Category Archives: Teaching

Better late than never…

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Today started off a little behind, that happens sometimes when I have a very challenging 7-year-old boy who…. well it varies from day to day what he does or how he does it but it can delay things at times… 😉 As I was running late I was rushing to school for a site visit from Digital Promise (really looking forward to working with this company), when I arrived the scheduled had been mixed up so I was able to join my boss and the DP coach at another site visit at a local school! So…

What I learned today:

  • Everyone makes mistakes, has mix-ups but usually it all works out for the best at the end of the day…
  • There are some really amazing things going on fellow/sister schools that I was completely unaware of (I plan to now tap these resources)
  • Oklahoma Centennial Mid-High has a YouTube channel where a student-produced web show is shared!
  • Technology in OKCPS is in abundance (to the point of excess) at some schools, but they need help/support implementing it. (hopefully where the awesome team I am a member of comes in!)
    • I wrote excess above and then as I look back and think, when can we have excess technology?? There cannot be too much just an increased urgency to support it at these schools… (hopefully you get what I am saying here)
  • How exciting it is to have people outside the district versed in Ed Tech come into our building (JM) and feel the climate and warmth from our students, staff, admin. I tell everyone it’s like another home and the Bears are my family, but you don’t really understand until you come for a visit! Just ecstatic the DP coach felt it!
  • I am helping some teachers…
  • Draftback is one of the coolest Chrome extensions I have ever seen, plan to make a screencast about it’s awesomeness!
  • It is okay for me to get overly excited about tech and tools and geek out in front of everyone!
  • Families with students that receive free lunch at school can get Cox (high-speed internet) for $10 with the Connect To Compete Initiative.
  • The Learner First is going to be a great thing for OKCPS, it will take time but using multiple assessment points to draw conclusions about our students being prepared for their future in and outside of school will be well worth the work we are putting in! “One size fits one”, ask me why.

 

I so did not feel like writing today/tonight, but these moments really help me to process my day… I know I still have tons to learn and plan to do so!!

 

 

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Fall Break!

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Fall break started Monday but I have been teaching intersession, (w/an “s” not “c”and I don’t know why) the last three days and it’s been good. The concept of intersession is that students who need remediation and more one on one teacher time get it and for the most part I think that is what happens. It surprises me how many kids want to come to school when we’re on break but for some of them it’s guaranteed food for a few more days, probably should save that for another post… anyway I teach science and I actually started Monday thinking I was doing a Biology EOI boot camp and ended up w/my 8th graders doing science which is my teaching assignment 4 of 5 classes 🙂 I love my middle school students!  They want to learn if you excite them… it amazes me how some things you say or how you say them catch their attention and they bite!  We did the “chemistry in the bag” experiment where Call (damp rid) is mixed in water containing phenol red indicator and then you add baking soda which is super exciting because it cools off,  bubbles and turns yellow! I go on to explain that the yellow signifies an acid is formed. So once I say “acid” a student in  class/session ask, will it burn me now or why isn’t the baggie melting… awesome questions right? It leads into explaining that acids can be strong or weak like lemon juice and coke… anyways it’s a nice segway into the pH scale etc and a hands on demo for kids to better understand chemical and physical changes. I think what excites me most some days is that the questions are in our kids/students and it truly needs to be our goal to push them to inquire!  I light up when i have question after question and the students are beginning to understand something and as they get it they help to answer other students’ questions, love it! 🙂
**** A separate topic but one worth mentioning was one if my 8th graders who passer the state exam in Science was in class today and I asked him what he thought helped him to be successful and he proceeded to explain  he thought he did horrible on the 8th Science test last year because it involved too much thinking.  So of course I prodded and wanted to know what that meant because duh it’s a test, you need to think! Anyway he explained that you are asked to look at one graph here, then read something,  then go back and connect how they come together and it was more work than a single question should be… wow! So it is critical thinking, but how do I get them to want to solve the question, really dig in and show the “state” what they know. Something to consider for a future post… *****
Overall intersession was great, I’m looking forward to a few days off and maybe a few more blog posts,  this is my 1st!! I did it!