The Life of Bon: What we did in class this week + what I wore

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

What we did in class this week + what I wore


Dress: Downeast Outfitters (They are out of the all black, but I love this striped version.) 
Scarf:  London, yo! Shoes: Walmart. Lipstick: Red

My "What we did in class this week" posts tend to be my lowest viewed posts, and if I were a real smart blogger I would take that as a sign that ya'll don't love these posts as much as others and I would stop doing them.  I can almost hear you saying, "Geez, Bon, I already sat through high school English- for the love of everything good and holy in this world, don't make me do it again!"  And for a brief second there I thought about scrapping this blog series and instead just slapping up a picture of my feet in leaves, because we all know bloggers can't get enough of that shiz.

But I couldn't do that.  These "What we did in class" posts are my guilty pleasure and if nothing else I write these post solely for myself- because I love to teach and I love to write, and boy do I love to write about teaching.  So humor me, will you? (Also how boring does it make me if my guilty pleasure is writing about teaching?!?  Wow.)

SENIORS:  If I'm being totally honest with you, the seniors have been doing a whole lot of nothing lately.  The counselling department needed to take a whole day with them to make sure they're all on track for graduation and then we had two colleges come in to present to them the next two class days.  Then I had to go to another training which meant I left them with a sub and a worksheet and that's how we went four class periods without teaching any real content.  On a block schedule, that means two weeks.

Funniest moment:  Today I was explaining logos, (persuasion via logic) ethos, (persuasion via credibility) and pathos (persuasion via emotions) to my students and I told them that Greg complains I always win our arguments.  I told my students it is because I have great logos to which one kid yelled out, "Maybe it's just because you're always right!"  AMEN, brother, amen!  I asked him if he would like to come home with me and tell that to my husband and he said he would for ten bucks.

AP LITERATURE:  I'm still struggling trying to figure out a good balance with this class.  I feel like I'm not pushing them enough, and then in the same breath I feel like the class isn't too fun because it's all reading and test prep.  How do you make a class fun that is supposed to be incredibly rigorous and demanding?  I'm excited to go to my AP training on Saturday to really learn what/how I should be teaching the poor kiddos.

We are about a quarter of the way through Hamlet.  This is my first time teaching it so I'm struggling a bit finding fun activities to do with it, but the good thing is with AP students you don't need to put on a horse and pony show for them to read, understand, and enjoy the literature.  The text is enough.  Thank you, young geniuses.

I continue to struggle with the small class size as talked about here.  I did take the advice of Hannah and took them outside the past two class periods.  Heck, we were just reading Hamlet.  It's just as easy to read at a desk as it is outside on the lawn, right?  We sat in a circle, just the nine of us, and read Hamlet in the grass and it was very ethereal and a little bit emo and all the things that reading Hamlet should be.  It was a great change of pace and the students LOVED it.  The weather was 70 and beautiful like Utah is on a fall afternoon and one student asked me on our way back, "Why don't more teachers let us do this?"  That's a win, my friends.  I'm also trying to take Kimberly's suggestion to spend more time getting to know them and developing rapport.  Keep the suggestions coming!

JUNIORS:  I feel like my senior class is a circus with all the graduation and college info from the school and my AP class is a droll with me still trying to figure out my way.  But my one junior class?  That's where the teaching magic is.  This is my fourth time teaching the class (fifth if you count student teaching).  I know the material, I love the material, and a lot of my creative ideas are already in place, just need to be tweaked and added to.

Last week we finished The Crucible so to send it off all students accused someone of being a witch.  It could be a celebrity, a famous athlete, a brother, a teacher, ANYONE.  Then they had to persuade the class using logos, ethos and pathos why that person was a witch.  We put six witches "on trial" and "hung" four of them.  Each student had a role in the trials- some were prosecutors, others defenders, others jury members, while some represented the people being accused.  Oh, and of course we had a priest and a judge. (Because all trials have to have a Catholic priest present??? )  We used bananas to symbolize each person being accused and if the jury voted that they should hang we put the banana through the guillotine.  It was a hit!


Representing Miley Cyrus. ^^^


The priest costume is amazing.  The evil clown costume, terrifying. ^^



(All pictures are used with written permission from both parent and student.)
Cross examination. ^^

The students really took the court trials and ran with it.  I was so impressed with how smart the questions were that they came up with and how involved they got, especially for a first period class.  Mainly I was disappointed that the jury didn't find the U.S. government guilty of witchcraft since we all know that's obviously what's going on with the shut down.

