First, let's get acquainted. I'm Melissa, mommy to 3, wife to Scott, English teacher, book lover, TPT teacher-author, sun worshipper, wine drinker...you're starting to get the idea. I'm lucky to live in sunny Southern California, Surf City, USA, to be exact, and when I'm not creating engaging classroom resources, you can find me on the beach or at the river.
I've been teaching since 2000, after I graduated from the University of Miami with my degree in English literature and secondary ed., and my teaching credential. Remember I said I was a sun-worshipper -- well, that was a huge part of my college-choosing process and Miami fit the bill! I've worked in both junior high and high school settings, but I'm going on my 11th year teaching at my current high school, where I teach freshman and junior English, as well as inclusion classes. I also have a master's degree in educational administration, but I don't see me leaving the classroom for awhile - teenagers are too fun to work with! Plus, there's no way I'm ready to leave my class library behind for a small admin office!
|Wouldja just look at all these books!! LOVE!|
Books! Now there's a subject I could go on and on about, but for now, let's narrow it down. Asking an English teacher to pick a favorite book is like asking a fashionista to pick her favorite pair of shoes...it's nearly impossible! So here are a few of my favorites in different categories: for personal reading, I've loved Beach Music, Me Before You, and Leaving Time. For reading to my boys, I've enjoyed Charlotte's Web, The One and Only Ivan, and Wonder (and I can't wait to start reading Harry Potter together). To teach, I love To Kill a Mockingbird, The Hunger Games, and Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. And to recommend to teenagers, I love anything John Green, the Maze Runner series, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, and my absolute favorite, All the Bright Places. Because I have such a large class library (the picture above is from my old room. My new class has an office that I've converted to a library), and I read and recommend so many YA books to my students, they are willing to trust my choices and end up enjoying many of the same books that I do.
When school starts up, I like to do a quick getting to know you activity right away, something that is low-risk and fun, yet doesn't put the new students on the spot. This year, I'll be doing an this FREE getting to know you activity, where students will create an instagram post about one fun activity they did over the summer. They can add a short summary and hashtags to sum up the fun. This is easy and fun, and makes for a great Back to School bulletin board. Once a few days have gone by and students feel more comfortable in class (my little freshmen in particular), I like them to complete this focus-finding essay that tells me lots about who they are as people. Plus, it's super informative and thought-provoking for the students.
How ever you start your new school year, I hope that it's one of your best ever. Now, don't forget to stop by the rest of the Literary League's blogs and check out their awesome ideas!