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Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap

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Sep 26 2013

The Power of a Piece of Paper

This week, I saw students who were truly proud of themselves because of a piece of paper. They analyzed their data, revised their hypothesis about their planes, and re-built them in hopes of their new designs flying further.  We ran a final test and declared the “winner”. The morning of our final tests I came…

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Sep 06 2013

Picking up Paper Clips.

This past week (although short) was crazy in Room 116.  We are becoming designers and engineers and this week my students were designing and building their very own paper air planes. Basically, I spent the week frantically shuffling from group to group helping them interpret their research articles, asking them to revise their hypothesis over…

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Aug 26 2013

Setting the Record Straight.

There is a common misconception that only elementary school teachers can have cute, clever, and awesomely decorated classrooms.  The other end of this rumor tends to suggest that high school classrooms are not cute, exciting, or well-decorated.  That they are boring and consist of only a few content-related posters.  Let’s just set the record straight.…

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May 02 2013

Discouraged.

This week I was highly disappointed in my students.  And of course, Teach for America has trained me to think this is my fault and I have not done enough.  I didn’t build strong enough relationships, I did not create a classroom vision my students bought into, my classroom culture was not strong enough, I…

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Jan 14 2013

The teacher I imagined I would be…

I love writing blog posts when I feel very happy and positive.  And right now, I really feel genuinely happy. : ) **Side note: The only thing really getting me down is this rain and COLD.  And let me tell you, I can pinpoint the exact second it became cold in Jackson, MS.  I was…

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These are the three words I am making my students reflect on this week.   1.  Who is someone that you RESPECT?  Describe how you treat this person in order to show them that you RESPECT them. 2. Tell about a time you showed a great deal of RESPONSIBILITY.  Why is this a great example…

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First.  Parent teacher conferences.  To quote one teacher in my hall, “It’s like Christmas!” Seriously, though.  You should be required to meet your student’s teachers before your child is allowed to attend school.  It’s such a breath of fresh air to hear that, yes, of course this student’s mother/father/auntie/grandmother/etc want him/her to do well!  And…

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Oct 12 2012

Finally…. [sorry about that]

I know, I know….I haven’t posted since the hurricane. For me, when the going gets tough, the tough get…busy…too busy to blog in fact.  Or too tired.  But ANYWAY…here I am.  With a full (and by full I mean extremely shortened due to the huge amount of time that has passed since I last posted)…

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Thank goodness. : ) I had a great first day, which was an “A” day, because we are on block scheduling.  So that means that on Monday I had a second first-day with a whole new group of students, my “B” day students.  And it was less-great.  Much less-great.  I felt disappointed and thought that…

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Jul 09 2012

Highlight of my week.

File this under AWESOME: I was talking with a few of my students today as we waited for the others to get back from the bathroom so we could go to lunch and I asked about their weekends, etc.  I asked them if they were excited for summer school to be finished or sad.  And…

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Here are my thoughts at the end of week 4: – I had two AWESOME lessons this week.  First, on Tuesday, my kids wrote GREAT paragraphs about ecosystems they created (please note they had never even written a complete sentence for me before, no matter how hard I pleaded and took off points).  They worked…

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Jun 23 2012

One week down, three to go!

Well, week one of teaching is over!  It was exhausting.  I had really good days and really bad days, but overall: I loved it and I love my kids. My collab (teaching team) and I have about 11 kids in our class.  We teach them Biology in the morning and then the Algebra collab gets…

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