Wednesday, June 1, 2022

PowerPoint Games

 We are here at the end of the year and I've not updated this blog in a few weeks due to research paper grading and a few life things that just get in the way of other life things.  However, I ran across this site full of PowerPoint games that can be fun reviews and give a little variety of the same old online quizzes all the time.

As my students are taking a teacher-made exam today, I was going going to have screenshots of them all posted here for you, but when I got to school this morning, I found that my overpowered IT Internet filter categorizes this as a game site and has it blocked.  I will refrain from going on a rant about how I feel about the school Internet filter and my IT department in general, but this pretty much sums it up:


I guess I should be thankful for all the woes that my Zscaler saves me from.  Wouldn't want me to get distracted by games, Spotify, or anything of interest on the web.

Anyway, you don't need my screenshots - just check it out for yourselves.  These are probably not games you want to use regularly, but work well for an old fashion test review or just something a little different.

https://powerpointgames.uk/


If you know of a game dump like this elsewhere, please share it in the comments (even if you are finding this post 5 years after posting)!

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

It's that time of year again! STATE TEST TIME!

  Do you have a state mandated reading comprehension test for your course?  At this point you have done everything you can do to increase their ability to read, now it is time to supercharge their test taking ability!


There is no charge for this activity, just download it from the Extreme English Teacher Teachers-Pay-Teachers store.  If you like it, I would appreciate a positive review.  Those really do help!


Standardized reading tests are a joke, if you ask me.  We are requiring students to spend an hour and a half to two hours focusing on boring reading passages. What this activity does well is to give students the ability to focus a little longer to get another passage in before their brain fries from your oh-so-wonderful state test.  The methods in there were honed in my classroom and I consistently had my non-motivated non-readers score higher than expected on the NC English II EOC and the NCFE for English IV (my scores were in the blue repeatedly, if you are a fellow NC teacher and knows what that means).  The method works! 

If you used it, let me know in the comments and again - positive reviews on Teachers-Pay-Teachers is ALWAYS APPRECIATED!



Wednesday, May 4, 2022

May the Fourth Be with You!

 Happy Star Wars Day!  To celebrate, here is a six word drama written by Steven Meretzky:


Leia: Baby's yours.

Luke: Bad news...

And a clever action figure...


...and for no reason other than I found this funny:


Monday, May 2, 2022

Meta Maus

 I'm looking at the possibility of teaching 11th grade next year, which is American Lit here in NC, and I immediately wanted to teach Maus.  I remember liking it very much when I read it last (years and years ago - I'm old), but could not put my hands on a copy here at school.  My wife, wonderful person that she is, found vol.1 and vol. 2 and picked them up for me when we were at the beach.


I was excited and even more so when I realized that I had only ever read the first volume.  The second volume - WOW! but there is so much on that front that I will save it for another time.  Anyway, as I was reading through and trying to find some background information to add to my pool to teach from, I learned there was a quite extensive behind the scenes book done by the author on the whole project called Meta Maus.


It is a large book that has a DVD-R with recordings and stuff too.  I immediately went to try and buy it thinking if I was lucky, it might run around $50.  Boy was I wrong.  Let's try $389.99 on Amazon.com.

I did find some cheaper, but the cheapest English version I could find was around $149, which is too much for me.  I tried finding online versions, anything I could to get it affordably, but to no avail until I saw it on a textbook site for $32.  I must have gotten the last one, because I was going to put the link here for you, but it no longer exists - however, Amazon is currently selling a used one for $40 that they were not when I was looking the first time.

What is the point?  If you have not read Maus yet, DO IT.  If you teach Maus and want to get more behind the scenes from the author, then bide you time and keep looking until you find a use copy that is affordable.  It is easily worth $40.

And, just because the author mentioned it in Meta Maus, for your viewing pleasure, here is a website that showcases cats that look like Hitler.


If you teach Maus, I would love to talk to you about it.  Either reply or shoot me an email at extremeenglishteacher @ gmail.com!


Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Senior Skip Day

 Ah!  That magical time is upon us (may have already come and gone for you) when all the seniors disappear leaving your classroom lonely and quiet!  It's the most wonderful time of the year and my second favorite holiday (right after Free Comic Book Day which is coming soon!).




