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The Fall of the House of Usher

In our Read 180 R books, we have the story "The Fall of the House of Usher" by Edgar Allan Poe. Each year, I think about showing my students the actual movie from 1960 starring Vincent Price. Well, this year, I finally did. In December, I found the DVD online for $5.25. So I ordered it and watched it. It was refreshing because there's no bad language in it. I wasn't sure how my students would respond, since the movie was made before technology came into play. 

The first day the plot developed very slowly and some of my students got restless. But today, as we watched the rest of the movie, they were very involved. They were commenting and asking each other questions. When the movie ended, we discussed the similiarities and differences between the movie and the story we read. I asked them specific questions and I was impressed how well they had paid attention.

One of my colleagues came by and said he remembered watching this movie when he was in middle school. I wonder how many of my students will remember watching this movie 35 years from now.



I walked into Ralph Carnesi's room, one of our language arts teachers, and notice a "monopoly board" posted on his wall. I asked him what it was for and he wrote the following: 

In my classroom, Homeworkopoly is used as an incentive for my students to do their homework.  I usually bring the game out after winter break when my students' interest in doing their homework assignments starts to wain.  It is a totally positive experience with no negatives, except not being allowed to play. 

To qualify, my students must do their homework for the week which includes completing their Accelerated  Reader log.  Not completing any assignments in a week's time disqualifies them from Homeworkopoly.  

I have my students make their own game pieces by having them make their own personalized characters.

As my students roll the dice they move around the board.  At each space I have an activity the student can choose to do if he or she wishes.  Attached to each activity is a reward for free soda, chocolate bars, free homework coupons, etc.  The students have one full week to complete the activity assigned to each space.  If the student completes the activity and turns it in, they are eligible for the prize.  

We play Homeworkopoly every Friday.  The whole game takes about 15 minutes and the kids love it.

These are some sites that will help you create your own Homeworkopoly. 

Here are photos of Mr. Carnesi and his homeworkopoly boards:




The inauguration is January 20th. It will be an historic day.

Continue reading "Inauguration-2009" »


MLK Day is approaching. I thought I would give some suggestions where to find some ideas for teaching your students.

Continue reading "MLK Day" »

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in Inside Sandra's Middle School Classroom are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.