Tag Archives: Middle school

books i’m reading {origami yoda & darth paper}

25 Aug


I have had these 2 books, Origami Yoda and Darth Paper by Tom Angleberger, on my shelf for a while and I finally got around to reading them. I have heard a lot about them and was interested to read them myself to see what they were all about.
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda

{description – from shelfari}
In this funny, uncannily wise portrait of the dynamics of a sixth-grade class and of the greatness that sometimes comes in unlikely packages, Dwight, a loser, talks to his classmates via an origami finger puppet of Yoda. If that weren’t strange enough, the puppet is uncannily wise and prescient. Origami Yoda predicts the date of a pop quiz, guesses who stole the classroom Shakespeare bust, and saves a classmate from popularity-crushing embarrassment with some well-timed advice. Dwight’s classmate Tommy wonders how Yoda can be so smart when Dwight himself is so clueless. With contributions from his puzzled classmates, he assembles the case file that forms this novel.
Darth Paper Strikes Back

{description – from shelfari}
The hilarious, clever, and much-anticipated follow-up to the breakout hit: “The Strange Case of Origami Yoda!” It is a dark time at Ralph McQuarrie Middle School. After suffering several Origami Yoda–related humiliations, Harvey manages to get Dwight suspended from school for being a “troublemaker.” Origami Yoda pleads with Tommy and Kellen to save Dwight by making a new case file—one that will show how Dwight’s presence benefits McQuarrie. With the help of their friends, Tommy and Kellen record cases such as “Origami Yoda and the Pre-eaten Wiener,” “Origami Yoda and the Exploding Pizza Bagels,” and “Origami Yoda and Wonderland: The Musical .” But Harvey and his Darth Paper puppet have a secret plan that could make Dwight’s suspension permanent . . . With his proven knack for humorously exploring the intrigues, fads, and dramas of middle school, Tom Angleberger has crafted a worthy sequel to his breakout bestseller.
I did enjoy these books. They weren’t my favorite books but they were different. I think boys would love this book because they are told mostly from a boy’s point of view.
When I was finished reading the books, I had to try making an origami yoda and darth paper. Obviously. Here they are.


darth paper


finger puppets

They didn’t come out great but they’re still fun. I’m sure kids would love making something like this to go along with the book they’re reading. Adds a little something extra.
Has anyone else read these and/or attempted the origami?


bystander {a portrait in apathy}

30 Mar
Today at school we had an assembly called Bystander: A Portrait in Apathy. It is about bullying and how kids need to not be bystanders and need to stand up and say something when they know bullying is going on. It was very powerful.

First we watched some PSAs about bullying that the 8th graders made at the beginning of the year. Then there was a slide presentation mixed with students from our school saying a script. The presentations included information and pictures of students who have committed suicide because of bullying. The last picture they showed was of a 9 year old boy who committed suicide because of bullying. It was a powerful statement to end the presentation with.

I definitely got choked up. I think a presentation like this can really impact a lot of kids and help them not be afraid to speak up. If anyone works at a middle school, I would suggest looking into this program. I think it could make a big difference in a school and in students’ lives.
Here is the website to check any information: http://www.bystander.us/index.html
We really need to stop kids from bullying.

1st Day of Teaching

30 Aug

So today was my first day of teaching 5th grade for my long-term sub job. The day actually went pretty well and better than I expected. I was really nervous leading up to this morning and as the kids came in, I didn’t feel quite so nervous. We did all easy, getting to know you, first day of school activities. Things were going quicker than expected and I felt like I was running out of things to do but it all ended up working out in the end. I feel pretty good at the end of the day.

We made fabulous self-portraits today. Most of them came out really well. I already hung them up on our bulletin board.

I even made one of myself while the students were working on theirs. (I know it is kind of light…I colored it with colored pencils)

I also put together our schedule and laminated it so we know what is going on during our day.

So overall, I think the day went pretty well. I’m looking forward to the next few months of learning more about my teaching style and having this experience.

Teaching Tomorrow

29 Aug

I went to school to be an elementary school teacher. I haven’t been able to find a job yet but last year I was a teacher assistant for 5th grade in a middle school in the area. I worked in all the classrooms but one more than the others. That teacher had a baby in June and is taking her maternity leave time this fall, until Christmas vacation. Since I already worked in the school, and didn’t get another teaching job, they decided I could cover for her class while she is on maternity leave. I wish I had gotten my own classroom position this year but, since I didn’t, this is excellent teaching experience for me to put on my resume.

The first day of school with the kids is tomorrow and I am really, really nervous. This is my first real teaching on my own experience. I know the first few days are more introducing everything and going slow so I know it will be fine. I think I just have this  feeling like all the students are going to be out of control and I’m not going to be able to fix it. Plus, because of Hurricane Irene, the school was closed today so I couldn’t go in to get all my last-minute stuff together and organized, which stressed me out a little more. I was able to get things done here but it isn’t the same as actually being in the classroom. I will just get there extra early in the morning to make sure everything is set. Then I will meet my class of 19 5th graders and begin our 4 months together.

I hope to blog about any fun teaching ideas, activities, or lessons I come up with. Or if anyone has any excellent lesson ideas for 5th grade reading, writing, math, or science, definitely let me know!

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