Monday, October 10, 2011

New Homework Plan

Over the past few weeks, I have really been trying to help you (my kids) succeed in school.  I am realizing that many of you have a very hard time completing your homework.  It seems that you just don’t have routines.  I had a routine in high school and want to help inspire you to create routines of your own.  

When I was in high school, I was very busy with sports, ASB, and a social life.  However, I was pretty successful at completing my work.  I used a little paper planner that the school issued to all of the students.  In my planner, I recorded all upcoming events, such as basketball games.  I also used it throughout the day to write down all of my homework assignments.  I carried it in my backpack.  In each class, I would put it on my desk, write down the nightly homework assignment, and make notes about things such as when tests were coming up.  It looked like this:

Monday, October 10, 1997
·         Per 1 – Read Ch. 6-7 of Moby Dick
·         Per 2 – Type Lab Notes
·         Per 4 – Ch. 6 (1-31 odd)
·         Per 5 – Study Verbs for Test
·         Basketball Game at Lutheran (leave 12:35)

As I completed each assignment, I would draw a line through it to mark it off my list.  I would also add notes, like the scores of my games.  Normally, I would complete most of my work after sports practice, and sometimes I worked at my neighbor’s house since we had the same classes.  However, I honestly was a bit of a procrastinator, so I would also complete my work during slow classes, on the sports bus on game days, and even at lunch if necessary.  My friends and I all helped each other.  By the time we were sophomores, we were pretty good at sharing notes and helping each other study between classes for upcoming tests. 

Even though I was fortunate to live with my parents, they really did not bug me about my work because they both worked and were busy tending to my younger siblings. I did my homework because I wanted to earn good grades to go to college and because most of my friends earned good grades.  I wanted to be one of the smart kids.  Yes, I know I am a bit of a nerd---but nerds tend to make it in life. 

This is the way I managed my assignments, but it is not the only way.  I remember that my friends all had their own systems.  For example, one of my guy friends just wrote his assignments on a little index card every day and kept it in his back pocket.  When I begin to think about all of you, my students, I wonder about your routines.  Maybe you just don’t have them yet.

Well, when I was in high school, I also used to swear to myself that I would never forget what it is like to be a teenager when I became an adult.  Unfortunately, time and maturity have made that a little difficult. I have spent a lot of time this weekend thinking of how I can help all of you to complete your homework, but I just can’t think of exactly what taught me to write down, complete, and check off my assignments.  Instead, I began to focus on what I can do to hopefully inspire you.  I do remember that I hated completing homework on the weekends, so I used that to inspire my new plan.  Here’s what I came up with:

If a student completes all four nightly homework assignments on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights before coming to class, I will automatically give him/her a pass for Friday’s homework assignment.  That pass will give the student a score equal to At Grade Level in the gradebook.  All the student will have to do is complete the form to remind Raquel and I that he/she earned the pass. 

So, what do you think? I will test this plan this week and reevaluate to see how it works out.  I am really looking forward to hearing your feedback. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Dragons Den: ABC's About Me

Attended a women's college, Mount St. Mary's College
Born in San Diego in 1980
Carries my iPad almost everywhere I go
Drives forty minutes to and from work every day because I live in Santee
Earned a Master of Arts in Teaching and Learning with Technology this year
Figures out how to do things on my own instead of reading directions
Gets migraine headaches from chocolate and a few other foods
Has three siblings: Nathan, Noland, and Nycole
Indulges in queso dip when dining out
Joins students for lunch when possible
Keeps old notes, emails, and letters from loved ones
Loves teaching at San Pasqual Academy
Meets friends after work to socialize
Notices more things about my students than they realize
Owns three brown dogs, a black cat, and a gray hamster
Played volleyball, basketball, and softball in high school
Quit using paper in my classroom last August
Rarely arrives on time, but I'm working on it 
Sells vintage items on eBay and Etsy 
Taught at my alma mater, Mountain Empire Jr/Sr High
Used to work at Girl Scout Summer Camps, Whispering Oaks and Winacka
Volunteers to do more than I have time to complete
Wears clothes and accessories that are older than I am whenever possible
X-ercises by walking and jogging with my dogs
Yells with excitement at Chargers and Dragons games
Zooms in on a few people instead of having a ton of superficial friends 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Eerrt! U-Turn!

I changed my mind. This blog is no longer inteneded to share my edtech learning. I tried that. I avoided my blog. It was not me. From now on, my posts will be written to my hard-working freshmen and sophomore students. Feel free to unsubscribe or keep reading.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Glogster Mini Portfolio for Ashford

Well, I officially labeled myself "old" today.  I had to make a Glogster Glog as one of my final assignments for Ashford.  Now, I expect my students to produce these often, but I had a sudden urge to scream to them for help as I began it.  Fortunately, I figured it out but I know my students could have produced a much better Glog.  Humble pie is always nice.  It's also a strong reminder to not take my little tech rockstars for granted.   

Click here to view my Glog in Glogster.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Romeo & Juliet with Google 4 Video - Who’s in?

Camera ManDuring CUE, Valentin and I attended a Google 4 Video session by Jim Sill. We agreed that we would both like to have our students create videos using the strategies Sill introduced. What if we create one project/assignment and have all of our students, in our different classrooms, complete it?

In the past, my students have created videos, puppet shows, and performed plays summarizing Romeo and Juliet. Each small group of students adapted the play to a different style, such as western or modern New York. Since the text is extremely challenging due to the kids’ reading levels, I normally have them watch and discuss the 1970’s video in small segments. They also read and reenact the most important scenes in class.

Currently, I imagine us creating a collaborative lesson plan using a Google Site sometime within the next few weeks. I plan to teach the entire unit—watching the movie and creating the videos—during April 11-29. This falls within the testing window, but in years past it was easy for the kids to work on the performances during testing since they normally need more work time than structured lessons. However, I can be flexible.

So, are you interested in joining me to collaboratively create a Romeo and Juliet video lesson plan?