Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tried It Tuesday {Gatsby Party}

Holla for Thanksgiving break! So excited I have the rest of this week off, even if I do have some research papers to grade.

I have not done a Tried It Tuesday for awhile, so I decided to link up today.

As I've mentioned before, I am reading Gatsby with my juniors. We just finished chapter 3, which is the big party scene. Browsing TpT, I came across this awesome freebie to reenact that party scene AND work on textual evidence. Thanks to Hannah at Teach and Create for this great idea!

Each student receives a card with either a character name and quote or a description and quote. For instance, it may say "You are Jordan Baker" and give a quote that she said in that chapter. Or it might say "You know a fact about Gatsby" and state a fact from that chapter. Each student gets what I call a BINGO card with 12 squares that they need to fill in by mingling with guests at this party. So one box might say "Find Owl Eyes and ask him about Gatsby's library" and then you have to find the person who has the Owl Eyes card and record what they tell you.

It being the last day before break and all, I decided to turn it into a full-blown party. I gave a couple extra credit points if students brought refreshments. I went in with another teacher and bought a bunch of 1920s accessories that we wore, like fedoras, mustaches, bow ties, feather boas, etc. I stuck a picture of Leo on my door as Jay Gatsby and had him say, "Come on in, old sport," which my girls loved. I played the early jazz station on Pandora and we had ourselves a party!

I did take pics, but don't want to post their faces online. But they were having a great time! AND they actually all did the activity too and turned in their fully completed sheets by the end of class.

A couple of my classes were messier than others. I did have a lot of cleaning up to do, but that is expected when you throw a party with 30 teenagers. Overall, they handled it very well, and I would definitely do it again.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Tornado Victim Relief

I am taking a break from teaching-related topics to blog about something near and dear to my heart: a town just 10 miles from us got almost completely decimated by an EF-4 tornado yesterday

I just drove through this town less than 24 hours prior to this, and many people I went to college with and know live here. Some of them have lost everything. Neighborhoods are completely leveled. Somehow, only one fatality has been reported.

We had no idea yesterday that it was this bad. I blogged yesterday as we sat downstairs with a tornado warning. I had heard one touched down in a nearby town, but at first it sounded like it was out in the country with no homes nearby. It wasn't until we came back upstairs and hopped on the news and Facebook that pictures like these started circulating, and we realized the true extent of the horror.

My heart breaks for these families who have lost all their possessions and are starting over again, as well as for the family of the one person who was killed. I was definitely very grateful last night, as I went to sleep with a roof over my head and a nice, warm house to wake up in. You see images like this on TV or in movies, but it isn't REAL until it hits this close to home.

If you are at all interested in helping out, the Red Cross says what they need most right now is financial donations.

You can go here  and where it says "make this donation in honor of an event," type in Central Illinois Tornado Relief.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

A Peek at my Week {Nov. 18-22}

I am linking up with Mrs. Laffin for a Peek at my Week.

I am typing this from the basement because there is a tornado on the ground in a nearby city. Scary stuff! Is this spring or late fall?

One more full week before a break for Thanksgiving. I cannot WAIT! And the kids can't either. So here's what's coming up this week.

1. My juniors are turning in their final research essays tomorrow (these are the ones that were on topics related to the 1920s). So this means I will spend my entire week grading....and grading....and grading. I want to get them all done and returned (all 70 of them) before we leave for Thanksgiving.

2. That means we are on to my favorite unit in English III-GATSBY! 

We will start with an introductory Power Point tomorrow and then jump right in to reading and discussing. I'll be sharing some of the cool things we're doing with Gatsby as we go.

3. My seniors are also finishing up their final presentations for The Lovely Bones. They are working in groups on Prezis, researching related topics to the novel (like crime scene investigation, cultural views of the afterlife, etc) and applying them to the book. They will present these Thursday and Friday.

So what's on tap for your week?

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Wut. November Currently

Man, the new month totally snuck up on me. I feel like once Nov. hits, the holiday season is officially underway. This stresses me out lol.

Linking up with Farley 

Listening to nothing this morning. We are getting ready to head back to our hometown for the weekend, and I'm downstairs Inter-webbing while my husband gets ready upstairs.

Loving that it currently looks like fall with beautiful colors and leaves falling. Hating that this means raking.

Thinking about our upcoming trip...we are visiting family and friends this weekend and I'm so excited to see friends I haven't seen in two years!

I want (and need) a massage. STAT.

I also actually need a new winter coat, but those things are wicked expensive.

A yummy pin...

I saw this on Pinterest awhile back from Overtimecook.com and think it looks delicious. I don't really cook, though, so that's a problem!