ELA Newsletter Week 14

ELA Newsletter Week 14

ELA Newsletter Week 14

It’s beginning to look a lot like finals…

One of the most challenging parts of teaching English Language Arts and Literature classes at Brehm is the finals that encompass the end of the term before a long break (once in December before winter break and once in May before we depart for summer).

Over the years, I have done finals in many ways. Different students’ finals can look very different based on each students’ strengths and the focus areas we have for them. Some students need practice with traditional exams that cover the content from the entire semester with a focus on analysis of reading material and demonstration of various writing and reading strategies. Some have a skills-based final where I give various fluency, comprehension, and decoding exercises and I use these assessments to track their progress. Others are set up as a mix of stations where content and skills are tested. Needless to say, finals take quite a bit of thought and prep in this content area!

Since returning from Thanksgiving, students in language arts and literature have finished up their novel studies, have worked on their writing assignments and final projects related to those novels, and/or worked on specific reading strategies that they will employ on their final exam. In the upcoming week, I will be out on Monday but students will work on a reading, grammar, and writing exercise. The rest of the week will be spent in practice, content review, and reteaching before their finals the following week.

In creative writing, students have rethought the writing they were doing and decided whether they wanted to continued with the haunting story they had started using the Story Arc as their outline or if they wanted to morph their haunted stories in holiday tales. The goal is to finish these stories by December 15th. (Fingers crossed.)

Congratulations to the winner of the Thanksgiving Reading Challenge: Avery Davis!!!!

Week in Review: Nov. 28- Dec.2 —Use these to ask your kids what they are learning!
Junior High Language Arts-Word Play (lect, -logy, err-, fin-); Viewed The Legends of Ga’Hoole movie, created analysis chart comparing the book and the movie, discussion.

Language Arts-Word Play (lect, -logy, err-, fin-); Visualizing and Verbalizing image writing; V/V non-fiction Mark Twain biography page and comprehension questions; V/V non-fiction Montgomery Bus Boycott informational passage and comprehension questions

Literary Strategies- Word Play (lect, -logy, err-, fin-) Continued and finished working on five-paragraph essays comparing three main male adults in the book Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes. Editing and conferencing completed.

Creative Writing-Idiom Word Play (pay through the nose, bring down the house, talk through your hat, high on the hog); Choose your own adventure-decide if it is best to continue your current writing, morph the story into a new direction, or start fresh while still focusing on the Story Arc as the outline.

Modern Literature- Word Play (lect, -logy, err-, fin-); finished Pop Music vs. Classic Poetry mini-unit; Commonlit poetry practice with Tupac Shakur and We Wear the Mask.

Week in Review: Nov. 28- Dec.2 —Use these to ask your kids what they are learning!
Junior High Language Arts-Word Play (lect, -logy, err-, fin-); Viewed The Legends of Ga’Hoole movie, created analysis chart comparing the book and the movie, discussion.

Language Arts-Word Play (lect, -logy, err-, fin-); Visualizing and Verbalizing image writing; V/V non-fiction Mark Twain biography page and comprehension questions; V/V non-fiction Montgomery Bus Boycott informational passage and comprehension questions

Literary Strategies- Word Play (lect, -logy, err-, fin-) Continued and finished working on five-paragraph essays comparing three main male adults in the book Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes. Editing and conferencing completed.

Creative Writing-Idiom Word Play (pay through the nose, bring down the house, talk through your hat, high on the hog); Choose your own adventure-decide if it is best to continue your current writing, morph the story into a new direction, or start fresh while still focusing on the Story Arc as the outline.

Modern Literature- Word Play (lect, -logy, err-, fin-); finished Pop Music vs. Classic Poetry mini-unit; Commonlit poetry practice with Tupac Shakur and We Wear the Mask.

Finals Scheudle

Director of Student Life for the Day

Director of Student Life for the Day

During Brehm’s 40th Anniversary Gala, Jace Nelson won the opportunity, through the silent auction, to serve in the role of Director of Student Life for the day.

This past Saturday, Jace planned an enjoyable day for the students that allowed them to keep their cell phones overnight, an extended free time, and a day off from chore completion.

Jace N

Director of Student Life

In addition, Jace worked collaboratively with Adrianna to plan an overnight recreation trip which is tentatively set for April, 2023.

The day began with Jace treating students and staff to breakfast at IHOP.
Jace demonstrated excellent leadership skills by assisting staff with student wake ups and ensuring all the young men transitioned efficiently out of the dorms for breakfast. Later, Jace and I picked up a treat for the students to have during lunchtime.

