Archive | May, 2013

Cinema Conversations

For the last two weeks, I have enjoyed daily “lunch bunches” (which is the term used at my school for when students dine with teachers instead of in the cafeteria) with my band of dwarves, while we have been watching Two Towers together.  Although I’m up for a Peter Jackson film anytime, it has been really […]

A Feast of Languages

“That, I guess is the language of the Rohirrim for it is like to this land itself; rich and rolling in part, and else hard and stern as the mountains.  But I cannot guess what it means, save that it is laden with the sadness of Mortal Men.” The subject of today’s post owes its […]

What’s the Big Idea?

With four weeks left until the end of the school year, I am reminded of how tired we teachers get as we drag ourselves to the finish line.  Much as weary Frodo felt as the ring become heavier along the journey, I am also beginning to feel the burden.  While our reading journey has been a blast, […]

Tolkien on Testing

This week my students are meeting a foe more formidable than Sauron, the Nazgul, and Mount Doom combined.  Testing day has arrived, which means they are demonstrating their proficiency in reading via standardized multiple-choice tests.  These are required assessments, of which the data is used for high-stakes decisions such as school funding and accreditation.  As a […]

A Tolkien of Appreciation

Today marks the end of Teacher Appreciation week, which is celebrated the first full week in May every year in the United States.  During this week it is customary for students and parents alike to show their appreciation for teachers by writing them notes of personal gratitude or bringing in flowers or other small tokens […]

Jumping to Conclusions

As my class crossed The Bridge at Khazud-Dum, I used today’s lesson as an opportunity to teach them how to draw conclusions.  Drawing conclusions is an essential reading strategy and useful in allowing the reader to combine the clues provided by the author with his/her background knowledge to make independent inferences about the text. Upon […]

The Play’s the Thing

This past weekend I had the supreme pleasure of taking my students to their first theatrical production.  While many teachers are working for the weekend and can’t wait to be rid of their students for a few days, I actually enjoy getting to spend time with mine outside of class.  As an ESL teacher, I have found […]

Out of the Mouths of Babes

After my students’ intense writing experiences over the last week, I decided to give them a break for a few days and only allow them to express themselves verbally.  At the students’ suggestion, we decided to hold class outdoors to take advantage of the wonderful weather and experience Tolkien in a different setting.  With our […]