Yesterday was the first day of school and the day that the summer reading assignments were due. My students were relieved and annoyed to discover that I would not be collecting them and they would not be sharing them until their first full English class. This year we did an orientation day for the first day where students had each class for 15 minutes and we spent time getting to know each other.
Today was the first full day of classes and I met with my Grade 10/11 English class. This year we have just 2 juniors, and one of them in an ELL from China, she is not in my English class, so we combined the two grades for most of their classes. Today’s class was about 70 minutes of students book talking. It was awesome! I loved hearing the kids thoughts on the books I had read, and hearing about new books I’m unfamiliar with. The kids shared great insights and inquiry as well as some pretty creative analysis. We had two power points, three papers, a blog, and a website. And the kids just talked about their books.
In addition to the free choice books, they had to read a book on Christian living and write a response paper. I’ve just started reading those and they are good! Some good thinking, although it is clear to me that I need to do more work with them on how to write a response paper. When they talked about their books today, they expressed their thoughts well, but when it came to the written responses, they seem to have a harder time expression their thinking. I’m excited; something to work on!
Tomorrow I will have the Senior English class and my Freshmen English class. I look forward to hearing about their books.
Here is the list of books from the 10/11 English:
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days & Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth by Jeff Kinney
Kingdom Keepers:Power Play & Kingdom Keepers: Shell Game by Ridley Pearson
Looking for Alaska & The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Looking for Alaska by John Green & The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Woods Runner & Soldier’s Heart by Gary Paulsen
Hitler Youth by Susan Campbell Bartoletti & Samson: A Savior Will Rise by Shawn Hoffman
The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston & The Girl She Used to Be by David Cristofano