FOR TEACHERS ONLY… (This is a transcript of a conversation that I’m having with myself as I begin planning my 2010-2011 School Year).
Woke up this morning and decided, it’s time to check in (as a teacher that is). Teachers in my district don’t start until the last week of August, and students begin on September 7th, but I always go through this process a few weeks before school where I plan my curriculum, create handouts & organize the syllabi.
This year, I’m teaching Survey of Literature (9th Grade English – which is really World Literature) and American Literature (10th grade English).
Last year I taught the following texts to 9th Graders:
(1) The Odyssey
(2) Romeo & Juliet
(3) I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
(4) To Kill A Mockingbird
I plan to use the same texts this year with my 9th graders.
With my sophomores, we did:
(1) The Scarlet Letter
(2) The Great Gatsby
(3) Fast Food Nation (LOVED teaching that text)
(4) Black Boy (this year I’m thinking of substituting that with either Native Son, OR Their Eyes Were Watching God/Fences or TEWWG/A Raisin in the Son). Have to think about this a bit more…
Overall Teaching Goals:
(1) More Writing (and faster feedback). I want students to write at least 2 long literary analyses this year. Also, I did Close Reading with Gatsby and loved it. I plan to continue that.
(2) More variety with genre. (I did a great job incorporating nonfiction texts & poetry into other units. I would really like to do that throughout my entire curriculum.)
(3) SSR (Students can use that time to complete the Article of the Week or read a book of their choice but they must read something). Last year I did Writing Workshop for both classes and it was too much to manage. I’m not going to do that this year. I’d like to substitute Writing Workshop with SSR. I liked a lot of the protocol I used with Writing Workshop (e.g. self & peer editing, teacher-student conferences, checklists) and plan to transfer that over into the students major writing assignments.
If I have any teacher readers out there, when do you start? How do you approach planning the school year?