Sample Work

Sample work, including examples of assessments, assignments, papers/projects, rubrics, and additional items.

Assessments:

Assessments that I have designed and incorporated in middle and high school classrooms.

Selected Response & Essay Test - In my Assessment and Goal Setting course at Waldorf College, I learned how to create a Selected Response & Essay Test. As I complete my student teaching, I've revisited some of those original assessments and revamped them! This is one I created for an English/Language Arts and History Unit focused on Martin Luther King Jr.
Wolves Research Projects (Pt. 2) - The Wolves Research Project is something that I did with my sixth graders from start to finish. I did a pre-activity (Adopt a Pet), taught them how to research, instructed them on the CRAP test for credible sources, then helped them take notes and create their unique projects.
I Am ___. - I'm excited for today's activity! For the past two weeks I've worked with my eighth grade students on understanding figurative language. They did Notes, the My Figurative Language Family assignment for practice, and now this will be their actual assessment--but a fun one!
My Grading Process - Standards-Based Grading can be crazy, but it's something been completely thrown into and have to accept 🙂 It's not so bad on the teacher end once you get started with it. It's just very individualized. And can be quite a lot of work.
Perseverance Unit Reflection - A powerful skill for students to be able to master, especially by eighth grade, is the ability to reflect and synthesize information. As students finished out their units on perseverance (Hunger Games for my section) my co-teachers and I wanted to create a final reflection to see how they connected their novels, people they researched, and collaborative discussions.
Quiz – Ch. 9 & 10 - Time for another pop quiz! This time it's over chapters 9 & 10 in TKAM.
Pop Quiz – Ch. 3-4 - Four chapters in to the book? Pop quiz time! Call me a mean teacher, but I wanted to check that my students were reading, so I gave them a quiz over chapters 3 and 4 in To Kill a Mockingbird.
12th Tuesday Comprehension Questions - Something I started doing with my sophomore English students was read aloud from Tuesdays with Morrie. This began as an idea to help my ESL student and other struggling readers, but then it became a necessary tool to keep all students on track with their reading.
5th-8th Tuesday, Study Guides and Quiz - After reading the 5th-8th Tuesdays both independently and as a class, I wanted to give my students a quiz. This time, however, I wanted a more challenging quiz, as my students had done very well on the last, multiple choice and true-false quiz.
7th Tuesday Reading Quiz - Want to check that your students are reading? Here's a simple quiz you can give them over the "Seventh Tuesday".
Who’s My Morrie? - I wanted to switch up activities in my English 10 classes and instead of having them write another journal or essay-type of response, I decided to have them write two poems. These would be about people who influenced them positively--their 'Morries'.
Tuesdays with Morrie, Mid-Book Quest - I needed to asses my students' comprehension. It wasn't enough to read their worksheets or to peek over their shoulders during individual work time. I needed to know exactly what my students had learned, so I decided to make a Tuesdays with Morrie Mid-Book Quest.
My Grading/Planning System - Being a teacher can be difficult at times. There's typically 2084305 thoughts going on in your head at once--sometimes it's near impossible to keep it all straight!
Scarlet Letter Quiz - Tests and quizzes are great for making sure students have read and for assessing their comprehension. Across my classes, I've done plenty of formative assessments, but for my American Seminar class specifically, I needed to mix in a summative assessment to see how much the students had actually retained from reading and discussion and to see what parts of the book I needed to discuss.
Old Man and the Sea Thesis Statements - The next objective for my Honors 10 students was to write a thesis statement. In the class before, they had (on their own) brainstormed topics to write their research papers on. Now they were told to pick a topic/question and bring a thesis statement to class.
Is Love Rational or Irrational? [Part 2] - This lesson is a follow-up to Is Love Rational or Irrational? [Part 1], which is primarily focused on the question of love being rational or not.
Journal #2 – Being Your Age - September 21: By this time, my English 10 students are up to page 60 in Tuesdays with Morrie. Perfect time to assign another journal.
Tension of Opposites - One of the major themes early in Tuesdays with Morrie is tension, or 'Tension of Opposites,' as Morrie himself names it. I wanted my students to understand this, but I wanted to see how much they understood independently. So I made a worksheet.
Tuesdays with Morrie – Quiz 1 - After going through the book for several days as a class and having short Journal assignments and discussion, I decided to have a reading pop-quiz.
Employability Skills - What are 'Employability Skills'? According to MCHS and the rest of the district, Employability Skills are a set of standards that meet criteria such as responsibility, thinking creatively and critically, or being a self-directed learner, just to name a few.
Varying Assessment – Google Classroom Assignments - Assessing students is not something that should be the same every time. Assessment is varied and in my classroom I understand and use formative, assumptive, ethical, and multiple assessment methods.
Assessment Day! - Today was assessment day *cue the groans*
Breaking Down Assessment - Something I’ve learned in my Assessment/Goal-Setting class is how to create assessments that are valid, meaning that they have:

