Teaching since Fall 2001 – 3rd year in 2nd grade

Posts tagged ‘United States’

Great Staff Development

Adventures in Engineering and Science instruct...

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I just attended three days of training. The workshop was developed in house, with teachers from the district sharing thier knowledge. The book Teaching for Tomorrow provided the framework. There were many terrific things about this workshop.

  • We received the book before we left for the summer at the end of school. That way I was able to read it at my own pace.
  • It was during thee summer and our follow ups will be during district development days. I hate missing days to attend training. I have 180 days with my kids, I want to spend that time teaching. Saturday workshops tend to make for a cranky two weeks, because of a lack of recharge time. After school that goes past 4 pm result in a lack of sleep due to driving time and need to eat.
  • I left each day with multiple ideas that I can use in my classroom. I will be blogging on Rhodes in coming days.
  • This was targeted to our teachers and our students. We had people from the main office running the workshop, and people still spoke their minds.
  • We are no longer required to follow the script format of our math program. It will still provide the framework and order of topics, but individual teachers will be able to customize and personalize according to our student needs. We will also be able to use project based instruction now that we are free of the script.

Looking forward to the next school year.

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Enhanced History

The Fort Bend County Courthouse located at 29....
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I was listening to the FourCast Podcast episode 42. One of the forecasts was that we would have Enhanced Reality devices that showed you how your location looked like in say the 1940’s. Tom asked if you could go back and see anything in history, what would you want to go see? It struck me I would love to go back and witness my grandparents eloping.

My Paternal grandparents eloped by driving out to Richmond, Texas, near where I work, and getting married by the Fort Bend County Justice of the Peace. Then they went home and lived with their parents for several weeks before fessing up.

My Maternal grandparents eloped due to religious reasons. My grandmother was Scottish Protestant. My grandfather was Irish Catholic. That was a bid deal in early 1930’s Prince Edward Island, Canada. By the time the grandchidlren came much was forgiven.

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Toronto Police Service Emergency Task Force ve...
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I know drills, fire, tornado, and lock down are important. I’m glad the community is looking into the best way to protect the students during a disaster. The district, fire, EMTs, and police are doing drills with the school. It is just couldn’t we have done this last semester spread out over time? Couldn’t we do it after April? Do we have to have multiple drills and swimming in the weeks before the state TAKS?

Why does my school get stuck with having 4th grade swimming the 2 weeks before the writing TAKS every single year? It isn’t the same as having specials because with transport it takes 1 hour 15 to 1 hour 20 minutes instead of 45 minutes.

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First Day with Kids

An orbital Stargate in the Pegasus galaxy.
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Today was our first day with kids. I just had my homeroom today. They are a pretty good bunch. We spent most to the day working on our social contract, which I need to print out. They decided on the team name Pegasus Galaxy, partially my fault. They voted for Pegasus, but we have the Pegasus Program for disabled children. So I was trying to say Pegasus Constellation but my brain got stuck in the Stargate Universe and I kept saying Pegasus Galaxy.


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The Houston Chronicle is reporting a short list for Education Secretary

•Colin Powell, former secretary of state, former chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
•Former North Carolina Gov. Jim Hunt
•Arne Duncan, chief executive officer of Chicago public schools
•Inez Tenenbaum, former South Carolina schools superintendent

I respect Colin Powel, but would like information about his opinions on education, Especially when it comes to teaching science vs teaching religion as science. I really don’t know the others. I’ll be doing searches later to see what happened in the schools they controlled.

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You have to be kidding


I honestA teacher writing on a blackboard.Image via Wikipedialy don’t understand how that are teachers even considering advocating a political stance while on the clock. Teachers need to stay neutral on topics such as politics and religion while we are teaching. By advocating a particular position on the job – we risk losing the trust of our students. Why is that hard to understand?

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Politics in School


“Educators for Obama” buttons are no longer worn by teachers at Soquel High School.

The buttons began sprouting up at the Santa Cruz County school and parent John Hadley complained that teachers were attempting to politically influence his 16-year-old daughter and other students. Hadley is a John McCain supporter.

Am I missing something? I understand how any teacher could think that it was OK to promote any political viewpoint while on the clock. I’ve always understood the teacher should be neutral in politics during the time we’re in contact with students.

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Sitting Still

Compact Disc

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Angela Maiers asked in a post “Is sitting still a 21st Century skill?”

Good question – a host of stereotypes comes to mind.

  • Isn’t this the couch potato generation
  • Aren’t kids plugged in and tuned out
  • Or is it the ADHD generation
  • Kids today need a constant stream of input
  • Kids are over programmed
  • Kids can’t disengage

Do I think 21st century students should be sitting doing nothing but busy work – No

Do I think 21st century students need to be able to concentrate for a period of time and do something on their own? Yes.

I also think the ability to unplug and simply be quiet is something necessary for all human souls.

Of course as I write this I’m typing listing to CNET’s Loaded podcast and making backups of our Math CD’s

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Meet The Teacher

A university classroom with permanently-instal...Image via Wikipedia

On Friday, we had Meet The Teacher at my school. Meet The Teacher started with principal and AP holding a meeting in the cafeteria. In the meeting, Principal addressed the issue of parents undermining us by not having their children follow morning procedure.

He did it in a way that was diplomatic, but also made it clear that this is a nonnegotiable. Students will go to the gym in the mornings, they will be dismissed by grade, and they will walk in a straight, still, and silent line to their classroom. Parents will no longer call their child out of line and walk with them separately.

I know to outsiders it looks like a nitpicky thing. The same kids can walk to their classrooms separately are the same kids who tell us “I don’t have to listen to you” or did the ones who are extremely clingy and babyish.

More to the point, there are teachers who feel Principal doesn’t support us to the parents. I wish they could have seen his speech. Most of them were in their classrooms getting ready for the kids. I was in the cafeteria looking for my tech crew kids from last year, so I could tell them they’re doing announcements on Monday.

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Dress Code

Location of Gonzales, TexasImage via Wikipedia

GONZALES, TX — Police were called to a school board meeting because of the loud protests of parents upset about a revamped dress code that includes prison-like jumpsuits for kids who don’t comply.


The school board is a democratically elected body. The people opposed to this stupid policy would be doing themselves and their kids more good if they started recall petitions. Then they could be elected and fire the superintendent. From several thing he has said it sounds like he is targeting a group of kids that are different.

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