Juniors, I love you forever.

Next up:  Hamlet for the seniors and The Scarlet Letter for the juniors.  Boom baby.

38 comments:

  1. unfortunately when I think about reading the scarlet letter in schools I immediately think of easy a and how olive took that literally and put an A on her wardrobe but that witch trial sounds awesome! I had teachers who occasionally let us work outside and it always made the day so much better

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  2. Why didn't any of my English classes ever think to do anything like that? I would have gotten so much more out of class and maybe even participated. I was always the one that finished reading weeks before we were supposed to and so was always confused during class discussion.

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  3. AP English was my most favorite class in high school! I loved how challenging it was. My teacher did fun things like have a toaster in her room with bread and butter if we were hungry. (She had a donation bowl where you could put change). Also, I loved when we wrote practice essays, she would choose quotes from our essays to highlight and share with the class. And Hamlet was the BEST. How fun. Good memories! Good luck!

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  4. Awesome! I love your witch trial. Those are the kind of classes I miss teaching. I'm glad things are going good with your AP class. I bet by the end of the year you all will be so incredibly close. :)

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  5. I love your 'what we did this week' posts! Don't quit even if your traffic is lower!

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  6. My AP English class was one of my favorites in high school. We were a first period class, so on Fridays, we rotated bringing in doughnuts and coffee. We spent a lot of time discussing the literature in a debate-roundtable kind of way, and only did practice essays starting in January-February and even then we didn't do them all the time. It was really more of a discussion based course that the teacher kind of started us on and moderated for the class period, obviously interjecting if things got completely off topic or we weren't covering what she wanted to be covering. I guess it depends on if your kids would respond well to that type of instruction. I found it super enjoyable and very much like a college lit class. :)

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  7. You are a much better teacher than I had in high school. I think I watched more movies based on books than I actually read. Way to go! It is nice to see that some teachers care about teaching and not just covering the material.

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  8. In my AP Lit Class, we watched The Lion King when we read Hamlet.
    It was pretty fun and who doesn't love The Lion King?

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  9. I love these posts! I'm a teacher and I love hearing about fun, innovative teachers and lessons

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  10. I love these posts! I'm a teacher and I love hearing about fun, innovative teachers and lessons

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  11. I love these posts! I'm a teacher and I love hearing about fun, innovative teachers and lessons

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  12. Uh, well if this is one blog series that gets low views, then all I have to say is that it is terrible to hear especially since "blogging" should term "writing" and not just showing off other things. To me, an amazing blog is filled with more than just pretty pictures. This series of all things should have higher views than normal because of course, you are a teacher and we are here to be amused by school antics. At least that's just me.

    I've always loved my English classes, no matter how bad the teacher and considering I am in college where I am required to write a lot, this blog takes the cake as an amusing break from my daily assignments. Without this blog, I wouldn't really be here in the blog world as a reader and a blogger. I mean come on, who would be extremely dedicated to such a blog since the start just to read each and every entry for at least 2 months straight? That's dedication for me.

    So all I have to say to you Bon, is bravo!

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  13. ...I forgot to add this, but I came up with a concept you can do with your students (Seniors, Juniors, AP).

    Instead of reading aloud, have the students get into groups and have them come up with a way to act out a certain section of a chapter in sequence (all groups combined per chapter where they perform in the next couple of days after they read the chapters at home or whatever works best). That way, they can become familiarized with the book while being entertained with the book at the same time.

    Let us know if that works for you!

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  14. Thanks for the shout out! I'm glad taking them outside worked well for you :) Also, I for one LOVE your weekly classroom updates. Maybe it's because I'm a high school teacher too. But I was just thinking yesterday that there aren't many high school teachers who blog (at least compare dot elementary school teachers). Maybe it's because our students know how to use Google? :)

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  15. I loved this post, keep em coming. (it's all I got to say!)

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  16. These are some of my favorite posts you write, if that helps :-)

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  17. your such a model girl! LOVE that outfit! I hope that you are having a beautiful week! <3

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  18. I come from a family of teachers and they're constantly telling me about lesson plans, how classes went, what their students are up to, etc. Surprisingly I'm not sick of hearing about it yet, and your "what we did this week" posts are some of my favorites! Keep 'em coming please :)

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  19. I love your "What We Did" posts!! Maybe it's the teacher in me! But it makes my heart flood with joy!! I say, keep 'em coming!!

