Showing posts from November, 2012


Explosion in room 25 Combustible attitudes Overworked teacher Tired Students An F bomb drops Not acceptable An "I'll do what I want" Attitude Confrontation Going nowhere Others waiting To see where this train is headed Headed To an impasse No winners Only whiners Today's Task Rebuilding Connections

Where I'm Headed

I first heard about flip classrooms last year. And, true to form, I began reading and learning all I could about them. I didn't jump right in. I sat back and watched and learned.  Here's what I believe and where  I am headed (and in many ways, I'm already there). Flip class--giving students what they need when they need it. Not on my time. Their time. So I'm not flipping lectures. If I need to say something to the whole class, then I'll talk to the whole class (and record it for those who are absent. A bonus for those kids who want to go back and see it again.) And maybe that's blended learning..... Flip class--expecting students to take charge of their learning. Yes. I know I have to help them along the way. Yes. I am the teacher. Yes. I need to give them a gentle nudge once in awhile.  But they need to take charge. What do they need to know to move forward in their learning?  I expect them to tell me and find some of the information themselves. Google it

What Do People Need to Learn to Write

Last week, Ruth Ayres wrote a thought provoking post over at Two Writing Teachers . At the same time, I have been struggling with where I want my Creative Writing classes and English 9 classes to go.  I can see in my head my ideal classroom, but the reality is ugly. We're not there. And I'm not sure of the road I'm taking. So, the questions Ruth asked got me thinking and questioning myself and exploring and writing. The results, my beliefs about writing, will be here, in a series of posts. I learned to write by writing. Sounds simple, doesn't it. But it's not that simple. I really believe there is much more to it. People need time to learn to write. A dedicated time in their day where the focus will be putting pen to paper---or fingers to keys--and they write. And how do I know this? Because I haven't been making that time. I find all kinds of other little time suckers and I haven't been writing. Not like I used to. And in my classroom, I sometime

The Smiley Faced Box

The Smiley Faced Box. It sat on the kitchen table All night Waiting patiently. But, I knew what was inside So I left it where it was So it wouldn't distract me. 7:15am I bring it to school  for that is where it belongs. I didn't open it. At First. I planned to organize my room and clean the smudge off my desks. I would write lesson plans and run off papers and be ready for next week. But, There it sat. The Smiley Faced Box. Looking at me. Whispering "Just take a little peek." So I did (even though I already knew the magic it held). And there inside the Smiley Faced Box were whining children waiting to be eaten by MONSTERS! And there was Ralph who thought he didn't have a story to tell, but told me one anyway. And  best of all waiting patiently at the bottom of the  Smiley Faced Box Cassia and Ky and Xander Reached for me Ready to share with me How

The Absolutely True Slice of Life Post

This is another one of those "I don't write about books, but I gotta write about this book" post. And. I'm late to the party. I've been meaning to read this book for awhile now. It's been out for years. I just never got around to it. Kept putting it off. But this school year, it kept creeping into my life. I'm talking about Sherman Alexie's  The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Kelly Gallagher used   The Unofficial and Unwritten  (but you better follow them or you're going to get beaten twice as hard)   Spokane Indian Rules of Fisticuffs  as a mentor text in his book   Write Like This.  So I tried it with my students. They loved it and wrote great unwritten rules of their own Then, Ruth sent me this quote: Back on the rez, I was a decent player, I guess. A rebounder and a guy who could run up and down the floor without tripping. But something magical happened to me when I went to Reardan.Overnight, I became a good pla

Thankful For Parents

After reading Stacey's post about the month of thanks and reading several friends' Facebook posts, it came to me that one thing I am thankful for is caring parents. Those parents who take the time to come to conferences when I'm sure there are other things that need their attention. Conferences are different in high school. Although they can sign up online for a time and they don't have to see every teacher, not as many parents come to them. Some because their kids are doing well and they don't see the need and others, well, maybe they don't come because it's just to depressing. I had a good crowd this week. Not swamped, but quite a few parents showed up. I am happy they all came, but here are a couple who stood out. I am thankful for the parents who showed up at 7:00pm Thursday, apologizing for being early, but wondering if I could fit them in. I gladly did. The only problem, and one they didn't realize, their conference was actually supposed to be