 

Assignments:

Assignments I have created and implemented in middle and high school classrooms.

Esperanza Character Chart - Esperanza, the main character of House on Mango Street is a dynamic character that undergoes much change from the first vignette to the last. She is the main figure in the coming of age story, and it's essential that students understand who she is and how she changes through the course of the story.
You Are the Teacher for the Day - I love switching up the way I teach lessons. Last night, I had this great idea of changing how I teach the vignettes in House on Mango Street. What if I made my students and I switch roles? What if they were the teachers for the day? What would they teach me about the given vignettes?
Themes in House on Mango Street - Themes are so important in House on Mango Street. From identity, home, and family to growing up, friendship, and culture, the book is filled with themes and it's essential that students understand them. Thus I created a notes sheet and lesson designed to help students grasp the main ideas of each vignette.
Sarah Plain & Tall – KWL Chart - Today's focus for Book Club is on the book, Sarah Plain and Tall, which is an easy read I selected to read with my students during the M-Th 30 minute class sessions.
Theme of Growing Up – Notes - One of the major themes in House on Mango Street is growing up. As Esperanza grows up, she starts to realize things about herself and the adult world--hence why this is called a 'coming of age' novel!
Figurative Language Challenge - What's better to middle and high school students than a game/competition/individual challenge? (The answer is nothing). That's why I wanted to create an extension activity and figurative language activity that would engage my eighth graders and let them have a little fun.
“Us & Them” Comic - Students need a break from the same-ole-same-ole. That's why I wanted to create a comic activity to spice things up! My students were reading "Those Who Don't," one of the shortest vignettes in House on Mango Street.
“Darius & the Clouds” Activity - My students finish assessments at different points--this is a given--but it makes it essential to create extension activities and keep them busy and focused on the classroom curriculum.
I Am ___. - I'm excited for today's activity! For the past two weeks I've worked with my eighth grade students on understanding figurative language. They did Notes, the My Figurative Language Family assignment for practice, and now this will be their actual assessment--but a fun one!
Connecting to Novel Characters - Making connections while reading is hard! That's why I created this resource to help not only my struggling readers in Book Club, but for for any struggling reader or young reader (fifth grade through eighth grade).
“Louie, His Cousin and His Other Cousin” – Report Writing - Today my eighth graders read "Louie, His Cousin, and His Other Cousin." In this vignette, we're introduced to a family of cousins that live on Esperanza's block (one of which is Marin, the oldest, who we will talk about tomorrow!) and one of them is the unnamed cousin who one day shows up with a brand new, shiny, yellow car.
“Piano Lessons” – Close Reading & Question Set - Ahhh...close reading passages, a necessary evil. Students aren't big fans of close reading, but these mini-readings are important for their skill building, especially if there is a set of questions that are relevant to the skills they are practicing.
Monster in the Barn - For Book Club, I'm always looking for good resources to help my students make connections to their reading. I came across this great source from ReadWorks, and I created two sets of questions to correspond and help with text-to-self and text-to-world connections!
Poetry Connections - Making text-to-self connections can be pretty simple when you're working with a story, explanatory text, or short passage. Poetry, on the other hand, can be a challenge. That's why I wanted to specifically work on this with my Book Club students.
My Figurative Language Family - To go along with teaching my students about figurative language with their Types of Figurative Language Notes, I had them relate what they learned to their own lives and work on generating original examples!
A House, A Home - After reading "House on Mango Street," the first section in the book, this is a great way to help students visualize the Mango Street house and compare/contrast it to their own.
Connecting to Holes, by Louis Sachar - Who doesn't like the book Holes, by Louis Sachar? This is one of my favorite books from my elementary/middle school years. And because it's such a good book, I wanted my Book Club kids to connect to a descriptive passage in it.
My Favorite Book - My Book Club is made of eighth grade Reading Intervention students who really struggle with reading. One of my girls told me, point blank on the first day, "I don't read." My goal is to change that by making reading fun and by caring about the students and working with them individually over the course of the three/four weeks.
Making Connections - Today's (and this week's) Book Club topic is making connections, specifically making a Text-to-Self connection. To help my students understand this, I created a presentation and notes sheet.
Help Me With Halloween! - To keep with the Halloween spirit, I created an extension activity that incorporated the holiday and student writing--Help Me With Halloween!