I always have about two or three seniors that show up on these days and since it is during research paper time, we just use it to work on the paper.  One thing I do do with them is a Kahoot! I made just about this special day.  I'll be glad to share it with you here:

https://create.kahoot.it/share/senior-skip-day/28bf027d-6474-485b-b413-14c2ffabb123

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

CCG Buzz

 

A while back, I showed you a classroom buzzer website called Cosmo Buzz. I like it and the guy who created it is super helpful.  Unfortunately, my school Internet filter (placed on my computer for my safety by the all powerful IT department in my district) doesn't like it.

My DLC shared with us a different site called CCG Buzz.

Start by going here: https://ccg.buzz/host/ and enter in your game name.


This will generate a game code that students will need to enter.  Students then go to http://ccg.buzz/ and enter the code and their name.  They can also enter a team name along with their actual name if that fits your purposes.


They just hit the big circle on their screen.  Red is unbuzzed and green shows buzzed in.Once you open it up for buzzes, it lists the names of your students in order that they buzzed in.



It's nice and simple.  You can keep track of points if you are keeping score.  You may also want to vary it up a bit since the same three kids will constantly buzz in as fast as they can by doing it the radio station way - I'm taking buzzer buzzer 5 this time!




Wednesday, April 13, 2022

The Thesis Statement

My class is in full research paper mode and my class is about to work on their thesis statement today.



I have, for the past several years, relied on this video, which is not mine, to help my regular ed students to understand what it is all about.  Thought I would share it with you.


I also pair it with this worksheet I made using the concepts of the video.  


Happy research paper writing, folks!


Thursday, April 7, 2022

Can Your Students Survive the Zombie Apocalypse?

 


This activity is not mine, but rather came from the big, juicy, delicious braaaiiiinnnnnssssss of Rob Bowman & Molly Fleming Schauer.  To my knowledge, it is an activity they willingly shared.  The person I got it from got it from another person. I could not find it on Teacher-Pay-Teachers either.  If you know these individuals or know that they sell this activity, let me know, please, so I can take it down.

I did modify it slightly to fit my classroom needs.

The idea is to get your students to write a paragraph on how to survive the zombie apocalypse.  The student is able to take one person they know with them, two objects from their house, and declare a destination where they are headed to survive.  The students must explain why that person will help them survive and what is it about those two objects that will help them survive.  The location also needs to be thought out and explained how it will help the student survive longer than their classmates.

At this point, the students should then get into groups of three or so and decide which paragraph has the best chance of survival.  Give that student some prize.  The group will then clean up the paragraph, fix the grammar errors, and fix the holes in the survival plan.  Each group will then either present their paragraph to you, the class, or some crack panel of judges you assembled from asking other teachers or admin staff (it's a good lesson to do while being observed and make the ap a part of the judge crew).

I have two versions of it.  The first is closest to the original and is designed for AP Lang (fun practice in arguing a point).

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1am4nBKgphcPRANKaMIZMRyDEIluV_IQm2wSDk6KoUQc/edit#slide=id.ge7646c84f0_1_2

The second link is for a regular ed class.  You can use either one for an honors class.  The regular ed one just extends the time allowed to compose the paragraph and gives more guidance to the number of sentences needed for each section.  I know there are differing opinions on guided writing, so if you don't like it, remove that text box.  Personally, my students need the extra guidance.

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/16pLWKH4M8svcogSUyqZ6FspYs8Kx44SgWVuNmfSo_dY/edit#slide=id.ge7646c84f0_1_2  


This is great to help students understand giving supporting details.  The genius of it is that it will work on almost all age groups.  The original was designed for AP Language and Composition.  However, I mention the idea to my 6th grade daughter (who is not into zombies in the slightest) and she got excited about figuring out who and what she would take.  The she started texting her friends who all got into and tried to be the one who came up with a better solution.  I somehow became the judge when they couldn't decide if something was "doable" or not.  These sixth graders were spending their time thinking out the situation and supporting their assertions like champs.  I may be a bit biased, but I do think my daughter came up with the best location - a high school. Her thought - easy to block off hallways to prevent zombies from getting in, plenty of room, food supplies in the cafeteria, and medical supplies already in the nurse's office.

