If you haven't heard, half of my class are ELs (English Learners). And I love them dearly. I want to help them succeed so bad. And I just don't feel like I am right now because of our RW and WW model. So I've put some major work in over our EM break (we were supposed to go to the big Ed. MN conferences, but I spent my time working on RW stuff... so that still counts right??) to help refocus myself and really try to bring the best instruction I can for my students (not just my ELs but ALL of them).
I made this document to share with my team and I'm so excited about it!
Because it is based on Teacher's College, I can't share it, but I totally feel much more prepared to teach this next unit. Google Docs worked perfect for us to share and collaborate (although only one of my teammates has so far). Have you used Google Docs when planning with your team? I love how in the "comment" view you can see everyone's contributions- nothing can be erased (only marked up/crossed out, but as the creator, I can always erase them later). It allows us to do some planning on our own and share it easily so when we meet, we can discuss other things. This is the first time I tried it and I'll definitely be doing it again.
So now that we have a basic direction on where we are going with this unit, I always dread the "trait work" portion. I have a few plans in place to help all my students pick very specific words to describe their characters based on their actions/feelings/blah blah blah. However, I find it hard for students to know which words to pick. They often pick a word we've been using, but the evidence doesn't support it. So I put together these "Shades of Meaning" pages to not only help with trait work but also for other avenues (plus it's in the "common core" for our grade).
I have organized them so that hopefully they can find the word they know well (the white shaded boxes). Then they can look at 3 other words that mean "about" the same thing. The darker the box, the more "advanced." I'll obviously teach into these reference pages when I see fit. We'll start with the feelings page first when we start talking about how the character is feeling, and then we'll move into the traits. I created 3 other pages for their writing as well that we'll intro in our next poetry unit. I'm so excited for these references pages... and it's the first resource I've made in a while that I can share on TpT so for the next 24 hours.... it's a freebie (just click on the image above)! I just ask you leave some love! I hope you can find some use for them!