Students have completed this short project for my class over the last couple of years., This year they asked me to complete a copy. Here it is:
I think it is important to build connections and let the students see “behind the curtain” if you will. We as teachers are not perfect, we make mistakes, and we enjoy life outside of the classroom. Students need to see those characteristics in us.
My classes participated and completed our second StickTogether as an OPTIONAL ENRICHMENT ASSIGNMENT, It went well and more students worked on completing this activity than the first StickTogether. Once they work on the activity they are to take a screenshot of their work and submit it to me via email or messages in Schoology so they can be given the points they earned. At times I put the activity on the big board, the interactive TV, in the front of my room. Students could come up and click squares to complete the puzzle.
You can read more about StickTogether here.
A screenshot of the completed activity is below:
So, today is my last Saturday before school starts next week. I uploaded my last podcast for the Summer of 2023 and notified my students that it was posted. I am chilling on the deck with our puppy, Charli
while I take care of some school work and professional development to improve myself.
Eventually today I will be a bit more active in the yard, but for now, I will complete some low-intensity activities and enjoy a sunny, but cool day before the upcoming school year begins.
Well, my first attempt at a StickTogether for my Honors class can be considered a success. It was completed quickly…by one student. I am rolling out another StickTogether, however this time I am limiting the number of attempts per day to give others a chance to participate.
Here is the image from the first StickTogeher.
So it is a dreary, rainy, Saturday afternoon. The weather forecasters said the rain was to have cleared out by now, but they were wrong. I have numerous activities and outdoor chores I wanted to work on today, but the weather is not cooperating. Both stations on TV that carry westerns are playing The Big Valley, which is not one of my favorite western shows, no offense meant to anyone, I loved it as a kid, but my preferences have changed over time.
Since I could not get outside to complete what I needed to do, I posted my classroom podcast, read part of a library eBook, enjoyed some espresso with frothed Half and Half from United Dairy Farms, played with Charli, our puppy, did some prep work for my Honors US II Summer Reading Project, and decided I needed a break.
My daughter started working on her blog again and asked about mine. I had to admit I do not write to this space much anymore with my podcast and the PAECT Pod taking up time, along with many life commitments. Due to my regret, embarrassment, or shame of not using this site, I thought what better way to take a break than to ramble on here.
We all need down days such as today. I have many activities and chores to complete outside, but sometimes we just need to take time to relax. Writing is one of the ways I relax, however, I have not made enough time to do so for a number of years now. I hope to get back into the practice soon. This is the first step. Now, time to turn off all electronics and spend some time with the family and hopefully see the end of the rain soon.
This post was originally written many moons ago, but somehow got stuck in the iPad and I never noticed it was not published. Well, better late than never…
My Period Four US History and Government II students have a test on Friday, it is based upon their presentations to the class on the 1950’s and vocabulary from the Civil Rights Unit. Actually all four of my US II classes have a test on Friday.
We created a Padlet from questions the student generated based upon their presentations. Student projects were posted on the class wiki and all of this information was wrapped up nicely and neatly in Edmodo for student access. Students were encouraged to use class time to collaborate and see if they could use their notes to answer the review questions. I used this method to study in college, I dislike studying in isolation.
As students worked together, I floated about to see if there were any questions they were having trouble with and if they were staying on task. We had mixed results, most students were on task and few had questions they could not answer. There were some students who were off task, redirected when I came by, and then went off task once I left. That happens, I did the same at their age.
Today, a couple of students started playing Hangman on the Interactive WhiteBoard in the front of the room. A number of other students jumped in and seemed to be enjoying themselves. I made a suggestion, which seemed to catch them a bit off guard. I did not tell them to get away from the board and study, I suggested that instead of playing Hangman with random words, why don’t they use the information from the class and use the game as a review.
They seemed to enjoy the effort, the majority of the class worked together and played in a large group. They assisted each other with the terms being asked and what some words meant as they were guessed. I had a few students who are not as social in class continue to study on their own. Overall, it seemed like a productive class. Students worked on their reviews, seemed to enjoy themselves, and it broke up the monotony of conducting the usual reviews. Sometimes going off the beaten path can be a good thing.
Ah, two Saturday’s ago I was awake and in learning mode rather early so I jumped into a Twitter #satchat, a fantastic learning and networking opportunity each and every Saturday. The topic was based upon student listening skills and how we teach those skills.
I had to admit that I do not formally teach those skills in my class, I emphasize them throughout lessons, but do not actually formally assess student listening. As I thought more about the topic, I also realize that I need to improve upon my listening skills, in class and real world.
Often, especially in the classroom, I am multitasking as students are asking questions. This prevents me from giving my full attention to the student which is not only impolite, but it may cause miscommunication between those involved in the conversation. I am making a concerted effort to address this ASAP. Modeling skills we want students to use in our classroom is key, if we cannot meet the expectations we ask of our students, WHY should they.
Some other take aways I will implement in my classes are exit questions and peer to peer review time either at end or very beginning of my classes. This will allow students to reflect with a classmate and practice listening skills while reviewing course content. To keep this from being a full fledged chat and gossip session, I will have to float about the room and engage the students, which IS MY JOB. A quick student reply/summary of their peer to peer would allow for students to earn points for their efforts and hopefully give me insight to content with which they are comfortable or need further assistance.
I will post further as this endeavor moves forward.
In the meantime, if you get the chance and are awake by 7:30 AM on a Saturday, check out #Satchat.
Today one of my students said I looked like a baseball dad…I have no idea what that means or meant. When I inquired as to the meaning, the students who were sitting there whispered amongst themselves then replied, “We don’t know…like a dad who likes baseball.”
I have no idea if the comment was complimentary or not. It is dress down day, I have on jeans, my KTI Golf Shirt, tenna shoes (in my best Pittsburghese), and my $1.00 reading glasses on top of my head. No full selfie to go with the description, I thoroughly dislike the angle needed to show the entire pic, but here is part of me…
Later I overheard the term “Soccer Mom” being used by these same students. It was not directed at me, but knowing how many of these terms have both positive and negative connotations…I must expand my culturally aware vocabulary.
Until next time…
My daughter has supplied a huge amount of motivation for me to improve my blogging efforts and overall writing endeavors.
Last night while I was posting to my personal blog on Blogger, as opposed to my professional blog you are reading now, she asked what I was up to. When I told her I was writing a blog post, she asked to read it. Her reaction can be found here. The post she read can be found here.
I hope to finally ensure I make time to contribute ideas regularly across my social media sites. The goal is to add positively to the world around me, leaving it in better shape that I found it.
I have tried several times to begin blogging more frequently. Unfortunately, I have failed on each occasion. This summer I plan to try again, however I wish to not just blog more often, but post more often with relevant and high quality posts.
I will be updating several of my websites that contain educational resources; maybe…just maybe…I can combine the two endeavors into a lasting behavior.