Someone Else’s Shoes - Another extension activity! This time I made the students think creatively and outside the box.
Sentences Competition - Today my sixth graders were finishing up the editing process for their personal narratives. They were all at different places--just starting, halfway through, almost done--so I decided to create some fun, Halloween-related extension activities for those who were finished.
Compare & Contrast – Tuesdays with Morrie Movie - My kids finished reading Tuesdays with Morrie! Yay! To complete the unit, I wanted the students to watch the movie and to compare the book and the movie--understanding literature through multiple lenses.
Point of View Paper - To change up activities for To Kill a Mockingbird, I had the students write the scene at the Radley House (where Jem, Scout, and Dill try to peer through the window and Jem loses his pants) through the eyes of one of the characters.
“Graduation” and “Conclusion” Scaffolded Notes - After reading aloud and realizing that my students were struggling with comprehension, I decided to create a set of scaffolded notes for them to take home over the weekend and complete while reading.
Modern-Day Scarlet Letters - I truly believe that students learn best when they are asked to relate content to their personal lives. That was my goal with this ending, fun activity–Modern-Day Scarlet Letters–applying the theme of hidden vs. exposed sin to students’ own lives.
TKAM – Character Maps - To Kill a Mockingbird can be a challenging text, just due to the fact that there are so many characters! I wanted to help my students organize and keep the characters straight, so I created a character map.
Reincarnation Activity - Today my students are taking their 5th-9th Tuesday Quiz, but after that, I wanted them to have a little fun.
Journal 3 – Family - To help my students connect their lives to the story, Tuesdays with Morrie, I wanted them to write about themselves--right now, in this moment.
5th Tuesday – Tuesdays with Morrie - The "Fifth Tuesday" in Tuesdays with Morrie is important because it talks about relationships, family, and family that goes beyond blood. These were important points I wanted my students to grasp, so I made worksheets and study guides to help with their learner development.
Even the Best Plans May Fail - Well, I thought my ideas/lesson on Anne Bradstreet poetry were awesome. And I thought the students would hit the small-group presentations on Bradstreet poetry right out of the park! I was wrong.
Task List/Work Day - What's the solution to disruptive, easily-distracted students while not taking anything away from productive, doing-what-they're-supposed-to students? For me, and for my English 10 classes, the solution was a Task List/Work Day.
Who Am I/My Culture Assignment - To dig a little deeper and connect my Tuesdays with Morrie unit to Narrative writing, which my students have and will be doing for the remainder of the year, I decided to create a 'Who Am I/My Culture' Assignment.
ALS Web Quest - Sometimes to understand a concept fully, students need to research and learn about the concept outside of the classroom discussion. This I've learned with Tuesdays with Morrie and his condition ALS [Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis].
Who Is Morrie Schwartz? - To introduce my students to the book, Tuesday with Morrie, and the main characters, I had my students close their eyes and listen as I read aloud.
What Is My America? - One of my first assignments for my 11th grade American Literature class was called 'What Is My America?'.
Lions of Little Rock Character Sketch - Today I worked with Mrs. Sopko’s afternoon sixth grade classes on their book, Lions of Little Rock.
Jericho Walls Character Sketch - Today I was able to teach a lesson to sixth graders! First I read out loud to them to catch them up to the other sixth grade classes. Then I started the lesson, which I had prepared on character/narrator within their book, Jericho Walls. The first thing I did was lead a group discussion about […]
A Day in the Life – Narrative Comic: Student Examples - Fall 2014: As a part of my Narrative/Self-Writing Unit with my Mason City High School 10th graders, I wanted students to be comfortable writing about themselves, so I decided to create a comic activity, one that would bridge the gap between writing and drawing, while also bringing in some creativity. Below is a sample brainstorming […]
A Day in the Life Comic - Fall 2014: As a part of my Narrative/Self-Writing Unit with my Mason City High School 10th graders, I wanted students to be comfortable writing about themselves, so I decided to create a comic activity, one that would bridge the gap between writing and drawing, while also bringing in some creativity.
Coach/Mentor Poem – Brainstorming Worksheet, Assignment, Rubric - In beginning the Coach/Mentor Poem activity, a lesson in my Tuesdays with Morrie unit, I first had the students brainstorm about a coach or a mentor in their personal lives. I created a Brainstorming Worksheet to assist in their pre-planning for this assignment.
Tuesdays with Morrie – Coach/Mentor Poem - In the fall of 2014, I completed over 50 clinical hours at Mason City High School with English Department Chair, Deadra Stanton. My experience consisted of taking control of her 10th grade English classes, teaching every Friday. One of my first set of lessons was on the book, Tuesdays with Morrie, by Mitch Albom.

