The Challenges of Middle School…

This is my second time in Middle School, first time as a teacher. I am finding it to be challenging and rewarding all at the same time. One thing I have noticed is that ELLs are the same regardless of how old they are. They want to learn and get frustrated by the amount of information they don’t understand. So this is where I come into play…

It has taken me a bit of time to get a feel for the teachers I’m working with and to understand the support they will provide our students. As students get older, the work becomes harder; therefore my job become much more important. Students and teachers alike are counting on me to provide them with work that is comprehensible and work they can be successful with.

A couple of weeks ago I noticed that my sixth grade students were struggling with understanding the work so I decided to pull them from their 100 minute block of Language Arts for the first 50 minutes. So far it has been successful in my opinion. I created a google doc for the LA teacher so she can be informed of what our students are doing when they are with me. We did a little unit on parts of speech (nouns, verbs and adjective) and now we are creating a PowToon presentation about each part of speech. My hope is to record our voices and present them to the class. I will also send them home for their parents to view.

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Photo Credit: Scholastic.com

Eight grade has brought its challenges as well. We needed to change a schedule of a young lady so she could have my support which is wonderful we could make the change. She is very thankful and utilizes my help nearly everyday. Today we began a unit on the book Night by Elie Wiesel. This book is challenging…challenging for all students not just ELLs. Students are expected to annotate the text while they read and mark info from the book with different colored post-it notes. A lot to remember let alone attempting to read the book.

The LA teacher noticed their struggle right off the bat and suggested we read a simpler text called, Elly: My True Story of the Holocaust by Elly Berkovits Gross. Today I scoured the internet for resources for this book. I struggled to find supports online but did find a trifold novel study written by R. Davies (The Third Wheel) through Teachers Pay Teachers. I have never read it and am looking forward to getting into it. I will begin to pull my students tomorrow in order to read this book together. I am looking forward to having them for my own tomorrow morning and getting to know them better. 

I will try to keep you posted on our novel journey…more to come.