Featured author: Judith Darling
Judith Darling taught Kindergarten, 1st, 4th, and 5th grade for 10 years and middle school language arts and social studies for 20 years. She’s taught in Albuquerque, NM, Pearland, TX, and Wasilla, AK in diversified school districts.
We chatted with Judith about her experience teaching and being a successful TES author, and here’s what she had to say about:
Her process for creating resources
I note what students have learned previously, what they currently need to learn, and how what they are going to learn will be useful to them in the future. I then figure out how to make it student-directed. Once I have all that information, I start developing the resource. I make an outline, do the research, set up the format, and then I am ready to start building the lessons. It usually takes me six months to a year to complete a student-ready product by the time I have a rough draft, begin the editing process, and write the final product.
A memorable story from her teaching career
I think teaching in Alaska was such a unique experience when compared with teaching in the lower 48. I had students that couldn’t come to school or came late because there were moose in the driveway, bears in the yard, or their car slid off the road because there was so much ice. Every playground and sports field had an ice hockey rink. Students were expected to be outside for recess everyday unless the temperature was lower than minus 10, and then they could choose to go out if they wanted. Almost everyone chose to go outside. I remember one winter we had 60 – 80 mile an hour winds blowing snow and the roof of our middle school blew off. We had to take a few days off for the repairs, and no one seemed to mind.
Her advice for a first year teacher
Really observe what is going on around you. Check out how other teachers teach, what is successful and what isn’t, who handles their classroom the best, and note what students think about them. That way you can pick up the best qualities and incorporate them into your teaching style.
Quiggles = Giggles! Be a writing cheerleader by leading students in this engaging writing lesson. Students will draw a quiggle- a line, curve, angle, or shape before drawing a full page picture that incorporates the quiggle. Students then write a five paragraph essay that focuses on an introduction, organized paragraphs, and a conclusion. Judith’s graphic organizers, detailed lesson plan, and rubrics have everything you need!
This poetry unit provides a fun, informative journey through different kinds of poetry, with an eye towards different poetic devices and styles. Included are a few thoughtful lesson plans centered around some superb poems (e.g. Jabberwocky, O Captain! My Captain!). With opportunities to learn about language, vocabulary, composition, and incredible poetry, this unit is accessible, substantial, and fun. Common-core alignment is just icing on the cake.
This lesson is great for new and seasoned teachers! Judith does a fantastic job explaining exactly how this fun and engaging lesson works. Your students will create a cartoon based on a short story. The lesson also includes graphic organizers to ensure your students are successful and creative!