2014-15 Symbols Board

For many years, I’ve been asking my students to share themselves with me and their classmates through a collage activity that I make into a bulletin board. They make the card with at least one symbol that represents themselves, then present the card to the class as an introduction. A lot of them get very colorful and creative!

If you’d like to see older versions, here are a few:
2009-10
2008-09 (and the most creative card winners that year)
2007-08

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Symbols of Us: The 2009-10 Edition!

I’ve been using this activity for several years, and they just keep getting more and more creative!!

One reason for this is probably that, every year, I have more samples to share, both here on my website and inside my magical symbols-card box. The day that I assigned these I spread my previous students’ cards all across a table and let everyone take some time ooh-ing and aah-ing over them.

You can see the last couple of years’ boards here and here. (As you can see, I’ve recycled the letters and the border from room to room and year to year.)

And, without further ado, I present you C106’s Symbols of Us board:

Symbols Board overall
Symbols Board top left
Symbols Board top right
Symbols Board bottom left
Symbols Board bottom right

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NaPoWriMo #3

Our prompt for day number 3 of National Poetry Month:

Prompt #3: April 3rd

Write a dramatic poem — tell someone else’s story.

The Theatre Guild presented their spring production this morning, so my 1st and 2nd periods were pretty much empty. Then, 5th and 6th periods were working on a critical-thinking activity in teams.

So, although the prompt was on the board, not many students until seventh period (our last of the day) actually paid much attention to it. One student shared the beginnings of hers with me, so maybe she’ll finish it up and post it here. =)

I still haven’t decided about posting prompts on the off-days, and I haven’t written a poem yesterday or today. Hrm. I guess I’ll just wait and see how I feel about it tomorrow.


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NaPoWriMo #2

For the second day of National Poetry Month, I put a new prompt on the board:

Prompt #2: April 2nd

Create a strong metaphor in a poem.

Okay, it’s not nearly as easy as yesterday’s prompt. I haven’t written anything from it yet, but I’ve been working on something concerning God, a flashlight, and Thomas Jefferson. (See if you can figure that one out with me. :P)

To illustrate the idea of metaphor in poetry, I read “Music is love” from beyondbee.com, and we talked about some unusual metaphors that could be.

I realized today when I was writing #2 on the board that we obviously will not have a prompt a day for the entire month of April in my classroom, since we’re never here on Saturdays and Sundays (D’oh!),and Spring Break is coming up the week after Easter (YESSS!).

Sooo I haven’t decided yet whether I’ll post a prompt every day regardless in hopes that some of my students will come by here, write, and contribute, or just stick to the school days…


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NaPoWriMo #1

One of our haiku boards

As many of you already know, yesterday was the first day of National Poetry Month.

And although I love to read and write (and teach) poetry, I’ve never done much to celebrate. This year, though, I almost signed up to write a poem a day over at Read Write Poem or at the Poets.org dedicated forum.

I ended up thinking better of it after remembering just how far behind I am in so many areas already (sending out materials to teachers, deciphering the ultra-modded shopping cart site I’ve taken on for a client, working on my hero and shadow panels for the graphic novel I’m contributing to, cleaning my house, updating two websites and creating that third one I’ve been imagining for months now…)

So I decided that I would, instead, offer up a poetry prompt to my students each school day and write poems from the prompts as much as I can or want to. Less pressure, right? :P

I let them know upfront that these writings are not mandatory and would not be graded, unless they became part of their extra-grade journals each Friday. But they could use them to present on Creative Mondays (which are also optional).

Well, I’m happy to report that our first prompt was a huge success!!

Prompt #1: April 1st

Write a haiku about spring. Remember that haiku is a three-line verse form with syllables per line of 5, 7, and 5.

I broke out the huge set of bright-colored white-board markers that I got for about $4 in our Home Depot close-out sale, and let the kids write and draw flowers all over one of my boards and the center of the other, as you can see above and below. My fifth period proved especially creative, as usual. :)

Another haiku board

Some of the haiku were really funny; others were more of the greeting-card variety. A few were silly, and one was completely slangified, but they were all appreciated!

My poem for the day:

The weather’s warming,
And excitement is rising.
Spring Break’s almost here!

Write your spring haiku in the comments below — or link to your own blog!!

#1 Haiku's!
Ooh, we won’t mention who added the apostrophe here. ;)


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Updates

  • 4/3/09 :: Added pictures of our colorful haiku boards. =)

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Student Work: Jekyll & Hyde Posters

My two advanced English 10 classes finished reading The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in the last couple of weeks, and I had them create posters rather than take a unit test.

They had more than a week and a half to work on them, but I didn’t give them much time at all during class. (Of course, they didn’t have any other homework, since we were watching the 1941 movie version of the story at the time…)

As usual, the work varied from simply-awesome to barely-there. I have sooo many ultra-creative sophomores this year, though, so they were definitely heavy on the high end!

I’ll post the rubric I used tomorrow (because I forgot to upload the updated version of it to my server and don’t have access to it at home), but each poster had to contain the title, author’s name, one quote with page number, artwork, a description of major characters, and a timeline of the story’s plot with at least ten events.

In retrospect, I wish I had made it clear that these were supposed to be what one of my college professors referred to as one-pagers and everything had to be fit within the framework of one side of one poster. Some students placed work on front and back, and a couple even filled two poster boards, front and back. Although these were great as far as the work and creativity, they don’t publish well…

Also, I wish I’d added a separate graded quality for “creativity,” as I have in past years. That would’ve given me some more leeway in separating the posters that obviously took a lot of time and effort from the ones that were mostly print-and-paste.

I had students present their posters at their desks. (They just had to stand up.) And when it was picture time, I gave them the option of being in the picture or not.

After the presentations in each class, I let students mill around the classroom (which I never do!!) and look more closely at their classmates’ work. Then, I asked them to vote for their top three choices for Best Poster. I tallied the votes (three points for a #1 vote, two points for a #2 vote, and one point for a #3 vote) and gave out extra credit coupons to the winners (15 points for 1st place, 10 points for 2nd place, and 5 points for 3rd place).

And, now, in the order they were taken, here are the Jekyll and Hyde posters!!

Jekyll & Hyde poster
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Jekyll & Hyde poster
Jekyll & Hyde poster
Jekyll & Hyde poster


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