    Katie @ talesofatwenty-somethinghipster.blogspot.com

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  20. I'll be honest with you...my Senior year English class we did nothing either...I'm pretty sure my senior year past January (once we all figured out if we had gotten into college or not), I did nothing in general haha

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  21. love your black dress! You look amazing!

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  22. I love these posts! And OMG the Crucible lesson, that's amazing. I wish you were my teacher in high school!

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  23. I love your posts about teaching...you make me want to be excited about teaching :)

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  24. I know whenever we did Shakespeare we were all given the assignment to do a different scene within the act and in a different genre (horror, space, western, drama, comedy, etc.) it was lots of fun but you had to use the original text it made it more interesting. We did it for another play as well (Waiting for Godot) and I ended up in a group doing western, and my friend started with a cowboy like accent and I picked it up and ran with it and it ended up being awesome and we go a fantastic mark. :D So it may be something to consider, we also acted in groups for other classes too.. which made it fun because a lot more people were interested in what you were doing. :D

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  25. These are my favorite posts of yours! Keep them up!

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  26. I love your "What we did in class" posts. English was always one of my favorite classes in school.

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  27. Do not stop the "What we did in class posts"... for the main reason that 1. You love writing them and 2. Other teachers love reading them! It might be your lowest viewed because we are a small group that is crazy enough to put what actually happens in our class out on the interwebz/blogosphere!

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  28. I love these posts! Screw views!

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  29. LOVE The Crucible and the trial activity. Maybe it's because I'm an English major and a lawyer? Why couldn't we do fun things like that in 11th grade?!

    I've had to read Hamlet for three different classes, but I couldn't begin to think of an engaging way to study it. Acting it out? Assigning gender-swapped roles to act it out? (Evil Queen is much better than Evil Uncle King). Going outside is awesome though. I used to try to get professors in college to let us go outside all the time. Not once did it work. Not even when we were studying Walden.

    Casey @ The Beginning of Everything

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  30. I love your "what we did in class" posts! Especially your Gatsby-funeral one. It really helps me think more creatively about my lesson plans and I appreciate it. :)

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  31. I don't have time right now to read through all of the above comments (I'm slacking at work as I type this), but I LOVE these posts. It takes me back to high school in a good way, and it's so fun to hear about how the students are. I don't recall ever having a teacher quite as creative as you, but it makes me wonder what it would have been like if I had. I've always loved to read, but it still could have improved English class when books/stories were chosen that I didn't particularly like (I'm lookin' at you Canterbury Tales). Now that I think about it, though, we may have dressed up during the Canterbury Tales unit.

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  32. Hottest teacher around for sure!!! Love both your outfits pictured in this post! I love that the kids will let you take pictures of them! I don't know about any other readers, but I personally like this post because it takes me back to the good ol high school days! My favorite time! (besides married life of course!) love it!

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  33. Haha. I post on my progress in the journalism program I'm doing and it's not exactly a fan fave. either :)

    But also I loved high-school English (my dad was a high-school english teacher too!) and also that outfit was just SO cute. And your hair!! How do you look so polished when you leave for work in the morning!?

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  34. See, I can't believe these are your lowest viewed posts - they're my personal favorite! Even as someone learning literature in college, I still find these hilarious and interesting...and not just because I love English :]]]

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  35. I love these posts but maybe be I am a teacher nerd myself. As for your AP class, when I read Hamlet in high school, we put him on trial. We had a defense, a prosecution team and a judge. We had a press group, and character witness. My best guy friend played Ophelia. I think my teacher graded us based on well we knew our stuff. I was the judge so I really had to know a lot!
    Obviously it left a mark in me! Your teaching posts remind me a lot of that teacher!

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  36. Hey, so i'm in grade 10, which i think makes me quite younger than everyone else who reads your blog, but i just wanted to say that i love these posts! They're my favourite, it'st just nice to see someone like you who's passionate about teaching when half the time i have to be around teachers who couldn't care less. Also as someone who doesn't know what career to pursue these kinda posts really help me get a perspective on teaching :) Just wanted to let you know. Your blogs my favourite. OK Bye :)

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  37. Don't stop these posts! Write what you love! And you clearly love this, and I for one find it very interesting. I loved reading this… Thanks for sharing!

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