Spotlight on: Martha Hach from "The Owl Spot"

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Hi!  Thanks for stopping by The Lesson Deli!  I am so excited to be part of this great group of teachers.  I am Martha Hach, and am thrilled to say that I love what I do.  I've been teaching for 14 years, teaching grades 1 - 7 and everything in between.  Currently, I teach 5th grade in the mornings (ELA and math) and 7th grade ELA in the afternoons.  I'm also heading up the high school cheerleading squad this year.  You could say that life is quite busy!

I've always known that I wanted to be a teacher.  I can remember thinking in 2nd grade that I wanted to be just like my teacher one day.  And here I am, teaching in the same school that I grew up in!

I received my undergraduate degree from Bob Jones University in SC in Elementary Education. After teaching for a few years, I earned my National Boards license in Middle Childhood Generalist.  I also earned my Master's degree from Clemson University in Elementary Education with a focus in reading and writing.

My passion is teaching writing.  While attending Clemson University, I took part in a summer institute sponsored by the Upstate Writing Project and became a teacher consultant through the National Writing Project.  We use the model of teachers teaching teachers, and I've spent time presenting to teachers ways to improve their writing instruction on the school, district, state and national level.

I say all these things not to "toot my own horn," but to share with you my love for what I do.  And all of this experience goes into my products that I create for my TpT store.

So, aside from my teaching life, I've been married for 2 1/2 years to my amazing husband, Emil.  I'm completely spoiled, as I don't do any of the cooking or grocery shopping!  Emil has gourmet chef training and we eat in more than we eat out.  I also am a proud mamma of a Golden Retriever named Jaggers and a Beagle named Shamu (yep, like the whale).


A writing strategy that I use with my 7th graders is what I call "write like an expert."  What better way to teach a specific technique than to find someone who does it well to model! So, as we began our unit on descriptive writing, we first looked at J.R.R.Tolkien's description of a hobbit's home.  Tolkien starts his description:
 “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort."

We talked about Tolkien's use of examples and non-examples, and students tried using his model with their own descriptions.   Needless to say, I was quite pleased with the results.  Students were able to move out of their writing comfort zone and try something new, because they saw how a successful writer did it. 

Another great tool that I've created is my PAW - Poetry Analysis Worksheet.  This is a free download in my TpT store.  Click on the link below to my store so you can download one for your students. This is a great CLOSE reading activity as well as a tool for teaching different components of poetry.  

I've found this to be a wonderful tool in my classroom, and would love to hear what you think, too.  I hope you return back to "The Lesson Deli" frequently to gain some great teaching tips.

As always, happy teaching!  - Martha from "The Owl Spot"

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