Latest posts from Twin Cities

Oct 06 2011

Fact or Opinion?

We’re working on distinguishing facts from opinions in Language Arts this week.  Today each student was supposed to write a paragraph, on a topic of their choice, that included at least 2 factual statements and 1 statement of opinion. After I collected their paragraphs, I read some of the best examples to the class, and we decided…

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Oct 04 2011

Friday 5 Minute Free Write

“I want the class to be quiet while the teacher is talking. And not throw paper airplanes back and forth. So we can grow a half and a year of reading and math. And its really hard to hear you when other people are talking. And we can’t even get to the fun stuff. And…

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Sep 30 2011

Reasons why teaching is a lot like journalism

My kids have picked up on the fact that I have a thing for newspapers.  Maybe that’s because I’m constantly bringing in clipped out articles to share with them at the start of the day, and I talk about each one as if it was the most exciting discovery I’ve made in weeks.  Whether they’re…

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Sep 21 2011

Things that I wish would go away, please.

-Spitballs. So. many. spitballs. All over my stuff. On my desk. On many of my children and their desks. Everywhere on the floor. And yep, I took one to the back of my head and it got stuck in my hair. It must be some obscure law of the universe that I will never be…

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Sep 11 2011

When they say this is hard, they’re not kidding.

1 week into teaching and all the complaints and frustrations I’ve ever heard are now making so much more sense.  To sum up the week in one sentence:  I have no idea what I’m doing and my classroom is scarily close to out of control. But, there were some brief moments when things just clicked,…

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Aug 30 2011

Charter schools & lying sixth graders

After what feels like a year’s worth of unpaid labor to TFA, I finally started working for money today- no students yet, but we have a week of professional development (aka meetings, team building activities and even some classroom set-up time).  I’m teaching 6th grade at a K-12 charter school where about 99% of students…

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Aug 09 2011

High blood pressure

If I can say one thing definitively about what TFA has done to my life, it’s that it has completely warped my concept of time– both in terms of how much I consider reasonable to pack into one day, and in how quickly the days pass.  It’s bizarre to think that we’ve been done with…

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Jul 21 2011

2 days to go!

A quick update during the last week of Institute… Stuff my students have said: -Student: “Ms. S., if I told you the name of an African-American person and you didn’t know who it was, would you be upset?” Me:  ”We’re doing math problems right now. I have no idea what your question means, but it…

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Jul 17 2011

Do you speak TFA?

I’m legitimately concerned that when Chicago Institute is over in a week and corps members are released back into the “real world,” most of us will have trouble interacting with normal (non-TFA) people. The reason for my concern is that probably every single one of the conversations I’ve had with other corps members during the…

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Jul 14 2011

Multiplying fractions, y’all

This week has been pretty crazy for a wide variety of reasons. Reason #1 being, the students have been majorly struggling with both my math lessons and those of my co-teacher. Today we realized that our students can’t compute the area of a triangle because they can’t correctly multiply with decimals. They can’t correctly multiply…

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