The Thinking Teacher

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United States - Iowa - Ankeny
The Thinking Teacher
3.9
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A stronger focus on LEARNING rather than teaching facilitates the growth of both students and teachers.
 
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This is a concept-based unit that is aligned to Common Core State Standards. It contains CCSS Literacy Standards, Conceptual Understandings, Essential Questions, an outline of possible formative assessments, and a list of resources. I created this
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This document is the summative writing assessment for the Identity Unit. Students choose one or more essential questions from the unit and compose an autobiographical essay to explain the process of their own identity construction. Students must
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4.0
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I created these two writing prompts as a formative assessment during a concept-based unit about identity. My 8th graders read several short memoirs in the textbook or excerpts from longer memoirs in order to build the concept of identity and
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In order to incorporate more non-fiction into a concept-based unit about identity, I created this formative assessment writing task for two articles about Martin Luther King, Jr. and the March on Washington that were published in the September 2,
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This holistic rubric is general enough to be used with the Autobiographical Essay Assessment posted in my store, or it can be used or adapted for any similar writing task or assessment. I have experienced a lot of success with using holistic
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This product is the introductory lesson for a concept-based unit about the Individual vs. Society. I selected the Civil War as a time period that we would work through together as a class (modeling). For collaborative practice, students read a
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I created these two writing prompts as a formative assessment during a concept-based unit about identity. My 8th graders read several short memoirs in the textbook or excerpts from longer memoirs in order to build the concept of identity and
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1 rating
4.0
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Students responded to this writing prompt as a summative assessment of standard RL8.2 at the end of a unit in which they read The Diary of Anne Frank (drama by Goodrich and Hackett) as a whole-class text as well as excerpts from other Holocaust
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This syllabus is appropriate for any middle or high school Language Arts course. It consists of several key attributes that make it unique compared to a typical Language Arts syllabus. First, the course description conveys the importance of
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This excerpt from Chapter 9 "Day of Jubilee" in Lincoln: How Abraham Ended the Civil War by Harold Holzer is the text I used for the Read/Think Aloud lesson about Abraham Lincoln I have for sale in my store.
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This document contains the syllabus that I used during the 2016-2017 school year. I uploaded a Word document in order to make editing the document with your teacher and classroom information quick and easy. Enjoy making this syllabus your own.
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As a summative assessment at the end of a unit in which the primary whole-class text was The Diary of Anne Frank drama by Goodrich and Hackett, students read these three text excerpts and responded to the writing prompt that I have posted as a paid
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8th
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TEACHING EXPERIENCE

I have been teaching at the secondary level for 12 years. I taught English as a Second Language (grades 6-12) for the first 8 years of my career. In 2010, I was thirsty for a new challenge, so a transferred to an 8th grade Literacy position within the same suburban school district. Although it was a challenging transition to become a "core content" teacher after working as a "special" teacher since the beginning of my career in 2002, I'm so glad that I accepted the challenge because it sparked a lot of professional growth. I currently serve as department head, a mentor teacher, and as an instructional leader on our building's Instructional Leadership Team. In addition to these responsibilities at the building level, I also serve on two district committees: English Language Arts Curriculum Development Team (K-12) and Standards-Based Grading and Reporting.

MY TEACHING STYLE

I have been aligning my instruction to the Common Core since 2011 because my school district encouraged teachers to "get their feet wet" with the Common Core in order to make the transition smoother in 2014. I also have been using the Literature textbook as one resource and supplementing with a lot of complex non-fiction texts since our textbook alone just doesn't cut it in terms of challenging students to achieve the Common Core Literacy standards. By using the textbook as a resource rather than my curriculum guide, I have enjoyed planning concept-based units that facilitate the building of conceptual knowledge for students as they engage in rigorous learning centered around an integrated skills approach. Student engagement and their ability to comprehend and write critically about complex texts has sky-rocketed in my classroom since I began focusing my efforts on these three things: 1) Unpacking the Common Core standards first, 2) Backwards planning of each unit in order to ensure each formative assessment is aligned to a rigorous summative assessment performance task before planning smaller chunks of learning, and 3) Consistently responding to formative assessment data through flexible grouping that allows me to provide reteaching, differentiated instruction, and extension tasks that are tailored to the diverse needs of my students.

HONORS/AWARDS/SHINING TEACHER MOMENT

I have had many big and small "Shining Teacher Moments" throughout my 12-year career, but a thank you note that a student gave me in May 2012 pretty much sums up why I am a teacher. I keep this note posted on a mirror in my bedroom as a reminder why I LOVE teaching. It is especially helpful to reread this note when I get discouraged from time to time, too. "Thank you so much for a great Literacy year. I have never had such a caring teacher throughout my entire life. You put so much effort into helping our learning grow. You take so much time out of your own life to help us. It means a lot! You are such a nice teacher and definitely one of my favorites!"

MY OWN EDUCATIONAL HISTORY

University of Northern Iowa: Bachelor of Arts- Teaching (English) 2001, English as a Second Language (ESL) Endorsement 2001; University of Northern Iowa: Master of Arts- Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) 2008; Drake University: Reading Endorsement (5-12) 2011; State of Iowa Teaching License- Master Educator

ADDITIONAL BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

Wife and mother of a two-year-old daughter

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