Girliphants, Shellfish Casinos, and Italian Guys: Students’ Dream Countries

20151002_070849229_iOS“Get into your state groups,” I told my two Speaking and Writing classes this week. “We are going to create our own countries!”

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Ten Points to Gryffindor! …I Mean, Alabama!

Some of my students love my English class. Others, not so much. Because my class does not give a grade, some students are not motivated to participate or do their work. To motivate my students, I decided to combine some popular classroom management tactics – competition, rewards, and group accountability – into one super-tactic.

Behold, the United States of Janine’s Classroom.

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Casinos, Polar Bears, and Dinosaurs: A Lesson on the United States

*I cannot take credit for creating this lesson. I adapted it from a lesson another ETA created a few years ago. The joys of sharing!*

Twice a week, I teach special “Speaking and Writing” classes for the more advanced English students in the second grade. Unlike most of my classes, which I teach from a textbook, I create my own lessons and materials for these two classes. With the dizzying freedom of being able to teach whatever I want, I decided to do a lesson on the United States, complete with a USA Bingo game and a postcard activity. As you will see, my classes are a little too obsessed with gambling and Coca-Cola advertisements.

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“It Was the Best of Classes, It Was the Worst of Classes”: My First Teaching Experiences

It was the best of classes, it was the worst of classes, it was the age of maturity, it was the age of middle school monsters, it was one class of hope, it was one class of despair. Such were my first two teaching experiences.

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