To kick off 2022 in our webinar series, Angela Berent (@a_berent), a middle school ELA teacher and TC for CRWP, gave us strategies to bring back the sparkle to our rooms. Angela’s love and passion for teaching, writing, and reading will bring a smile to your face and fill your cup. In addition, she discusses how she revamps her teaching schedule mid year based on revisings her beginning of the year goals and focuses her units for the rest of the year. She discussed the importance of micro progressions and growth for our students.
One of her biggest mantras for her magic is the importance of squeezing all of the juice from each lemon she is given in her classes. Every second counts in her mind. Though that sounds stressful at first, she makes a point to tell us it’s not always how much you do in a day, but what you do with what you do in a day.
For example, Angela talks about the importance of starting every single day in her classroom with a poem. She walked us through how she’s found a poem every single day to be the breath of fresh air in her classroom this year. Angela discussed how she got her students even more involved in reading, annotating, writing in this daily ritual and pause. She also shared a plethora of vocabulary strategies with her “Tuesday Terms” routine that has students using the words we try to get them to learn.
In addition to trying to squeeze all the content she can into her days, she also stresses the importance of finding the fun. She shares the idea that it doesn’t cost her a whole lot and she and her students all gain something. She talks about using oil pastels, first chapters Friday, canva, and medium albums to get the kids to read and write more.
Angela is also a self-published author and stresses being a teacher writer as being an incredible way to restore and keep your magic and passion alive. She shared how gratifying it is to have a place to put your writing and to share it with students and others.
Finally, though writing is incredibly important in Angela’s classroom, reading and self-reflection are other huge pillars in her room. She describes her students’ reading loves, her own, and how those get shaped throughout the year. Finally, Angela’s discussion of self-reflection will resonate with writing teachers but also remind you what is important and how to use it in your classroom to continue to get better, but become comfortable in the journey.
Here is the link to Angela’s presentation and session recording.
The Chippewa River Writing Project is a site of the National Writing Project at Central Michigan University. Currently, our site is supported only through grants and professional development work. Teacher consultants involved in the webinar series are donating their time, talent, and energy to these events.
If you appreciate the ideas that these teacher consultants are sharing, and are willing to support our work, please visit <giving.cmich.edu> and select “Chippewa River Writing Project.” If you are interested in having us work with your school or district, please contact our Director, Dr. Troy Hicks <email@example.com>. Find out more about CRWP at <chippewariverwp.org>.