Wednesday, March 29, 2006


Okay, so I seem to have missed one. - The blogging....

I have blogged with my students once this semester. I am having a difficult time getting my students to see the benefits of blogging and how to talk to each other outside of the classroom. I do not feel like I set up the blogging very well. I hope that next semester will provide the technology to blog everyday. I am in the process of evaluating my goals (again) and seeking new ways of meeting the needs of my students. I am not happy with the way that the goals are going.

Tune in again soon for new goals and old goals revisited.


While I am on the central coast of California, connected at my mom's house, I recently came across a news article discussing the difference between boys and girls. The article continues to discuss that there are different learning styles between the genders and that the boys are being "left behind" by the girls. The article talks about the fact that schools are trying to find a way to meet the different needs of the students. They even point out that the percentage of boys entering college is 40% and that colleges are letting boys, who are not as qualified as girls, into school so the percentages do not fall too low.

It seems that the administration and the teachers at AHS are ahead of other places when it comes to gender studies. I hope that there is a way we can share the information that we are learing with other professionals in education.

While talking to my sister, who teaches in Bakersfield, about technology, we seem to be well ahead of some other schools. The school where my sister teaches is not seeking technology as a means for student learning. (Or, so it seems.) If schools want to prepare students for the "flat world," shouldn't they be proactive and not reactive? When are we as a profession going to team together to prepare students for the world and not wait for someone else to figure "it" out first? Is there a way to take our PLC's outside of the walls of AHS and connect with teachers elsewhere? How can we find the resources and time to do this? I am going to try somethings along with the trip to Japan this summer but are there other ways to get connected with people who are already very "busy"? Any ideas out there on how to get connected with other classroom teachers? (I mean in actual practice of a global classroom and not just reading about it.)

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Next Fall

So, as I am thinking about the down side to next fall's registration approach, I found a bright spot. I received an email from a student asking about their grade and that I grade papers harder than the person they had last term. The fact that teachers are not being consistant on common papers is causing my some troubles for the first time. I know that common papers are designed to make the learning equal for the students but if each teacher involved grades them differently then when the students make a class change it becomes very difficult to continue on with methods that I use first semester. I now look forward to having the same students for a full year.

I know that as a team we should be still talking about the use of common papers and how they are scored but there are times when the discussions are going nowhere. I wonder if there is an easy way to make sure the students are all being held to the same standards?

I also am having some thoughts on what to do with the notebook computers but I am having a hard time finding the time to write this stuff down. Any ideas? What about the three classroom teachers getting together to share ideas so that we can be consistent?

Saturday, March 11, 2006

MP3 Player recordings

I have been thinking about the issue that recently came up in another local high school. I recently was listening to a local radio station that was discussing how easy it is to edit digital media. If a student is recording lectures in a class and has an issue with the teacher it would be very easy to edit the recording and make it so the teacher is saying things that they never actually said. Should we be worried about this? Perhaps we need to be recording ourselves, if we are having these kind of discussions in class, so that we have a copy of what we actually said. I think that it is important to have classroom discussions and I also think that the students should have the ability to record the conversation for later study (afterall, I did this in college). I think that the classroom is going to be changing in a significant way in the next few years and I feel like we need to be proactive about these issues and not reactive.


I am having an issue with one of my classes that falls into the category of classroom management. I keep thinking that the problem is with the material or the students. I cannot stop thinking about how to fix the classroom dynamic. If there is a magic cure I sure have not found it. However, I started thinking about the fact that studetns need to "slow down" when they come to school. How do we get to the point that school looks more like their fast-paced lives? Is there a way to make classes more relevant to students? Are we trying to get students to take classes that they are just not wanting to take? Are we placing students in classes that they are not ready for (I mean content wise and work ethic wise)? Is the fact that there are so many ability levels of students in one classroom leading to my issue of management? I am thinking that the notebook computers that are coming are either going to really add to the issue or they are going to help solve the issue but I am not sure right now what is going to happen.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Reading? Who, me?

I never thought these words would come out of my mouth. (That is why I am going to type them.) I am excited about teaching reading to my science students. It has always been intimidating to me to teach reading. I never was good at it. I did not really like it. I, only recently, have found topics that I really get into. However, after hearing the presentation today by Jesse and Michelle, I needed to write this down. The resources that were shared will be very helpful as I try to get my students into the material of the class. I know that not all of the students will be reached, that should be the goal, and I might make mistakes in teaching this but at least I am going to try. It seems that in the past, I was just hoping that the reading would take care of itself. I mean the "good" kids will do the reading, right? Now, I think that I need to be helping the students through the reading process and not just complaining about the fact that they are not doing it.

Boy, oh boy, this group is really having an influence on me. I cannot wait to try some not so new ideas in my classes.

Thursday, March 02, 2006


I seem to be doing "okay." That is the answer right now. After finishing a unit on the study of thermodyanics, heat transfer for non-science people, I asked the students how things were going. They responded by saying "difficult." I started thinking about this response and thought that if I had taught them exactly the way that I had before, then maybe things would have been a little easier on them. Then I remembered what the study was about. Chemistry is not an easy topic. That is what I am forgetting.

I think that the fact that I am asking them to do more about their learning is not a key part to the "difficult" answer. I know that it might be a perceived portion of the "difficulty" but it is not the entire reason. I also know that when the students are asked to stretch their minds then they can accomplish much more than just the course material.

So, "okay" might be a little misleading. I am doing better than that. However, I too am being pushed out of my comfort zone and am learning more each day. That in itself is the best part of the changes that are happening in my classes.