Posts

Visualizing Persuasion

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One of the biggest issues we have in getting prepared for the STAAR is the writing portion of the test.  Lucky for us (or unlucky; the tides have yet to determine) they took the analysis paragraph away, so when it comes to writing, I can put all my energy into the persuasive essay. Before  ABYDOS , my students had written an essay for timed writing.  We had done a two week unit on over overcoming adversity and the essay was the conclusion.  I was worried about feedback, convinced I don’t dedicate nearly enough time on the idea, convinced that it’s probably the most important element in getting them to where I need them to be, convinced that maybe, just maybe, that was the reason they’re all horrible at writing. However, during ABYDOS, I went to a session where she explained that her Pre-AP students were having some of the same problems mine were.  She also expressed the power of visual learning and color. She has the students self evaluate using highlighters.  Yellow= trans

ABYDOS: A Weekend in Review

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I remember somebody telling me that ABYDOS used to be a THING in our district.  I remember somebody telling me that ABYDOS was one to the district what other strategies are now.  That it was one of those things that the district fell in love with and then decided everybody else needed to be doing it. ABYDOS was before my time. But our district still sends people to some of the conferences.  And this year I was lucky enough (no shade)  to be chosen to go. I got put up in a hotel room, got to room with a really awesome chick, was able to spend my days BEING TAUGHT things, and I got to do it all while someone else sat with my kids for two days. And although I walked out with more ideas than strategies to take back to the classroom, it renewed something in me.  More on that later.  Because this post is about what I brought back with me.  Read more below.

Using Channel One as a SCIOP/ESL Tool

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I love  Channel One . I think it’s a great way to get current events into larger discussions in the classroom. I also don’t use Channel One enough. Or like… at all. *background info* Our school has a program called PrimeTime, where kids can be requested for a class period’s worth of intervention once a week. Priority goes to the core instructors, followed by a period where elective teachers can request students. I’m still undecided on whether I’m completely in love with the idea or absolutely hate it. *back to what you came here for* So, I was tossing and turning way earlier than I needed to be one morning, trying to figure out what I was going to do for PrimeTime that day when I thought about relevancy, and then I thought about our current climate, and then I thought about Channel One all while thinking about my SCIOP kiddos. I struggle with those students trying to get them to just write a simple paragraph. It’s disheartening and frustrating and even harder to imagine than

The First Week

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The first week we have kids is always the hardest for me.  I’m nervous and anticipatory and all the things that you think would come along with meeting 150 new people all at one time.  That’s a crazy thought.  And it kind of puts things into perspective about why I feel the anxiety that I do. So anywho… Monday was Freshman Orientation, so since I was moved back up again to sophomores I didn’t have kids in my class.  It rained Monday, and I put the finishing touches on my classroom to the sound of it pelting the metal roof and fearing that I wouldn’t be able to get out of the parking lot. TUESDAY We spent a good two hours in Advisory so every class didn’t meet. But for periods 3-9, I had something planned as an introduction that I had never done before. Play- doh! I read  Teach Like a Pirate  by Dave Burgess over the summer and it gave me some serious renewed hope.  I’m going to write a review soon.  But he says that on the first day of school he has the kids play with

On the Eve of Back to School

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I’ll admit it. I had a bomb ass summer of self discovery and the last thing I want to do is go back.  But alas… I have signed a contract. I honestly don’t know if it’s the school.  Or the grade.  Or if it is teaching entirely.  But the thought of returning makes me feel hopeless. That was the bad news. Now, despite how I’m feeling, I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts and I’ve been reading a lot of self help books (because as a teacher I can’t really afford therapy) and I’ve come to the conclusion that maybe it’s all in my head.  Maybe I’m making myself miserable.  Maybe, if I can just change my attitude, I can change my life. It’s done wonders this summer. Good news. There is no way out of this year.  I’ve signed my contract.  Kids are knocking on my door.  No matter how much I don’t want it to happen it is totally happening. So I’m sucking it up.  Changing my attitude.  Rediscovering the things that I originally fell in love with about teaching.  And hoping aga

An Open Letter to "That One Kid"

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Hey You, You are that kid. The one that will actively choose to sit in the back of the class (if you get a choice) and put your head down when the lesson begins. That one kid who never turns in any work, doesn’t take things seriously, and when asked what you plan to do with your life, proudly tell me that you’re going to be the next Jordan or Watt; Cobain or Lamar, or Rowling or Gates. The kid who is so smart, so talented, so creative that it drives me almost insane that you’ve decided to take this approach to life. I totally believe you when you say that you’re going to make it. You’re going to be big. I’m still wishing for my big break too. And I don’t mean to smirk when you explain how “this close” you are to getting your record deal. You don’t need an education, you’re too “different” to be taught traditionally; you don’t give a fuck. I hope that you become somebody big. I truly do. I hope that you get to give interviews to an International audience and explain how your