Sunday, March 27, 2011

20 Minute Vocabulary Story

This activity can either be done with a partner or individually. I told students to stop wherever they were at 20 minutes. I told them before hand that by the end of the 20 minutes, they should have approximately 3-4 paragraphs.

Here's the activity:

20 minute Vocabulary Story
Use at least TWO additional words from list 11-A.
3-4 Paragraphs

Begin the story in one of the following ways:

1. The preacher admonished the people to change their wicked ways.
2. Anne tried to appease the crying baby.
3. I will not bequeath my treadmill to you.
4. The monster’s rough appearance belied his/her inner sensitivity.

Here's list 11-A:

1. admonish
2. appease
3. archaic
4. ascetic
5. belie
6. bequeath
7. capricious
8. clemency
9. condone
10. furtive
11. glutton
12. humane
13. homogenous
14. miserly
15. saturate

Friday, March 18, 2011

Three Ways to Cut Down On Grading

Grading is one of the most time consuming parts of teaching. The average high school teacher probably collects about 450 assignments per week! (90 students X 1 assignment per day)

If you cut down on the amount of student work that you grade, then you will have more time to do such things as create engaging lesson plans, or you may actually get to spend your weekend spending time with the ones you love.

Here are five ways to cut down on grading:

1.Completion Grades-For homework assignments that aren’t weighted as heavily, it is perfectly okay to give completion grades. Sure there are some teachers who will tell you that this is a sin, but they are the same teachers who always appear as if they are on the verge of a nervous break down. Keep the following in mind for completion grades:
A.These assignments should be routine assignments. At the beginning of the semester, you should grade these thoroughly. As the semester continues, students will have gotten into the habit of completing these assignments thoroughly. For instance, I assign vocabulary word maps every week. At the beginning of the year, I grade them more thoroughly. After I know students know how to do them properly, I am able to give completion grades.
B.You don’t have give a completion grade for every homework or routine assignment. For example, let’s take the previously discussed word maps. Some weeks I may choose to give completion grades, and some weeks I may grade them thoroughly. The students don’t know beforehand how I will grade them; this keeps them on their toes.
2.Make tests and quizzes account for approximately 80% of the student’s grade. This way, routine assignments only count 20 %.
3.Notebook Quiz- To prevent having to grade my daily warm-ups, journals, worksheets, etc., I tell students to keep all assignments in their notebooks. At the end of the week, I give the students a notebook quiz, in which they are able to use their notebooks.