Needless to say, the students had such a great day, they proposed Jace continue in the role of Director of Student Life until the end of the school year!:)

Jingle All the Way!

Jingle All the Way!

Jingle All the Way!

On Saturday morning, a motley crew of our students, faculty, administration, and their friends and family, went to two local assisted living facilities to sing Christmas carols and bring some holiday cheer to the residents there. The student core of the group assembled outside of Christie Hall at 9:15, hunched up with their hands in their pockets to evade Jack frost, who was out in full nose-nipping force ahead of the languidly rising sun, dressed in their bright holiday colors. Once assembled, we donned reindeer antlers, snowmen and gift-festooned headbands, and colorful, blinking light-up necklaces in preparation for the fun ahead. Then, we previewed expectations for the excursion and enjoyed the station-tuning skills of Avery D., who fueled our festive mood with contemporary hits on the radio as we headed out.

Arriving to sing at Manor Court first, we met up with others of our caroling crew, masked up as was required by the facility for the safety of their residents and staff and ours, and were led to a foyer where about 30 residents and staff eventually gathered to sing with and listen to us as we checked off beloved Christmas classics: Jingle Bells, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and Deck the Halls, and a couple of lesser-known songs, including Christmas Chopsticks. Before leaving for our next and final caroling destination (Integrity Health of Carbondale), our students walked around a display of handmade Christmas ornaments for the audience members to have as a memento of our time with them.

We repeated our melodious merry-making with a more scant gathering of residents and staff at our final spot; but, unfazed, we jingled through the same collection of holiday favorites, passed out more ornaments, and ended the morning with some sweet confections to help refuel our energy stores before dispersing for our separate subsequent To-Dos. Driving back to campus with our students afterward, it tickled my heart to glimpse their faces, flushed and radiant in the rearview mirror, no doubt reflections of the warmth brimming their hearts from the gifts of time, music, and cheer shared with others as much in need of them as we were.

Financial Literacy

Financial Literacy

Financial Literacy

” We recognize the need of our students to gain Financial Literacy skills as we prepare them for a successful transition into the real world, as independent, self- supporting young adults”.

The purpose of this course is to provide students with a basic understanding of financial concepts and distinguish the difference between needs and wants.

By the end of this course, students will be familiar with budgeting for real-world expenses, understand how to track spending, and develop a realistic monthly budget plan.

I am currently providing individualized instruction to students 2x a month.

Student Life Staff of the Month: September

Student Life Staff of the Month: September

Student Life Staff of the Month: September

Our Student Life Staff of the month is Samuel Busse. 

Sam Busse is a veteran Student Life staff member of 10 years. Over the years, he has served multiple roles, including recreation staff, lead assistant dorm parent, and dorm parent. Sam strives to meet the students where they are while maintaining a therapeutic approach. He builds excellent rapport with the students making him a trusted adult the students can turn to when they are feeling challenged. He actively engages in guiding the students as they build social skills, especially when it is appropriate to joke and when to be serious. Sam’s masculine yet caring demeanor makes his presence in Jenner Hall a strong representation of how to model appropriate behavior. Thank you, Sam, for being a positive male role model for our students!

Academic Student Staff of the Month: September

Academic Student Staff of the Month: September

Academic Student Staff of the Month: September

Jocelyn Keehn has been instrumental in creating a sense of unity and cohesion on campus, working with student advisors and dorm staff to create homework management plans for students who are in Arrowsmith.

Jocelyn has taken that a step further, by making herself available to work in the dorms on Wednesday nights to better support Arrowsmith Homework completion, but also to get a better sense of what the evening programming looks like for our students. Dorm Parents and teachers often work collaboratively during various meetings, but they rarely get the opportunity to work their respective jobs while the other is on campus, seeing as the teachers largely work from 8-4 and the dorm staff largely work from 5-10 pm. Without someone like Jocelyn making that level of effort, that level of collaboration doesn’t occur.

Jocelyn has taken that a step further, by making herself available to work in the dorms on Wednesday nights to better support Arrowsmith Homework completion, but also to get a better sense of what the evening programming looks like for our students. Dorm Parents and teachers often work collaboratively during various meetings, but they rarely get the opportunity to work their respective jobs while the other is on campus, seeing as the teachers largely work from 8-4 and the dorm staff largely work from 5-10 pm. Without someone like Jocelyn making that level of effort, that level of collaboration doesn’t occur.