Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring time

This beautiful creation is from Martha - I have loved everything she does from the time I was a little girl. I would sit and look through copies of Martha Stewart Living for hours trying to figure out how I could make those different items.
I love spring-time. It means the start of the new year and flowers begin to make themselves known. It's also in part because my birthday is in April and I love my birthday. It's not because I like the prezzies (although that never hurts) but i like to be noticed. Shocking i know but i'm kinda an extrovert. My students are always making fun of me for it. I'm the person who would beg to be the host - put me in front of 3000 people and I'm good to go.
But back to spring time. I love the weather as well. i like the crisp mornings with dew on the grass, and the warm sun that begins to take the chill out of the air at around 9 or 10am. I like that living in temecula means that i get to see all of the hot air balloons on my drive to work.
As a teacher i love spring because it means i have two weeks off that begins April 3rd (i'm not counting the days hehehe). I also get to see the progress in my students because this is the time of year when juniors become focused and more mature. they can see the light at the end of the tunnel that is 'high school' and so they get focused and begin to care about the words that i'm saying.
This is also the time of the year when i get to celebrate my wedding anniversary. this will be 5 years!!! and I'm looking forward to so many more.
so spring time i'm ready for you - bring on the birds chirping - the bunnies jumping - and the warm days. I'm ready!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

For my English peeps

If you are an English teacher - you know that there is a beast that looms over you. It is a monster that if left untouched can be even more harmful than when tackled head on. That monster lives in the heart of children - and it is called MLA. For those of you out there who do not need to worry about this 'thing' then you have no idea how scary this is to teach for the first time. I remember going home and wanting to cry.

It is the way we cite sources - and ultimatly format papers so that plagarism is left far far behind. For me I have come to love the beast. I know - I know I'm a freak of nature. I like teaching the research project. (please have me commited)

One of the ways that I have learned is to use a sample essay (a good one that was written by our AP english teacher). And today I tried out Human MLA. I printed out the different parts of citation onto a peice of paper - so that when put together they look like this (Smith et al. 98). - and I give students the pieces of cardstock - they go up to the front of the room and then have to make the citation in front of the class. - this is a very low risk activity, so even the timid kid in the back of the room can participate.
I am hoping that the kids will do well on the quiz that's at the end of the week. I'll keep you posted. I had fun and it looked like they did too. What a great day to be a teacher.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

It's a jungle out there

So i just got back from a leadership conference. the theme was CADA-fari and it was AWESOME. i can't believe how much fun i had. And learned sooo much. There are so many things that i want to bring to my classroom. here are some of the ideas i plan on implementing when i get back to my room on Monday.
Vocabulary Jenga -
put numbers on the pieces and also words like - sentence - synonym - antonym
have students come up and pick a piece. if they pick a number they look at the board with all of the vocab words on the board and then give the definition for the corresponding number. next kid goes - and so on.
I'm going to _____ University -
Using a large piece of brown butcher paper cut our the shape of a suitcase. Laminate the piece of paper so that you can write directly on it (use whiteboard markers) write the words I'm going to ___ University and every month put in a new college. it's like a college spotlight. also put on the paper 5 fun facts about the university. when it's on the wall point it out to students to spotlight colleges and universities that might not always get the spotlight.
i'm looking forward to these new adventures!
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