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Showing posts from August, 2012

A Letter to My Students

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Read more great slices every Tuesday at TwoWritingTeachers Dear Students, If you haven't noticed from my whooping and hollering in the hall, the high fives with former students and the big smile on my face every day, I'm pretty excited about school starting.  I'm something of a school geek. I wake up in the morning thinking about what I'm going to do that day and fall asleep at night reflecting on the day. And here's my little secret I sometimes think I've failed you. Really. Sometimes I feel like a dog and pony show. I'm there for your entertainment, but am I really getting through to you?  I can make sure you pass the class. I can help you write wonderful speeches, create six-word memoirs, and understand theme in a story. By the time you leave my class you'll learn to deal with nerves, create a portfolio of your writing, and have your own idea of who was responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. What else is there you ask? Passi

Working on the Resolutions

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Thanks to Christy Rush-Levine for this graphic It was a great first week of school. Even the three days of inservice/work time. You know what I mean. Sometimes those professional development days are pretty worthless.  I felt good about most of ours, so that was a nice feeling.  Our district attempted differentiating the PD on Monday and that is a step in the right direction.  I learned a new tool to use with my classes and I always love that! But Thursday was the day I was waiting for. First day with my kids. It was fantastic! One of my New Year's Resolutions is to make better connections with my freshmen and I really concentrated on that the first two days.  Step one was making sure I learned all their names as quickly as possible. By Friday, I had learned the first names of all 45 of them (I also learned the names of the random upperclassmen I didn't know, but there aren't as many of them). I told them that we might have to review a bit on Monday.  Sometim

My New Year's Resolutions

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And here we are. Another summer gone. Another school year starting. And let me tell you a little secret... I'm really, really excited to start school. Not necessarily the professional things we are doing before kids come, but the real school. You know...when the kids come. As I did last year, I thought I would write down my resolutions for the new year.  Last year I referred back to these many times throughout the year. It kept me on track. Reminded me to keep reading my professional books. Kept me focusing on my quotes.  I felt better about my teaching and my life because of writing them down. When I look at my resolutions, I don't feel like I did as well as I could have using technology in my classroom.  I wanted to integrate it into units more than I did, so I am keeping that resolution: 1. Teach Web 2.0 tools to my students and ask them to use them to display their learning. I have learned several new tools this summer and have been writing down ideas for th

Summer Memories

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Yesterday Jo Knowles posted one last Teacher's Write prompt .  Find a picture and write a list poem.  It's been rolling around in my head since then... I think this is also going to be one of my first prompts for my students It's over. Summer, I mean.  Where did it go?  One day it was here and  the next it was Soaked up by the sun Blown away by the wind Lapped up by the waves Memories Play around in my mind Giggling grandkids Sitting in the lake Squirt guns Golf days spent searching for the shade Concerts with friends Fireworks Lovely weddings Long lovely days of  doing  absolutely  nothing Summer promises to be back in the  Tinkling of ice cubes Caressing of warm breezes and Screeching of the gull Warm afternoons  But the chill in the mornings Evenings of sweatshirts and fires Announces  Autumn's arrival

Sharing My Learning

I'm taking a tech class this week. Today I created this little animated video that I embedded on my web site for my freshmen.  Thought I would share with all of you also. DebDay's Animation by DebDay on GoAnimate Video Maker - Powered by GoAnimate.

Mark Twain Live

I am not a fan of so-called "classic" books. I generally think they don't have much value for some of our students. Especially British Lit, as my roomie will tell you. But I love Mark Twain. And while reading through my Twitter feeds this morning, I found a link to this little vide. The only footage of Mark Twain in existence. And the English teacher geek in me got a little excited.  But who to share it with?   You are the only people I know who will find this cool.