I’m Gretchen Taylor and this is my 11th year teaching English at Options! I’m excited for another year of teaching and to tell you a little about what’s going on in my classes.
All of the core classes (English 9-1, 10-1, and 11-1) started out by writing a three paragraph story about a topic of the student’s choice. The students then spent a day revising their stories and then read the stories that other students in the building had written. The students did not know who had written which story and were asked to offer a compliment, a suggestion, and a rating to each writer. The classes are then moving on to reading our first novels for the year.
In addition to those classes, I’m teaching a short story class. We’ve started off the year by reading the short stories that several famous authors wrote in response to the children’s book The Adventures of Harris Burdick. Today, the students started reading “Another Place, Another Time,” which deals with time travel as the 4th dimension. Next week, the students will be responding to the story by writing their own stories involving time travel.
I’m also teaching a Themes in Literature class that is focused on fairy tales. We started off by examining some of the myths about fairy tales, such as the fact that while they are normally thought of as children’s stories, in reality they are often quite gruesome and unacceptable for small children. As we continue, we’ll be studying specific fairy tales including Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, and – of course – Cinderella as well as several lesser known fairy tales.
I am excited to begin my 7th year at Options (10th year teaching). Our Social Studies classes are already off and running. I pride my classroom on openness and building trust. I encourage the students to join in discussion, and think deeper on subjects we are talking about. I want them to question things, research, and critically think.
Technology is something that needs to be embraced in the classroom, these kids are extremely tech savvy. For that reason, I utilize Google Classroom for all History subjects. I think the students are not only stronger on computers, but find it much easier to complete assignments (especially if they miss a day.)
Our US History classes have begun learning about the early Native Americans, and why European countries were so interested in exploring our continent.
Government started out with the basis of government (why countries need a government) and began working on a project of creating their own state.
World History learned about the prehistoric peoples of the world, and the foundations of civilizations around the area of Egypt.
Looking forward to an exciting school year!
Social Studies Teacher
Options Charter School-Carmel