A blog following teacher Aaron Jura as he plans engaging, yet relevant English Language Arts content for High School students in New Orleans, LA.
It's that time of year when students and teachers alike have made it to the holiday break. For many, this is a time to chill out and relax with family and friends. Oh wait, that's the fantasy most non-teachers have of our profession. My break will be spent pre-reading for my next courses and planning unit maps and curriculum to use with the students.
Overall, the English III curriculum looks GREAT! I am very excited to get to work with this class. The World Geography class is also coming along. I have been receiving donations on our hands on world geography project on DonorsChoose. It looks like the project will fund with only $187 to go. This project will allow the students to really "get dirty" in their study of Geography. It will also afford me the opportunity to work in a more project based learning environment -- which I love.
This week will consist of final exam prep and semester wrap up activities. I will miss my students this term, but it is time to focus on the next group!
Just updating that I have finished the curricular resources for American Literature. I have posted them here for you to see:
I also wrapped up the author's study group project. I have posted the basics below. A more expansive unit for author's study will be posted on TpT soon.
I recently received the challenge of changing everything I had planned and perfectly executed in English I to change everything and be prepared to teach American Literature in the Spring semester. All teachers out there know how stressful this can be.
I am actually very excited to teach American Literature to 11th graders. First, I had many of them as Sophomores -- so we already know each other. Second, the breadth of literature to cover in an American Lit course is inspiring.
As for full works I am planning on teaching: The Crucible, The Great Gatsby, and The Bluest Eye. My setup for the curricular map has us traveling through literary periods including colonial writing, romanticism to transcendentalism, realism, modernists, post-modernism.
Overall, the high stakes test for students is the most concerning. This is especially important considering the passage rates on the English III EOC test in the past. I think a wide ranging approach to American Literature will best prepare students for the complexity of texts.
Also, I am excited to try out Laura Randazzo's Weekly 20 idea this semester. This will allow students to select a high engagement area of study and conduct a sustained research project on the topic of their choice. The culmination will be a presentation and written project that students will turn in at the end of the semester. With 20 minutes a week -- who knows what a student might be inspired to do. I am doing one too -- any suggestions are welcomed.
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.