I can't wait to try it out on my seniors.

Monday, March 28, 2022

Add Some Old Scottish Words to Your Vocabulary!

 This is one of those images I found on the phone and sent to my email so I wouldn't forget it and have, of course, forgotten the source!  But it is too good to go to waste, so here are some Scottish words to add in your class for all of you who are British literature teachers!


Now, I've heard and used eejit before (not in my class, of course - well, not out loud, at least) and I am certainly going to have to add Wheesht! into my repertoire.  

It's Spring Break for me, so see you next week!

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Plato: The Republic

One of the text books approved by the College Board for AP Language and Composition is Jay Henrichs's Thank You for Arguing: What Aristotle, Lincoln, and Homer Simpson Can Teach Us about the Art of Persuasion.  You can get your own copy here.

In the second chapter ("2. Set Your Goals: Cicero's Lightbulb"), he mentions a 1974 National Lampoon issue that has a parody of Plato's Republic. That set me down a rabbit hole to find it.  Surely it had to be somewhere on the World Wide Web, right?

After some digging, I finally found The Internet Archive's download of the ENTIRE run of National Lampoon.  I didn't particularly want the entire run, but it was an all of nothing thing.  So I spent the 6 hours downloading this file so that I could get a total of 6 pages of comic.  The issue it appears in is their Stupid Issue.


Once I read the parody mentioned, I was rather disappointed.  I figured I might find some use for in my class, but I just might not be high-brow enough for the humor.  Maybe if I liked Plato more.  

So I figured that somewhere out there, there was someone who was using this book for their AP Lang class and they were curious about the comic.  So, to that end, here is only the comic:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XEnbr2MetwmfAiHl2bgKFq-J4B_kHqyjVSLK0FiPjUA/edit?usp=sharing

And here is where you can download the entire run if you are so inclined:

https://archive.org/details/NationalLampoon_201812


Whichever you decide to do, have fun with it!  And if you find a way to make use of that in your class, I would certainly like to hear it!  That was a lot of work for nothing!  :)

Monday, March 14, 2022

Shameless Plug: Formal Emails and Cover Letter Writing

 Here's are two lessons that:

  • Give students ready-to-use skills in real life
  • Are easy to grade
  • Can each be done in a day  
  • Can each be left with a substitute
What is it?



It's a bundle pack of two of my more popular lessons.  The presentations can be set in SLIDESHOW mode and the students can walk themselves through it or you can go through it as a class.  It's simple and both are skills students (and I know some faculty that could use a lesson in email writing) will need as they end their high school years and move on to the "real world".

You can get it here:

Don't need both?  Then you can get them separately: 

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

The Medusa Exam

Here's something for a little fun for you and your students in mythology.


Read my thrilling background prose here, or scroll down to take a quiz yourself and/or have a quick assignment for your students.

Several years ago, I stumbled upon the Medusa exam, a national exam for students of Greek and Roman mythology.  I was sad to see that the date of the exam was in February or March, which didn't fit the time frame for my block schedule.  So I noticed that they had several previous exams for free downloads on their web page and I used those in my class.  We said that every question answered correctly meant a gorgon was slain and they competed on the various exams to see who could kill the most gorgons, with the winners getting their name on my wall for all posterity and the not-so-winners getting inducted into the Gorgon Preservation Society.


It appears that the National Mythology Exams has swallowed the Medusa Exam like Cronus taking care of his children (too soon?), so you can go there to sign up your class.  It looks like they now make it so the test can be taken at any time during the year, so that is something I'll be looking into for my class.  And while they do have recent years as review material, they do not go back as far as they use when I discovered them in the mid-2000s.

So, since I have a student TA this year and not enough to keep him busy, I decided now was the time to start putting those old quizzes in a digital format.  So I pulled out the 4th annual test (2000) put him to work on Quizizz.  They are all multiple choice questions (50 in total), so it was an easy (yet time consuming) task.