 

Papers/Projects:

Classroom projects, papers, and essays I have created templates, assignment sheets, and rubrics for. Used in middle and high school classrooms.

House on Mango Street Final Vignette-Writing Project - This is my last week in the middle school, which is extremely bittersweet. To finish things out with my eighth graders, I created a final project--vignette-writing!
Wolves Research Projects (Pt. 2) - The Wolves Research Project is something that I did with my sixth graders from start to finish. I did a pre-activity (Adopt a Pet), taught them how to research, instructed them on the CRAP test for credible sources, then helped them take notes and create their unique projects.
What the Heck is Smore? - One of my students showed this website to me: Smore. This is a place where students, teachers, anyone can easily create an awesome-looking newsletter. FOR FREE!
Poster My Wall - Looking for a great way to have your students use technology and create awesome posters/collages/calendars/cards via online templates? Then Poster My Wall is the resource for you and your classroom!
Wolves Project – Writing Help - Today my sixth graders were continuing with their notes for the Wolves Research Project. Many of them were finished and looking to move towards their project-making, but before that, my co-teacher and I wanted them to write. To make things easier for them to understand, I created a new Google Document to help them stay organized and get a better grasp on the writing part of the project.
Wolves Research Project - Piggy-backing off of the previous research activity I did with my sixth graders for practice, the Adopt a Pet, I started this week with a Wolves Research Project.
Dear Mom and Dad - To help my sixth graders understand how to research and get some practice before their assessment on informative/explanatory writing, I had them work on the Adopt a Pet project, where they had to research an animal of their choice, take notes, and then draft a letter to their parents/guardians about why they should buy that pet!
“My Name/My Family Crest” - How can I connect students and their home lives to House on Mango Street? The answer is a family crest, giving students the opportunity to learn more about their unique cultures and connecting their lives to the life of the main character, Esperanza.
Adopt a Pet Activity - Once my students moved from their How Do I Research? introduction presentation to The C.R.A.P. Test worksheet to help them find credible sources to gather notes from, they were finally ready to take notes! Yay!
The CRAP Test (And Notes) - I introduced my students to their research project, 'Adopt a Pet,' where they would choose an animal to research, collect two legitimate websites, take notes (in their own words) and write a short letter to their parents/guardians, convincing them to buy that animal as a pet!
How Do I Research? - My sixth graders are going to begin a short research activity to prepare them for a larger research project on wolves the following two weeks. For this short research activity, I wanted them to research about an animal that they would want to have as a pet...but before doing that, I knew I needed them to understand how to research and how to find credible sources.
Life Lessons From Morrie – Final Paper - For this assignment, students were to choose two aphorisms/quotes/life lessons and define them, define them as they were presented in the book, and relate them to their personal lives.
Journal 4 – The “Nightline” Show - As I begin to wrap up Tuesdays with Morrie in my English 10 classes, I wanted to give students the opportunity to form an opinion. Some of my students love the book. Some don't. I wanted to get them working on opinion-based narrative writing, dip into persuasive writing, and most importantly, make arguments and back them up with support!
