A blog following teacher Aaron Jura as he plans engaging, yet relevant English Language Arts content for High School students in New Orleans, LA.
Whew! I just pulled myself out of a hole -- caught up on grading (it's a constant battle.) I also drank a pot of coffee at 10PM and now I am wide awake at 1AM! I'm updating you on what I have been up to and some general classroom strategies I am working on.
I've noticed a lot of late work lately, which is putting students behind. This is problematic because it hinders the progress of a unit when you have to pause to give students additional time to catch up. The part that irks every teacher is that it doesn't seem to be pacing related and instead seems to be grit related.
I am implementing 2 new strategies to help with this:
1) Pink Slips: When students are deficient on an assignment I am printing out a pink slip for them that sets an expectation that the item is made up within a certain period of time. Time consuming? YES!!! But needed until students are more organized.
2) Student Performance Contract: Students who have a C or lower are going to have weekly 1 on 1's and a student performance contract. We will work together (tutoring M, T, Thurs after school) to ensure success. If student breaks the contract by not turning in work they will be required to attend Saturday intervention to complete missing work.
As for me, I have started doing after school tutoring M, T, Th until 5:30 PM. Wednesday's I am working with the National Archives as a member of the Virtual Foreign Service as an Assistant Curator for the Today's Document project. And, I just started teaching at Dillard University on Saturday's. Oh yea, plus my typical schedule of audited courses, American History courses, and grant writing work.
I guess I should try to get to bed...
Greek and Roman mythology is all around us and is heavily represented thematically and symbolically in literature.
I have always enjoyed teaching mythology because I find that it ignites a sense of wonder in often even the most reluctant learner. Simply the gore element alone in Greek myth will hook some students.
I am using this year's unit as a bridge into our study of Homer's epic The Odyssey. In planning the unit, I couldn't visualize how students would be able to fully contextually understand the work without a general working knowledge of the stories of Greek mythology.
Of the resources I have found I am most happy with the content in this resource and this resource. I also must say that the Coursera Greek and Roman Mythology course and Edith Hamilton's Mythology book.
I'm excited to get started. This week we will begin with cultural references and a jigsaw activity on creation mythology. Then we will move into the Greek stories of creation with the story of Uranus and Gaia. Students will take notes on the types of mythos and also on the variety of interpretations of myth. At the end of the week, we will work in groups to design paper mache masks of a variety of the creatures from Greek and Roman mythology.
Mr. J is a high school teacher in New Orleans, Louisiana. Mr. J believes in the power of educators to help children and families achieve. Follow his blog for tips and techniques to keep engagement high and student achievement at the forefront.