Want to take the quiz yourself and see how you would do?  I have one open just for you that will stay open until March 21st.  https://quizizz.com/join?gc=45053989

Feel free to talk trash to the other teachers in the comments section!

Want to use it as a fun mythology activity in your class? (useful if you are teaching The Odyssey, a mythology class, or just have students who are Percy Jackson buff)?  Here it is: https://quizizz.com/admin/quiz/62223c8ba69b2c001dfddd87


Saturday, March 5, 2022

Looking for a Little Help

 Hey fellow Extreme Teachers!  I have spent the majority of my teaching career reaching the regular level and inclusion classes.  I find myself in a situation where I will most likely be teaching AP Lang next year.  I know I'll need to go and get certified this summer, but until then, I would love any advice and text book recommendations from those who have taught this course.

Just send them to this email address: extremeenglishteacher@gmail.com

You guys rock!



Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Teach Adverbs and Puns with Tom Swifties

Starting around 1911 and moving on through the decades, there have been a series of books about a young hero named Tom Swifty,  Judging by the covers, I'd say they look pretty awesome!




And they are still being produced today.


I also love that despite the many, many writers over the last century, most of these books list Victor Appleton (or Victor Appleton II) as the author.

Now good old Victor went out of his way to avoid saying the same word for 'said' - to the point where his bending around it attracts more attention than the diving seacopter or whatever cool device Tom is using.  Here's an account from Tom Swift and his Airship:


"Oh, I'm not a professor," he said quickly. "I'm a professional balloonist, parachute jumper. Give exhibitions at county fairs. Leap for life, and all that sort of thing. I guess you mean my friend. He's smart enough for a professor. Invented a lot of things. How much is the damage?"

 "No professor?" cried Miss Perkman indignantly. "Why I understood from Miss Nestor that she called some one professor."

"I was referring to my friend, Mr. Swift," said Mary. "His father's a professor, anyhow, isn't he, Tom? I mean Mr. Swift!"

 "I believe he has a degree, but he never uses it," was the lad's answer.

"Ha! Then I have been deceived! There is no professor present!" and the old maid drew herself up as though desirous of punishing some one. "Young ladies, for the last time, I order you to your rooms," and, with a dramatic gesture she pointed to the scuttle through which the procession had come.

 "Say something, Tom — I mean Mr. Swift," appealed Mary Nestor, in a whisper, to our hero. "Can't you give some sort of a lecture? The girls are just crazy to hear about the airship, and this ogress won't let us. Say something!"

"I — I don't know what to say," stammered Tom.


Step aside, Mr. Shakespeare!

Over time, the stretch to not just say 'He said" got too funny and people started making puns using the way he said something as the joke.  These are called Tom Swifties.  Here are a few that I picked up over the years:

"This boat is leaking," said Tom balefully.            

"..." said Tom blankly.

"I need a pencil sharpener," said Tom bluntly.

"I think I'll use a different font," said Tom boldly.

"Rowing hurts my hands," said Tom callously.

"My nightlight went out,” said Tom darkly.

"I can no longer hear anything," said Tom deftly.

"There power’s out at school!" said Tom delightedly.

"Now I can do some painting," said Tom easily.

"I'm about to hit the golf ball," Tom forewarned.

"We have no oranges," Tom said fruitlessly.

"For what we are about to receive, may the Lord make us truly thankful," said Tom gracefully.

"I only have diamonds, clubs and spades," said Tom heartlessly.

"I've gained thirty pounds," said Tom heavily.

"Nay!" said Tom hoarsely.

"Boy, that's an ugly hippopotamus!" said Tom hypocritically.

“I see," said Tom icily.

"That little devil didn't tell the truth," Tom implied.         


They're fun and a great way to teach both the pun and the adverb.  Have your students come up with their own!  Then, once they truly get the concept of the adverb, you can break the news to them that they can pretty much just get rid of most of them in their writing!  :)


I still want to know that that aquatomic tracker does!



Now I must give credit to Wikipedia for that bit of selection of text.  I was having a difficult time putting my hands on a copy of the book.

Friday, February 25, 2022

Lord of the Flies Lesson Plan

 A friend of mine shared this with me this morning so I thought I would pass it along.  It is going to be my new lesson plan for Lord of the Flies this year!