The Scarlet Letter Final Essay - Every good unit ends with a paper (says every English teacher in the world!). And for The Scarlet Letter, I couldn't agree more!
Peer Editing - Peer editing is a wonderful tool...if done effectively. When students read one another's work, they are able to see and fix errors in their peer's papers, as well as translate those changes to their own papers. They also are able to take a critical eye and put themselves in a teacher's seat for a moment, hopefully looking at their work from a flipped perspective.
Forest Scene Story - Okay, I'll admit it...sometimes reading The Scarlet Letter and its Old English can be difficult, and a little dry. I wanted my students to take a break for a minute and do something creative!
Intro to To Kill a Mockingbird - I haven't read To Kill a Mockingbird in ages. But I knew I loved the book and I wanted my students to feel the same. To begin working with the novel, I set up a classroom activity. I split the class into groups with several topics to help preview some of the essential background information.
Anne Bradstreet Poetry - In my American Seminar classes, the advanced 11th grade course on American literature, I did a mini-unit on Anne Bradstreet poetry.
Old Man and the Sea – Paper Topics - Now that my students have presented on the Old Man and the Sea, their next objective was to write a paper on the book...but just like with the projects, I wanted the students to have ownership--they were going to pick their own topics.
Old Man and the Sea Projects - For today's lesson, I wanted to spice things up a bit. Over the past few days, the students in my Honors 10 classes had read The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway. The book is small, easy to read, but packed with symbolism and author influences. I wanted to see how much the students had comprehended, but I also wanted to challenge them to think deeply about the book--going beyond the simple plot line.
Who Am I/My Culture Paper - For one of the first major writing assignments in my English 10 classroom, I decided to have the students write a paper about three items that define them, 'Who Am I/My Culture Paper'. This began as an assignment/mini-speech [to read more about that, click here].
Narrative Writing: From Comic to Short Story - For my Narrative Unit [with Mason City High School sophomores], I had them create a ‘Day in the Life’ Comic, documenting, in first-person, and using the elements of narrative, a day in their personal lives.
Tuesdays with Morrie – Letter to Mitch, Student Example - As a part of the Tuesdays with Morrie Unit I did with my sophomore students at Mason City High School during my fall 2014 clinical placement, I had the students write a letter to the author, Mitch Albom, reflecting on the book. To reference the lesson, click this link: Letter to Author, Mitch Albom
Tuesdays with Morrie – ‘My Coach/Mentor’ Student Example - Going back to the ‘My Coach/Mentor Poem’ [to view, click on link] lesson and activity connected to Tuesdays with Morrie, I had the opportunity to gather some student examples to keep with my portfolio. Students were asked to create 2 poems based on influential relationships in their personal lives. This helped to connect to the relationship […]
Letter to Author, Mitch Albom – Assignment, Rubric - To direct my students in the Letter to [Author] Mitch Albom activity, I created an assignment sheet and a rubric, grading them on their ability to connect the text to their personal lives [narrative writing], use correct letter-writing format, content, and conventions/grammar. 
Tuesdays with Morrie – Letter to Author, Mitch Albom - As my unit on Tuesdays with Morrie continued, I moved into a series of lessons I called ‘What’s the Point?’ which focused on the ‘why’ behind reading this book. I think it’s important for students to know the purpose of reading certain texts, and this lesson set discussed this and helped to make meaning between Mitch and […]

