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1st year teacher panic--10th grade ELA
Old 12-02-2013, 08:06 PM
 
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It's my first year teaching and I accepted a long-term sub job at a large comprehensive high school. It's been a struggle as it would be for any teacher, but I've received little support from colleagues or administrators (I guess it's understandable since I'm not permanent, but I'm really isolated and confused and spiraling into a deep depression because I spend most of my day thinking about how I could teach and nothing comes to me..I start at ground zero every night and struggle every day). In this unit I have to guide students to create a narrative (to convey a "complex idea") . We only have 14 days left in this unit. I am struggling just to get most 10th graders to simply write. Today I had them write a story together by exchanging and writing the middle for eachother--kids were more engaged than what I was used to seeing, but I don't know where to go from here. I'm supposed to be teaching a skill in the rubric every day but I simply don't know how. Most of this time I've been reading short stories with them and having them take notes about what the author is doing. There's a part in the rubric that says "engage and orient the reader by creating a smooth progression of experiences"--I don't know how I'd plan a lesson around this...my fall back is always looking at mentor texts that do and do not do this...but that doesn't translate to students doing it themselves. I don't know if I should have them writing something new every day or adding to a story they're working on...this seems unlikely since so many students have trouble writing. My lessons aren't engaging at all and have mostly been trial and error...I'm lost, kids are confused, and management is a nightmare as a result. Does anyone have ideas or resources for someone who has never taught a unit on narrative writing? Thanks in advance.


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Plot diagram
Old 12-03-2013, 05:42 PM
 
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Progression in a narrative would come from developing a plot first and then adding details to describe the events as they unfold.
A few ideas for managing the process may be as simple as having your students develop a plot diagram, develop their characters with details and characteristics. I wouldn't let them draft until they know for sure that their narrative has a clear beginning, middle, and end.
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Old 12-04-2013, 04:45 PM
 
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Thank you MrsPic! I think I will try having them fill out elements on a plot chart..problem wirh many kids is getting them to even think of an idea..
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Then start small...
Old 12-04-2013, 07:34 PM
 
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Have them write one simple sentence.
Then show them this website and have them expand their simple sentence.

http://www.telescopictext.com/

Tap on the grey boxes.
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Old 12-04-2013, 09:03 PM
 
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Cool website, thanks!


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You are not alone
Old 12-17-2013, 05:25 PM
 
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I am on the same boat as you, except I teach math so I apologize in advance for not having any advice on writing. I try to remind myself everyday is a new day. Classroom management is a nightmare for me. Just remind yourself, these people are busy too, but have you tried reaching out to anyone? They might not know how you are feeling. I do not think I have been doing a good job asking for help, I keep to myself too much at my school worried that people will label my a struggling first year teacher. But truth is, I am struggling! I don't think it is normal for first year teachers NOT to struggle...which is unfortunate that education is this way. We are still in the disillusionment phase. When I am unsure about a contact, I try to ask others but even then...it's hard for me to even try and implement it because I don't know what to expect.
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step out of the perfectionism trap
Old 01-14-2014, 07:30 AM
 
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Rather than focusing on what you are "supposed" to be doing, meet your students where they are.

If they're struggling just to write, have them write about themselves and their lives.

As they write, move around to offer students individualized help. I've found this works a lot better than whole-group instruction, especially when it comes to writing. Think of it like this: if someone got in front of you and told you how to fix a car, could you do it after? For most of us, the answer is no. We'd need to get in there and do it and then have someone come alongside to help and correct errors as we're working.

Also, use graphic organizers to help students brainstorm and organize their ideas ahead of time. This helps A LOT.
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