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Showing posts from June, 2008

AP Institute - After

We're in the home stretch... the final afternoon session always seems to be a time when there is a need to do a bit of chatting and goofing around. After four days of intensive AP work, it's a necessity to drain the brain for a moment.

Some good things

really organized: each packet of information I've been given fits into a specific category. I can tell what it means in relationship to other packets of information.useful for classroom: not just a packet of graphic organizers, but rather a description of how it work, what it can be used for and specific examplespaired works: this is one of the most difficult things for me to find pairs or poems that work with specific works or sections; finding appropriate excerpts.video, music and artwork pairings; again, very difficult and time-consumingessays to score, calibration; it's hard to teach what the readers are looking for when you aren't sure yourself. My AP Lang. course did this on 9 essays-one for each score. Without d…

The Tough Go Shopping

The front page of the newspaper today featured "Chaos hits Can-Do U.S. Ethic Hard". Barely 17% of people surveyed believe that the US is headed in the right direction, but it does beg the question of what the right direction is. According to this article, people feel lost because they have no control over events, especially natural disasters. Why is that? Have we really lost our "pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps" attitude? No. We've just traded the boots for 99-cent tennis shoes made in China. We have the can-do attitude, but sold the know-how to retail developers.

A couple of years ago, I asked a former home-ec. (or what ever they call it these days) teacher why sewing is no longer in the high school. The response was that since a person could buy a $5 t-shirt at Wal-Mart, it was a waste of resources to teach something that wasn't necessary. This teacher wore Hawaiian shirts every day, so pointing out that a $5 t-shirt might not always be appropriate woul…

Saturday Morning Coffee Part Two

Remember last month when I told the office to schedule only one section of AP Language? Well, so far I have 40 students who told me they planned on taking the course next year... . Of course, only 32 actually returned the contract. As I saw kids on the last I asked them if they were still planning on taking the course. They all said yes... shining me on? Who knows. I'd love to have two sections of AP Language, but that's going to mean some sheduling shifting next year. I guess I'll just have to wait until July 18 and see how many summer assignments come in.

In the meantime, I'm starting my own homework. Next week is the AP conference. This year, I harrassed the principal to register me, so I was registered last month. This means I got an actual "new" course, instead of a last minute shit-we-registered-to-many-people-but-not-enough-to-make-two-full-sections-of-new-and-experienced course. Hopefully this will mean I'll get information about teaching course in…

School's Out for Summer

or rather, for two weeks, until summer school starts.

The last day of grading! Sadly, that's all I could think about... getting those grades in. Summer school is so much easier. No real grading, just sitting around discussing. With only four to six kids, it's pretty easy to just sit around working until they get it to the best quality, rather than moving on.

Which leads into an interesting conversation I had this week. Apparently, there is a group of parents in area who want to start their own school. Since charter schools aren't allowed in WA state, it would have to be an expensive private school. My reaction was an economic one - this is a rather rural area and there are already two private schools (rather small ones). Where would the number of students needed to support a school come from? The cost of tuition would far out of reach for 95% of local residents. The reactions of others I've talked to where much more interesting. One suggested enrolling in one of the priv…

3.30 in the morning

There are two days of school left, plus the BBQ day... which shouldn't count as a school days since almost no students show up in my classroom.

I still haven't graded the final, but all these students seem to be thinking that it will magically save their grade if only I will get it done! What I really need to do is print out a list of AR points. That's what will save or cook their collective gooses.

Now, if I could just sleep the peaceful slumber of a teacher with an empty paper box.

Which One?

I finally choose two colors for the living room - it only took two years. Now, I just have to decide on one. My dilema - I like the Brown Teepee, but it's a bit cold. The living room is on the north side of the house and gets pretty dark once the sun moves to about the midpoint of the sky. I have lots of windows though.

Here the pics - let me know what you think. Brown Teepee or Peanut Butter (the orangey one)









*Update* The votes are pretty much in favor of Brown Teepee, but I'm still looking for opinions. I can't pait for another two weeks, so get your votes in!

Almost Done

The “idea books” were a hit with the AP students – we shared them yesterday. Really creative and very personal. The students created the books on their lives, who influenced them, how they got to where they are in life, etc. I don’t think they would work in my less cohesive classes. The sharing could be emotional.We finished playing the Julius Caesar games. Hands down the most creative was a variation of twister. The player choose a color, but the opposite team chose the category (marked on the row of colors) and if the player got the question wrong, which body part to use. The player had to be very calculating on their choice of color and know all categories. Or be really flexible.Graduation is tomorrow. I wish I could say that I’m looking forward to it, but the controversy over the stinkin’ honor cords is putting kinda a damper on it for me. We came up with a compromise, but we’ll see how it goes over. Luckily, the ceremony is held near my house, so I can make a quick escape.

Coffee and a Nap

I know those two don't seem like they go together, but during the baby years they definitely do.

Two more weeks of school left! Woo Hoo! No more grading stress for two months. Of course, then the onslaught begins with both AP Language and AP Literature. But why worry about that now? The actual final is on Tuesday. Then we'll be watching inspirational movies and doing some kind of artistic life-goal project.

The sophomores completed their game projects for Julius Caesar. On Friday, the groups traded and played another group's game. Most of the games got a thumbs up. Some were more popular than others; usually the ones that had a bit of a challenge to them or a real competitive aspect. Of course, no one would say that another group's game was not very good or didn't have a lot of thought behind it, but they would move on or back to another game. The sight of an empty board probably spoke more than a spoken review.

The living room is starting to look a grown-up's liv…

Bad Weather

We were discussing the weather the other day at lunch – how cold and wet it has been during a time that should be bright and sunny and a bit warmer. It suddenly came to me just how cold and nasty it’s been this spring. Every spring, as the weather warms, I stop wearing winter clothes and switch to lighter summer types with short sleeves and cropped pants. And every spring at least one student per period interrupts to say “Miss! You’ve got a tattoo?!?!”So far this year, no one has said that. My secret tattoo - which really isn’t a secret or even in a place that wouldn’t be seen in a normal climate – is hidden from view. I’m still wearing at least two layers of clothes every day. I haven’t even been able to switch to summer shoes. This in turn makes it hard to believe that school is nearly out. It’s June for pete’s sake and it still feels like April.Warm places look really good right now. Is there a place that gets moderately warm (above 70) on a regular basis and doesn’t rain on a near…

What I actually did this weekend...

Dishes. I did the dishes. Played with the baby. Mowed the back yard. Took dog for a few walks. Bought new bookshelves and wireless router. Installed wireless router. Accomplished nothing else... promise myself that I will grade papers at 9pm. Or nap.

It's tiring to sit and surf the web.