 

Rubrics:

Rubrics I have designed and implemented in middle and high school classrooms.

Who’s My Morrie? - I wanted to switch up activities in my English 10 classes and instead of having them write another journal or essay-type of response, I decided to have them write two poems. These would be about people who influenced them positively--their 'Morries'.
Anne Bradstreet Poetry - In my American Seminar classes, the advanced 11th grade course on American literature, I did a mini-unit on Anne Bradstreet poetry.
Journal #2 – Being Your Age - September 21: By this time, my English 10 students are up to page 60 in Tuesdays with Morrie. Perfect time to assign another journal.
Who Am I/My Culture Paper - For one of the first major writing assignments in my English 10 classroom, I decided to have the students write a paper about three items that define them, 'Who Am I/My Culture Paper'. This began as an assignment/mini-speech [to read more about that, click here].
Who Am I/My Culture Assignment - To dig a little deeper and connect my Tuesdays with Morrie unit to Narrative writing, which my students have and will be doing for the remainder of the year, I decided to create a 'Who Am I/My Culture' Assignment.
Letter to Author, Mitch Albom – Assignment, Rubric - To direct my students in the Letter to [Author] Mitch Albom activity, I created an assignment sheet and a rubric, grading them on their ability to connect the text to their personal lives [narrative writing], use correct letter-writing format, content, and conventions/grammar. 
Coach/Mentor Poem – Brainstorming Worksheet, Assignment, Rubric - In beginning the Coach/Mentor Poem activity, a lesson in my Tuesdays with Morrie unit, I first had the students brainstorm about a coach or a mentor in their personal lives. I created a Brainstorming Worksheet to assist in their pre-planning for this assignment.
Creating My Own Rubric - During my clinical hours at Garner-Hayfield-Ventura High School in the fall of 2013, I created a rubric for a research paper in a 12th grade English classroom.

 

Other Sample Work:

Includes presentations, papers, and a lesson plan template. To see lesson plans, click here.

Complete 6-Week Unit for Tuesdays with Morrie - Tuesdays with Morrie is an amazing novel. It deals with death, love, hardship, family, friendship, faith, and positivity, and is an amazing book for high schoolers to read. In my student teaching experience, I created a full six-week unit for the novel, complete with standards-aligned assignments, assessments, projects, papers, and activities. This is it!
A Complete 6-Week Unit for House on Mango Street - Am I joking? No. This is not a joke! Here is a 6-week plan for House on Mango Street that you can easily view and download here: Complete 6 Week House on Mango Street Unit.
Atheism in the Classroom - The object of this presentation is to discuss the major beliefs and ideas that surround Atheism—whether the belief in the human mind and self-reliance, or the belief in science. The presentation reflects two major ideas: Atheism as a belief system or Atheism as the absence of faith in a higher power. 
Lesson Plan Template - One of my very first education classes at Waldorf emphasized lesson plans–a huge component of not only my college career, but my professional teaching career as well.

 

In addition to teaching, I enjoy writing. Here are two research-based papers on the topic of education.
To read more writing, academic or creative, or to see my complete professional portfolio, click on the ‘Portfolio’ image.

Atheism in the Classroom Queing Creativityportfolio-md