The comic comes from The Jenkins Comics blog.


If you don't teach this book, consider it.  It is a great book to get struggling and reluctant readers into, though you will need to probably skip a chapter here or there to keep them from losing focus.  The symbolism is over the top, so many of them get that "A-ha!" moment when they finally understand what symbolism is all about.  Plus, the characters of Jack, Ralph, and Piggy resonant with the students. 


While you are at it, if you teach Lord of the Flies, try out my interactive survival game at the EET Store.


Monday, February 21, 2022

Quick Reading Aloud Tip

 Reading aloud is an important modeling tool for teaching non-readers how good readers read.  When it comes to reading dialogue, you may want to avoid reading different voices if the character is a different gender or race than you as it could be seen as mocking, stereotypical, or insensitive.


So does that mean it you can't differentiate between voices?  Of course not.  


One trick is the direction in which you read.  For instance, I was just reading today the dialogue between Christopher and Mrs. Alexander in the park in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.  When Christopher spoke, I looked to the left.  When Mrs. Alexander spoke, I looked to the right side of the classroom.  When neither of them spoke, I aimed my voice right down the middle of the class.  It is a nifty trick for giving a difference between voices and I do not have to point out that I am doing that with the kids. 

It's a small thing with big results.


If you have any reading aloud tips, please share them int he comments!

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Teaching Inference with "The Chaser" by John Collier

John Collier has an excellent short story for teaching inference to high school students.  It is called, "The Chaser."

You can get a copy of it here: https://eerdalsblg.files.wordpress.com/2019/03/the_chaser-collier.pdf

If you've never read the story, do so now.  It won't take you long.  I'll wait.



I like to put groups in teams and let them read it together and figure out why  the glove cleaner does.  The story is short (the version I found above has it in three pages, but the hard copy of the one I use in class is one page front and back) which is important to me.  I need my works short so we can focus on the matter at hand.

The story itself is fun. Now, when you or I read the story, we immediately see how this old man is setting up the younger man.  We understand that this "love" he will experience can only be solved with the "glove cleaner", but the students don't.  Especially 9th and 10th graders.  They struggle. 

So I let them try and figure it out as a competition.  The first group to figure it out gets a prize (homework passes or team points).  The second group gets a little less. The third group a little less.

I also have hints that they can buy with their team points (but you can maybe use something else if you aren't playing a game in your class).

How long will it take?  Well, it depends on how good your students are.  I always have a homework assignment that they should work on while waiting for the other teams to finish.  It usually takes about 30 minutes total, but I've had it last for over 45 minutes before.

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

There's a Big Sale Going on at Teacher-Pay-Teachers!

Hey guys!  Teacher-Pay-Teachers is throwing a big sale today and tomorrow.  Extreme English Teacher is participating.  It's your chance to get lessons, units, and activities for 20% off!  There is no better place to start than the EET store, so here's the link:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Extreme-English-Teacher


Just use promo code FEBSALE22

Or, here's your chance to try some of the EET store's best and save a little money while doing so:

And while you're there, don't forget to follow me and leave a review!

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

One Idea to Get Kids to Volunteer to Read Aloud More

 I deal with seniors who, for the most part, hate to read.  Many struggle.  We do some reading aloud in class because my intonation helps them to follow and if I can get them interested in the book, they are more likely to try to read on their own when that time comes.

However, I do like for them to take part in the reading aloud.  That is not an easy task.  I usually have at least one person who will volunteer, but I want variety.  

What doesn't work - calling a kid out to read.  The stress level for some of these kids are through the roof as it is.  Adding the random picking of kids will increase that.  You are likely to see your most shy students suddenly need to use the bathroom and mysteriously stay out for an extended period of time.


