Teaching Portfolio (And Back-To-School-FREEBIES!)

With the school year quickly approaching, I’ve spent the last 24 hours refreshing my teaching portfolio, reviewing standards, and making some new materials. I’m not in my own classroom |yet| BUT it’s never too early to work on stuff anyway!

I took a trip to Staples last night and bought a new binder, dividers, and page reinforcers. I have a blue and white obsession. Just a standard 1 inch. 13936820_10209894090494020_2047740475_n.jpgI then created a cover page. Being that I LOVE old literature, authors, and books, I decided to stick with that theme for my cover. My name, certification, and “teaching slogan” grace the front with a collection of beautiful, old, blue bound books.13884380_10209894089053984_1950627798_n.jpg

Here are some samples of what I have hiding INSIDE my portfolio. Obviously, not every page is shown, but you can see what was included in the table of contents.

Don’t forget the pretty dividers!13933534_10209894088933981_622815812_n.jpg

Now, I did promise some back-to-school-freebies. Sadly, I do not have free STUFF but I do have some free resources! Woo hoo! Feel free to download and use away!

1 The first freebie is a quick, easy way to assess students either during class or at the end as an exit slip. The front (first page) gives students the ability to self assess if they understand, sort of understand, or really don’t get it. The back (second page) gives them the chance to write down a specific question and their name. Simply print, copy 1 sided->2 sided, and cut between the boxes! How-are-you-doing

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2 This second one is very similar to the first. Instead of self-assessing understanding, this slip holds students accountable. If a student does not finish an in-class assignment, they will need to turn in this slip. If they turn it in filled out (honestly) partial credit or the opportunity to get extra time to finish. If it’s turned in without this sheet or not at all they get a 0. Harsh, but again, accountability. i-didnt-finish-because…

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I’m sure you noticed that the unit in my portfolio is Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. It is absolutely one of my FAVORITE pieces to teach, and I’ve been fortunate enough to have the chance to teach it 3 times between my pre-service and student teaching. All components have been tested, used, and enjoyed by many students! Again, feel free to use or adjust any pages as you see fit!

1 One of my intro activities to the unit is a scavenger hunt around the room to answer these questions- Shakespeare Scavenger Hunt Qs

2 Gives students the space to identify which side characters are on and their personality traits- RJ Character List

3 This is one of my favorite assignments. The first year, I had the students focus on characterization by creating “Fakebook” pages. My freshmen informed me no one uses that so I created the same assignment for Twitter.

4 To help them brainstorm for their Twitter assignments, each student was given a character cloud sheet to collect their thoughts. Character Cloud WKST

5 The following are the assignment hand out and rubric for the Twitter project. I copied them so they were on one page front/back. Romeo and Juliet Twitter handout  / rj twitter rubric

6 Twitter page sample done for Queen Elizabeth I –RJ Twitter GQB This second page is an extention of the first- Twitter pics page GQB

7 Blank Twitter can be used for any book-RJ Twitter Second part of the assignment page- Twitter pics page

What do you have in your portfolio? Any suggestions as far as what to add?

What resources would you like to have added? If you would like any more from my Romeo and Juliet, JUST ASK!

Follow me on Instagram @brunetteswithbrains to keep up with the latest posts, adventures, books and news!

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Finding an Old Friend

The title may be misleading. This is very metaphorical. Having been an English ed major, general book worm, and readaholic, an old friend to me is usually a good book. Though I’ve graduated I’ve been subbing everywhere and anywhere I can. Monday, I had the joy of being a librarian for the day. Sitting in a very nice middle school library, I got the itch to walk around and stretch my legs.

As I made my promenade through the shelves and around the room, I came across a dear friend. A friend that helped lead me to where I am today. A friend that I hadn’t seen in a number of years; that brought back all of the memories of the first time I saw it, all of the feelings of wonder and questions that I had.

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It’s part of the Royal Diaries series, the same people who do the Dear America books. Elizabeth I, Red Rose of the House of Tudor. I was fortunate enough to grow up 2 blocks away from the library. I read through the entire Princess Diaries series and the Dear America books. I’ve also read all of the Magic Treehouse books. Though I love them dearly, none of them compared to this. Something about this book struck a chord. Sitting on the front porch of our little house, in the sunshine of summer, I was infatuated.

Fast forward 16 years and now I’m teaching. I’ve taught freshmen about Queen Elizabeth I twice during pre-reading for Shakespeare. I’m preparing to take the history praxis. I am encouraging students to read, hoping that one of them will find “the book.” The one that turns their life upside down. The book that years after they have me, they’ll see on a shelf, or their own child will bring home, and they’ll remember. I hope they will think “I remember you, hello my dear, old, friend.”

Look At Me! I’m Organized!

STUDENT TEACHING HAS STARTED! Last week I got into my classroom for the semester. I have my own little desk, book-case and corner that’s ALL MINE! I can’t even begin to tell you all how excited I am and what it has taken to get here. Everything the last 4 years has led to this! I am in a wonderful school district, with a co-op that I LOVE.

Yesterday was my first day, and I finished moving in. Here is what my little corner looks like thus far.

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The front of my desk is rocking bead buddies and stained glass projects my summer school kids did this summer. If you can’t tell, the stained glasses are Beauty and the Beast themed.

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Recognize that pot? See how I made it HERE! Miss Swenda is written and facing front towards the students. “Called Equipped Prepared” is a reminder just for me! Cinderella’s glass slipper and the Disney princess cup are from a bridal shower I was at a few weeks ago.

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I am really proud of these drawers. Yes, I have an entire drawer of snacks. I have a schedule that gives me the ability to snack every few periods. I regret nothing. My other drawer holds my tea, binder clip collection, stationary, and other rando things.

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I have a nice little bookshelf to keep all of my stuff. Obviously, it’s full of classics and the majority of the Folger Shakespeare Library collection. My brother hooked me up with Dancing Groot and Albus Dumbledore and I certainly couldn’t leave them at home! Bob my Philadelphia Flyers Gnome has a place of love as well. One of the best things I learned from my previous co-op was unit binders. You can see the stack of them to the right of the above picture. For each unit, I have created a binder. Over the years I have and will continue to collect handouts, projects and general things to go with the different units. IMG_7189

The cool part of having a mom that has been working in schools for so long, is that she has some pretty fun decorations and ideas. Ma hooked me up with these cute little fall leaves. Together, we came up with “What Miss Swenda is reading…” The top leaf has the name of the book. The bottom leaf lists the author, genre, number of pages and style. I am currently reading Dracula by Bram Stoker. It falls into sci-fi/fiction/historical, has 414 pages and is written like diary/journal entries, letters and newspaper clippings. For different holidays/months I will have different shapes to show my what I’m reading. As an English teacher, I feel it’s important to show the kids not only that I am reading, but also give them a glimpse of who I am through my reading.

We have some awesome projects planned for the kids this year- I can’t wait to share some of them right here! 🙂