Monday, September 16, 2013

Lesson-Up Express: The September Shuffle

Lesson-Up Express:  The September Shuffle Cover
September is the month when teachers dance to the beat of the Back to School Shuffle, complete with swinging arms, swaying bodies, stomping, and shuffling feet-all depending on each task that they face and the mood it evokes.  For many teachers, this Back to School dance may be dubbed the August Allemande- a dance that mixes up slow steps with one-legged hops and springing steps. Both dances mirror the frenetic pace that propels teachers from bureaucratic responsibilities to classroom set-up, to department, grade level and whole faculty meetings, to lesson planning.
With so much to do, teachers often feel like the Hecatonchires, the fifty-headed, one-hundred-armed giants from Greek mythology. Their creative idea-music is pushed into the Back-Step Stomp to make room for their other demands. How can they keep their students reading, thinking, writing and engaged when they feel so fragmented themselves?
For one, they can reach for this product- Lesson Up Express:  The September Shuffle. Here,
Lesson-Up Express:  The September Shuffle 46 Weird Facts
instructors will find: 46 Weird Facts, 13 Literature-Based Writing Ideas, and 5 Rorschach Blots to motivate students join the Back to School Shuffle-the classroom version.  These ideas can be used for:
             Daily Prompts
             Story Starts; poems, personal narratives, memoirs
             Topic ideas for lists( example:,#17 12 Weird State Laws)
             Mini-Research papers -200-400 words ( example: #18-The 5 Most /Least) populated  U.S. cities.)
             Literature Responses (short writings to turn into  full-length essays)
             Class Closure Ideas- when teachers have 10 minutes to fill at the end of a period
             After the Test prompts- students write while peers are finishing the test
             Teacher’s Choice
Lesson-Up Express:  The September Shuffle 13 Literature Response Writings
             Teachers can print off these lists for the students, and let each one choose his/her topic to use for writing, or, teachers can choose the Topic of the Day.
             Students should approach these topics by thinking: Why?  What If? This topic makes me (think, wonder, question, suppose, want to know, ask, “Why?” etc.) about _____; or follow the instructions in the topic (see the 13 Literature-Based Warm-ups), or a writing goal that teachers want students to address.
             Writing suggestions are offered for a few of the facts as kick-starts. For the majority of them, students are to allow the topic to fuel their approach so they may own their writing.

             For Rorschach blots: students are to use the mind picture the blot creates as a writing basis.
Choose from these Common Core Anchor Standards and Bloom’s Taxonomy reasoning skills to fit your goals for your students, based on their skills and abilities.
Common Core Anchor Standards:
Writing: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10
Speaking and Listening: 1, 3, 4, 6
Language: 1, 2, 3, 4,5, 6
Reading: 1, 4, 6,
Bloom’s Taxonomy
Remember/Understand: define, explain, expand, match
Apply: illustrate, compose
Analyze: examine, differentiate, distinguish, determine
Evaluate: conclude, discuss, select, decide, evaluate
Create: imagine, compose, design, suppose
Download this posting from: and ensure that your students are dancing with their writing muses.
Happy Teaching,