custom google search for lincut

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Welcome back to school with search story creator on

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

fun with my ipad and dragon tape put youtube videos together, sort of interesting


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Remembering what learning looks like....

I know I shouldn't but I am going to put my thoughts out there just for my own reflection. For weeks, well frankly for months, ok all year, I have had those 'just kill me now' thoughts about why I am even trying to continue teaching (as I do not really feel parental or admin support). The students do not study, they will not do paperwork, and when I try to start class or even give the lesson one or two students have to shout out some comment about how they cannot take out last nights homework because they did not do it or talk as I am trying to give instructions or basically tell me they cannot do any work in class because 'I have a snotty tone'. But this week even after all of this there was a day when I saw learning going on and it reminded me of why I put so much effort into organizing the lessons and providing opportunities. I had given the students a list of terms to know for the quiz next week and then I decided that I would put the terms and definitions in boxes that they could cut out and match up to help them study (basically for my special education students). They were also, supposed to organize them into columns of like terms, so a ;modified graphic organizer because I have this theory that if they have to read it and cut it out and organize it then it will implant somewhere in their brains. I set it up quickly due to a 'this is what a great idea' on the drive to work in the morning and 15 minutes when I got there to type and print it up. Of course without totally reviewing it and doing the activity first there were problems with not every term having a definition and not fitting into one of the four columns of terms. But, wow to my wonder the students in first period spent the time discussing the issues among themselves and coming up with a solution that worked for them. They collaborated with each other and between groups. It was amazing. Then in another class we did a lab to find denisty of objects, which used the lab of finding volume from the day before. The students were cooperative in their groups, worked all period long, and when one student did not get what to do, rather then run to me they helped each other and figured out what to do. I am reminded about a couple of things: 1) the students are learning, 2) I am doing a terrific job, and 3) all the little outbursts and behavior challenges are just another way that they are growing up.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A New Year 2012

It is another new year and I am finally going to do what I started two summers ago.  I had intended to have the students do reading comprehension and standardized test practice every Thursday, since we are now on a four day school week (which I love by the way). This weekend I have finally made Google form quizzes of 25 questions each and uploaded the worksheets I created two summers ago into so that students can download and take practice tests at home and online.  Plus, I intend to dedicate some time every Thursday in class having them complete short answer questions.  I am not sure if this will all be graded on effort or extra credit or a combination of both.  Since we are all engaged in the high stakes test game, I do like my students to perform at a high level.  Typically, I have had a passing rate of about 65% to 75%.  I don’t think this year will do as well but I do say that every year.  I know it is not about me but I do hope that they are learning since the students see me two years in a row. 

On top of all this, on Saturday, I put together my introduction to chemistry unit for this year. Since I usually start with chemistry in September except for this year because we have a new textbook that is organized with physics first we are going to be doing this unit in the beginning of February instead.  I am hoping to have them write a paper for research first, do some at home experiments, and make a magazine on current topics in chemistry.  Semi-independent work filled with some choices for them.  I like to see them be their own learners with me as facilitator, it is amazing how much they learn without realize that they are.  On the other hand there are a few that sit around and do very little so I get discouraged but I keep trying this approach over and over again.  Force feeding knowledge is so boring and routine that to stay inspired and to hopefully get students to engage I try this semi-differentiation about twice a year.  I am still going to make them read the book and give quizzes on vocabulary and offer other short group projects to make sure we cover the core concepts.  June will be here soon and my 8th graders will move on to our high school fully prepared, I hope.

Slide3 Slide4 Slide2

Plus please continue to read my newsletter.