I am disappointed. I haven’t had a chance to see the new movie, Catching Fire. (Life happens.) But friends and students have shared positive reviews. The trilogy continues to be popular with middle and high school students. My previous post on Resources for Teaching with The Hunger Games continues to be popular, so I decided to share resources for teaching Catching Fire. If there are other free resources you have used or if you have ideas you would like to share please comment below.
Aim higher in case you fall short.
― Pres. Snow, Catching Fire
- Catching Fire Video Book Trailer from Expanded Video
- Audio Book Excerpt
- Bright Hub Lesson Plan
- Scholastic Lesson Plan
- Shmoop Resources and Lesson Plan
- Author Interview TeenReads
- Author Interview NPR
- Scholastic Website for Hunger Games Trilogy
- Scholastic Glossary
- Scholastic Online Games
- One Year in Spanish – Lesson Plan (in Spanish) and Article
- Center for Healthy Teen Relationships, Idaho Coalition Against Sexual Domestic Violence Lesson Plan on Social Justice
- goodreads Quotes from Catching Fire
- DWTC Catching Fire Quotes
See you there!
November 7-9, 2013
Session Title: Here’s What Middle Level Students Think about Good Teaching
Date: Thursday, November 7, 2013
Time: 9:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Room: 208 A-D
Session Title: Formative Assessment: What Teachers (and Students) Use to Plan Next Steps
Date: Thursday, November 7, 2013
Time: 1:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Room: 101 I/J
Session Title: Orchestrating Student Voices to Create a Community of Learners
Date: Friday, November 8, 2013
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Room: L100 C
Session Title: Influence on Middle Level Teacher Implementation of Best Practice
Date: Friday, November 8, 2013
Time: 2:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
Room: 208 A-D
Linda, Jennifer, and Neiman
Surviving to Thriving LjL
5 Things Middle School Students Want Their Teachers to Know (Click on this link to read Linda Neiman’s post.)
Linda Neiman, Linda L. Carpenter, Jennifer Fontanini….
surveyed middle school students to find out what are their thoughts about what good teaching is and what good teachers do. Their responses may surprise you and affirm what you already knew about effective teaching and student learning.
Check out Linda Neiman’s post on Surviving to Thriving LjL. We will be sharing much more about our recent research in upcoming posts and at the Association of Middle Level Educators Conference in Minneapolis, November 7-9, 2013. Hope to see you there!
It is all about relationships of respect.
I believe this is true in all levels of our lives and in society as a whole.
In our area most students will go back to school on Tuesday, September 3. This week most teachers (including our student teachers) are in faculty meetings and professional development workshops. It is one of my favorite times of the school year. I love reconnecting with friends and colleagues and hearing about their summer discoveries. I feel a responsibility and enjoy the opportunity to connect with and mentor new educators, and I am such a nerd that I love learning or refreshing my practice during professional development sessions. I still love school.
During the last few days I have had several emails from former students who are now teachers in their own classrooms and from student teachers who are both excited for the opportunities, but a little scared of the unknown.
One new teacher told me, “I’m busy going through my start of school checklists and trying to get everything organized.”
Another, “I AM VERY EXCITED!!!!! I will be teaching 5th grade!!!! Can you believe it???” (Yes, I can!)
And a student teacher in her first staff development sent this, “I’m sitting in my first day of staff development and guess who the speaker is today… ? He is amazing and sooo inspiring!!!”
In my own classes during the last few weeks I have stressed the importance of planning lessons and activities for the first days of school that allow teachers and students to get to know each other and build those important student-teacher relationships. Many beginning teachers are focused on curriculum. They are so determined to close the achievement gaps of their students that they short-change the social and emotional learning needs of their students.
One student asked, “Will it really be okay with my principal that I don’t start math and reading on the first or second day?”
My answer, “It’s not, do you have time to do this, but can you afford not take the time to build relationships and community in your classroom?” I have checked with several principals and they assure me that they support the time needed to build relationships and community.
Zemelman, Daniels, and Hyde (2012) share the following in their discussion of principles of Best Practice:
Sociable: Learning happens most efficiently in an atmosphere of friendliness and mutual support, and teachers take steps to create safe, comfortable, and energizing classroom communities.
Democratic: The classroom is a model community; students learn what they live as members of that community. In school, we are not just training “consumers”; we are nurturing citizens—our future neighbors, coworkers, and fellow voters.
(Zemelman, Daniels, and Hyde, 2012, p. 9)
My advice this week is to build relationships. It is essential to build relationships and classroom communities. I know it has been important for me, for my students, and for my professional practice. I treasure my relationships with educators (some are former students). I enjoy getting those emails.
Below are some great resources for getting to know your students and for building community.
It is all about relationships!
- Pinterest Board The First Days of School
- Pinterest Board Get to Know Students and Teacher
- Pinterest Board Classroom Management
- Scholastic Back to School Planning Guide
Zemelman, S., Daniels, H.., & Hyde, A. (2012). Best practice: Bringing standards to life in America’s schools (4th Ed.). Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
It is that time of the year that makes all teachers a little frantic. It is BACK TO SCHOOL time. All the stores have sales. There are endless commercials on TV. Even if you are organized and ready, all that social media adds an element of stress to your life.
My classes start next Monday. It is hard to look out my window at the beautiful sunshine as I work to get ready for my students. I’d rather be walking by the lake ……and I love school.
Every year is a new year, a new chance, and a new start. Nothing stays the same: new standards, new assessments, new technology, new students, new faculty. While I am one to embrace change, it can sometimes be overwhelming.
I have been working on a variety of new initiatives. Over the past few days my email, texting, and even my phone have all been very busy. I have just in the past few minutes received prompt replies from colleagues who have been helpful, supportive, cheerful. …and the source of this blog post. How much easier and enjoyable our tasks are when we approach them with a positive attitude and how fortunate I am to work with kind, caring, energetic, and very intelligent colleagues.
My advice to you for the new school year is twofold:
- Build and cultivate strong professional relationships with your colleagues. You are working together for the good of your students. You have the same goals to guide you. If you are an experienced teacher be a mentor to new faculty and staff. I know student teachers and first year teachers who will be in classrooms with you in a few days. They really need your support. I also remember being the new teacher at the first faculty meeting, and I am so thankful to those teachers who extended a smile and a warm welcome. Some of my most cherished friends greeted me as a stranger on a first day of school. If you are a beginning teacher or new to the school, put a smile on your face and reach out. I know it can be scary, but the benefits of seeking and building supportive relationships are endless.
- Build and cultivate relationships with your students. Create a caring community of learners in your classroom. Get to know your students and who they are outside the classroom. Alfie Kohn talks about a “working with” attitude that is so important in our classroom and your faculty room.
So as you return to your classrooms, remember to be a role model for positive professional relationships and positive interactions with students. Resist the temptation to complain. Nobody likes a whiner.
Enjoy the remaining days of summer. Stay positive. AND SMILE OFTEN!
Just for Smiles and Kindness