Character, a dual purpose conceptual unit addressing student abilities to analyze characters of a novel; as well as, build their own individual characters. The first year of middle school, is an appropriate time to discover each of these skills; developing a greater understanding of the literary concept of character and creating a deeper understanding of one’s own self. Peter Smagorinsky states in his book entitled, Teaching English by Design, “Literature often deals with common human experiences about the pressures, changes, dilemmas, aspirations, conflicts … that make growing up such a challenge” (p. 141). I believe, joining these two concepts of character together allows us to see a purpose in reading literature and allowing it to shape our self, family, community, and/or world. In my experience, I have found that choosing kindness, in middle school or in the real world, is not always a first choice. This conceptual unit, will develop an understanding of what kindness is and how it can become the first choice in any given situation. R.J. Palacio writes, “If every person in this room made it a rule that wherever you are, whenever you can, you will try to act a little kinder than is necessary - the world really would be a better place (2012).”
The following is a list of I can statements for teachers, based on the Framework for Teachers (FfT) by Charolette Danielson. It is my intention to take the time on coffeegirl.blog to unpack the framework by: explaining the levels of mastery, identifying key concepts and skills, determining big ideas, and writing the essential questions. This attempt is so that myself and others may benefit fully from the FfT so that we may better our practice as teachers.
Narrative writing using the six-trait writing process with emphasis sentence structures, topic sentences, supporting details, and other paragraph skills. Digital writing on a blog enhances student writing, engages student writers, assists students in becoming more competent at typing, and allows students to write from anywhere. Gives students an audience (class, ELA classes, parents, teachers, Write About community and/or public).