school.

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    1. I agree with you on,mockingbird and Gatsby..., just can't bring myself to love enders game!

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  18. Catcher & Lord of the Flies are definitely not boring. Catcher is the gateway book to Saliinger's other books, that many years later, still sit on my nightstand in the middle of being reread. Always.
    I completely agree Fitzgerald is the best American writer. My daughter has recently picked up Gatsby (she wants to see the movie) and is madly in love with it.

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    1. Which Salinger books are your fave?,I definitely want to read more of him

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  19. Oh I LOVE Othello! It's my favorite Shakespeare, actually - probably because it's the only one I didn't read for English class. (We read it in a Islam and Europe course I took in college. Sorry.) Maybe the trick is not approaching it from an English class angle?

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    1. That's definitely the trick! But how do you approach something any other way when you teach English?

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  20. Ok, this is only half-related to your post, but have you ever watched Midnight in Paris? It's hilarious and gives you a (probably glamorized) view of the world of the Fitzgeralds and Hemingway and company.

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    1. Yes! Love that movie so much.

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  21. For the record, I never liked Ender's Game either... my husband did, but I could never really get into it. Must be a guy thing.

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  22. I LOVE Ender's Game, and at first I was horrified that you hate teaching it. But the more I think about it, the more I can't imagine teaching that book, I think it would ruin it! Another book that boys love is A Separate Peace, maybe that could be your replacement?

    Farrell

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  23. I must admit that I partially agree with the seniors- I loathed both Catcher in the Rye and Lord of the Flies. Detested them with every fiber of my being. But Les Miserables is one of my favorite books. It contains such a powerful story of redemption, and what happens when we refuse to allow other people the charity and understanding that they need to be able to change and grow.

    If you want a great book with action, thought, and a really spunky group of characters, check out The Alliance by Gerald Lund. I've never read his churchy books, but The Alliance is a really gripping read. The boys might like it.

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    1. I'm so sad you hated catcher. Its over of my top five ever but I get that its definitely not for everyone. The problem with teaching Les mis wad that it wad so long and tedious., Hugo gets a little carried away with details and we read a poor abridgment. Also I would love to teach a book like alliance but unfortunately we are pretty limited by what books the school has and what books are approved by the district. Boo!

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  24. I am also teaching parts of speech currently to my 7th graders--isn't it crazy how many times each teacher has to repeat the same thing over and over again? I love how teachers in the older grades always complain how their students don't know the different between a noun and a verb, but I've spent almost a month going over it. Oh well. I guess I don't remember every single little thing I was taught either, so I guess I shouldn't be too hard on them about not remembering it.

    Oh, and that wall game? I think I'm totally going to do that instead of what I'd planned next week. My kids will love it!

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  25. I LOVED Othello and Catcher in the Rye!! Catcher in the Rye was one of my favorites in high school.
    Gatsby is just too amazing for words. I can't wait to re-read it for book club.
    Another great read (I think we read it junior year?) was The Jungle by Upton Sinclair. Do you have your students reading that one? It's pretty amazing.

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  26. Wow, I need to come to your class, maybe that would give me an appreciation for Gatsby. I recently read it because it felt like something I should have read. Wow, I agree with you about hating every single character. However, I couldn't find anything to like about the book. I read a lot of commentaries to figure out why it is such an American classic, but still, no appreciation for the thing.

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  27. What?! Ender's Game is probably too five books I read in High School. Loved it :) And the movie comes out this November.

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  28. New follower here! xoxo

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  29. I teach seventh grade and wear those same Walmart $9 skinnies every day! They're such the best !!

    I am an anomale- I absolutely loved Enders game. But I also think Catcher was my favorite book I've ever read. I teach in a really high poverty area and relate with Holden's misconception of the catcher in the rye poem - about wanting to catch all the children as they fall and not being able to save every child.

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  30. I have to say while I would have loved to have a teacher like you for English in high school, I did kind of love my AP English teacher too. I remember The Great Gatsby being one of my favorite books to read, as well as Catcher in the Rye. Lord of the Flies was a sophomore read for me (I think) and I remember writing a very long paper on it and what it said about society. Apparently I was very good at that because my AP ENglish final was about Margaret Atwood and 3 of her books, and what she was saying and criticizing about society.

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  31. You make me want to read Gatsby again, even though I've read it twice and hated it both times AND we just did it for our book group last month and no one could convince me why I should love it! (even though some of them do). I have also read Ender's game (though it's been awhile) and I LOVED it! As someone else mentioned, they are making it into a movie that comes out this fall. That might spice up teaching it! :D Also, it's a relatively long read, but have you ever considered teaching East of Eden by John Steinbeck? I don't love all of his books that I've read, but I LOVED that one. Best villain ever. I literally almost punched a wall while reading that. Love your blog Bonnie!

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  32. I really loved Ender's Game. So... I am thinking a way to spice it up is send the kids into a grand battle that they don't even know they are battling? Maybe with another English class? I dont know. But I loved that book. And I am really excited for the movie. Weird? Probably. But my brain works like a man's. Video games and fighting. THAT is what is up. Also. I really like your outfits. Especially that last one. Smokin.

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