So, I combat this in two ways.  First, near the beginning of the semester, I tell them that one of my jobs to teach reading comprehension, but to do that, I need to know that my students can, in fact, read.  The only way I know for certain that a student can read is hearing words from a page come out of their mouths.  This is the point where my students who are scared to read show it all over their faces.  Then I say, "But I know that the ability to read well and the ability to read aloud well are two different things."  I go on to poke fun of the things that we all do from time to time when we read aloud - stumble on an easy word - read the same line twice - skip a line - etc.  So I tell them that I need to hear everyone read once and we are all likely to make those mistakes along the way, which is perfectly fine.  I then tell them that all I need is one sentence.  They will read just the first sentence of the paragraph.  That's it.  It's my compromise with them.  I give them a fairly easy story like this prose version of "The Wife of Bath's Tale" and we start to read.  I read the first paragraph and starting with the second paragraph, each student (I go down row by row so that they can get ready) each student reads the first sentence.  I finish the paragraph.  

Why does that work?  Well, even the scared students usually find that one sentence is OK and not too much to ask.  Plus, since everyone is doing it, they feel like they are not being singled out.  That's much more important than you might would think.

What happens if someone refuses to read?  I have only had that happen twice and it was in the same class.  Don't make a fuss about it.  I tell them that they need to see me after class and move on.  When they see me, I want to find out what the issue is.  In my case, it was two students who could speak English just fine, but had never learned to read it.  That was important knowledge for me to have that they would never have volunteered.  

After that, I try to only pick volunteers.  Since they have already read once, it is a little easier to get them to volunteer (and I never ask for a lengthy volunteer read and usually allow them to stop when they are ready to stop).  

So what's the other way to get them to read? Bribery.


Well, with team points.  We play a game in class and teams can earn points.  One way to is to volunteer to read aloud in class.  Works pretty well.


If you have any tried and true methods to get students to read, leave them in the comments!

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Anglo-Saxon Riddles, Cheating, and The Hobbit

I love taking on Anglo-Saxon riddles in class.  I'm sure you already know these and what these are, but I have a tiny bit of a twist in mine.  

I like to use them as our first competition.  We break into teams and play a game through the first quarter.  Teams win and lose points for various things along the way.  The first competition is this presentation:

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1vciEzmHmeE9yOCbAijSymo4M_PaqFmXzz2zYxcgRGEU/copy


I have seven Anglo-Saxon riddles on the slides presentation.  At this point, we have already talked about Beowulf and so I explain to them that we have very little from the Anglo-Saxon period since most works were written and stored in monasteries, which were often burned by raiding Norsemen and those that survived had a difficult time making it past King Henry VIII's monastery burning phase.  We have some poems (which I just cannot subject my students to - if you like those poems, more power to you!), one surviving copy of Beowulf, and riddles.

The problem I ran into was that when competing, students would often quickly type the first few words into their phone and find the answer.  So I have altered these.  Wasn't sure that would do it at first, but there you go.  For all intents and purposes, they are pretty much the same as you would find on any web site, but the slight alterations seems to have squashed the kids looking for the quick answer.


If I have time, I often try to work in the "Riddles in the Dark" passage from The Hobbit, which is taken from this idea.  Watching the scene from the movie works well, or the cartoon if you are mean.  I also give those who are into it a chance to see the original chapter.


If you ever read the book, unless you have one of the first printings, you have a revised edition.  Maybe you read the introduction where Tolkien says that he didn't write the book, just found the works and translated it.  He goes on to say that he had to make changes because he discovered that Bilbo had lied about his initial encounter with the ring.

What happened was that the original had Bilbo having just as much as a happy-go-lucky time in the cave as pretty much everywhere else in the adventure.  When he went to write The Lord of the Rings, he needed to make the ring a bit more dark, so he changed this chapter.

If you want to read the original, you can find a side-by-side comparison of the two chapters with the different parts highlighted in blue.  http://www.ringgame.net/riddles.html

Thursday, January 20, 2022

The Daily Dose

The Short:

If you could use some simple, quick reading comprehension questions that gets updated daily, go here!

http://dailyeoc.blogspot.com/

The Long:

When I switched schools about 15 years ago, I was hired specifically to work with kids who were destined to not pass the English I EOC.  For those of you not in North Carolina, an EOC is just our state exams.  Students need a 3 out of 4 to pass it and my students were predicted to make a 1 (based on previous state tests from elementary and middle school).  I did have a few 2s.  My principal flat out told me when he hired me that my job was to get these kids to pass the test.

