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Showing posts from May, 2008

Nap Time

Ok, so it's near impossible to sit and write for an entire cup of coffee while the baby is awake. Let's change this to "nap time writing".

Friday afternoon was pretty fun. My AP class finished The Crucible and had three options for their final project - no papers to grade! - create a board game, rewrite a scene in a different setting and something that no one choose. Who can remember before the first cup of coffee?

Only one student chose to rewrite a scene, but the board games were pretty fun! The first one was "Who Be A Witch?" It was set up sorta like clue. It was missing the vocab and plot elements of the assignment, but still fun to play. Moving on, I killed them at "Witches Pursuit". The Vocabulary questions were killer! Next year, we will discuss what makes a good question. Given a definition, it's nearly impossible to guess which word is the correct answer. I think of at least five different words that mean "the state of being unknow…

Friday Afternoon

Ok, it's not really "after - noon", but it is during lunch, so it's
pretty much my afternoon.What's so great about Friday afternoon? This when I'm totally
optimistic about the amount work I can get done during those two days
off. Completely catch up on my grading (including well over 240
essays), paint the living room, drive to Renton to shop at Ikea, find
a new dog, clean the entire house, work in the garden and play with
the baby.What will actually happen? play with the baby, water the garden and
maybe make it out to meet a new dog. I might grade this week's vocab
tests... I have a feeling that the essays are going to be a check off
kind of thing. Everything else will be moved to next week or even next
month (July, not June).Why do I always think I can do twenty more things than I actually have
time or even the desire to do?

Saturday Morning Coffee

Kathie at Two Frog Home is copying Laurie at ...Slowly she turned in writing until the Saturday morning coffee is gone. It sounded like a good idea, so I'm copying too!

Thursday I was off and up at the crack of dawn to head out to the big-big city. Luckily we didn't really encounter any traffic and made it to the doctor's appointment with enough time to complete a diaper change and go all the way back to the car to get the paperwork I left on the passenger seat. Of course, the baby showed no symptoms of anything - mini DarthVader breathing, so the doctor was confused as to why she was there. We ended up with a blood test and test for cystic fibrosis (not that anyone thinks she has that... but just to check).

Friday I made it all the way to 2nd period before getting a call from the daycare to pick the baby up - fever. Can you believe that? Not even 24 hours after visiting the pulmonologist! We got into the her regular doctor and she was diagnosed with an actual "daycare…

Quick Update

I really do need to blog more often -

Next year I will be teaching AP Language and AP Literature. I am excited about the whole Brit Lit thing, but gobsmacked about the amount of work.For whatever reason, this year I cannot get a list of students who have registered for the AP classes until the last two days of school. Forget the fact that all who have registered are sitting in the computer or that for the past two years I've gotten the list in May... suddenly it's an issue. The overly helpful person who inserted him/herself into the situation suggested that I simply give the summer assignment to those who ask for it. I think this person is pissed that I actually have a summer assignment that students do because it's graded. Of course, if I simply give the assignment to the three students who ask for it, it won't be... thanks for your support.Our department is no where on finding a vocab. program. I haven't seen anything I'm remotely interested in and everyone el…

In Class Writing

I'm thinking of changing the way I do writing assignments next year.
The amount of time it takes to grade assignments and do Internet
searches for those that have been plagiarized is staggering. At the
same time, I have a few students who absolutely cannot write on
demand... they just freeze up. I have others who cannot write an essay
in the time allotted to each period.Then again, maybe they will learn something about writing, stress and
getting the job done if they are forced to write... it just isn't what
I had in mind in teaching. To me, on demand writing is cold, sterile
and rife with formulaic writing. Of course, I could just do sophomore
classes as in-class writing only. Everything they write is WASL
formula anyways.

36 Days Left

Not that I'm counting...

Actually, I hate counting by the number of school days left. It makes it seems like there is only a month left, when in actuality, there is a month and half. But however, you count the school year is winding down. We're talking about what to spend our budget on (new vocab. program? books?), what everyone will be teaching next year - we're loosing a teacher, so some shifting has to be made. I'm taking one for the team and teaching AP Language and AP Literature. A friend suggested that I demand an extra prep period for taking on AP Literature. I laughed really hard.

Next year's budget looms large overhead. As with most schools in WA state, we're loosing students. Apparently, the 90's weren't a huge baby-making decade. This means we'll get less $$ from the state. Since teachers are finally getting a COLA raise and this is adding to the local budget burden. As a result, the teachers are getting a huge guilt trip from the superinte…

When the Chickens Come Home to Roost

Graduation is coming up. You would think this was a happy time of
year, but for teachers and administrators it is one of the most
stressful.The stress can be summed up in one word. Parents.Parents who believe that little Johnny should be graduating even
though he hasn't passed all of his required classes. Parents who
believe that their child is being slighted because a teacher gave
him/her a bad grade. The list goes on...Today it's Honor Cords. Yes, those flimsy little cords awarded to
members of the Honor Society in good standing. This year, some people
aren't getting one and the parental units are up in arms.You see, in the past, Honor Society paid for cords for everyone who
had a 3.5 or above GPA. No one bothered to check to see if they were
an Honor Society member or had even participated. The students paid
money once a year and that was it. To say that the group was dying was
an understatement. The few who attended meetings could fit in a
closet. No students led anything, few sho…