Back then, if you failed the state exam, you failed the entire course.  Lots of pressure for kids who struggle with reading.  Lots of pressure for the new(ish) teacher.  I started looking for samples, test specs, etc. and ran into a brick wall. I managed to pick up a few scraps from here to there.

I also realized that having the kids read a whole passage was one task and having them figure out how to answer a reading comprehension was a completely different task.  The biggest problem with the second task was that I was struggling to get them to complete the first task.

So I started writing short reading passages on the white board with multiple choice questions.  Super short reading passages.  Super super short reading passages.  That way we could spend time focusing on how to break down that question, how that literary term worked, etc.

But I'm lazy.  It's rule #1 in my class.

Ok, there is a story behind the "Lord Alford" thing that I do not have time to get into now.  Maybe later.


I didn't want to have to keep writing those on the board.  So I began putting it on a blog so that I would have it year after year.  Then I realized that other teachers were finding it and using it because there was just NO RESOURCES FOR THE STINKING NCEOC! 

The test has changed, somewhat.  It is now in the 10th grade (poor kids who had to make that transition and get it two years in a row) and students no longer need to pass it to be promoted.  I also no longer teach the test, but I have decided to keep the blog going.

Over the years I have had quite a few people tell me they are happy that the blog is there.  Some shoot me emails when I forget to update it (I do it in chunks, recycling the questions each semester), and some who have sent me questions to add to the mix (I love those teachers!).  I also have quite a few that have seen fit to get mad at me because they didn't like the answer or do not like the daily format because they wanted to find one specific question or other.  People like to complain. I also got reported to my principal, superintendent, and state superintendent for "teaching to the test" by some person I've never met, but that's a story for a different time too.

So, take some time to enjoy the questions (or send me a nasty email about the way I am doing it), make some of your own and share it, or have your kids create some themselves and share with me the good ones to be immortalized forever and ever.

http://dailyeoc.blogspot.com/


Friday, January 14, 2022

Shameless Plug - Curious Incident of the Dog Chapter-by-Chapter Breakdown and Unit Bundle Pack

 New product on the Extreme English Teacher Store!


There is no book that I have found that generates student interest than The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. You know the students I teach - seniors who have given up on the thought of enjoying a book, struggling with reading, generally ready to be done with school to start a life that will never ask you to find the symbolism in that chapter - yet, this book has them reading ahead on their own time, jumping into class discussion, and getting passionate in class.  If you don't know why you should be teaching this book, read this and come back.  I'll wait.

What I have done is to break down this book chapter-by-chapter.  This is not a book summary. This is a guide to how to teach it.  Each chapter has my what-to-look for moments, what to emphasize, a heads up on what may throw off a student, how long it takes to read it aloud, which chapters work best read aloud, and along the way, I throw in fourteen activities - some in class, some for students to do on their own.  The students will immerse themselves into the games that Christopher plays, find the constellation he looks at, make predictions, read parts, and learn a quite a bit about how to treat others who are different.

It is exactly how I have taught this book for years, tweaking and adding along the way.  If you teach high school kids, especially ones who do not believe reading can be an enjoyable experience, YOU NEED TO TEACH THIS BOOK!  And this guide will help you to do it.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/EET-Chapter-by-Chapter-Guide-for-Curious-Incident-of-the-Dog-in-the-Night-Time-7621144


And, in case you want the whole deal, you can get the Unit pack that includes:

  • Chapter-by-Chapter Guide (with the 14 activities)
  • Pre-Reading Activity
  • Questions for every chapter
  • Tests (both paper and online)



Thursday, January 6, 2022

Teacher Needs a Drink

 I'm at the end of my semester about to head into exams, so pardon the lull in posts, but I thought I would share with you a podcast I found recently for teachers.


These guys take a no-nonsense approach to talking about their careers.  They love being teachers, but do not hold back on things that might be frustrating.  If you want to extend that camaraderie you have with your hall-mates or English department, then give this podcast a listen to!

https://teacherneedsadrinkpodcast.com/  


Below is the blurb that plays at the beginning of each podcast to give you an idea of what they are all about.