Sunday, June 15, 2014

Can't compare

I realized after reading so many great education blogs, that this one doesn't compare. So I'm putting it on hiatus until I have something quality to write about or burning questions to explore.

Miss A

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Snow Days

Our school system has thirteen built in snow days. We extend our school day an extra 30 minutes every day. This winter has given us a few days off and our new schedule has taken some adjustment. Having A/B days has several positives and negatives. Our snow days seem to have fallen on A days and those classes are really behind - a big negative!

We have snow in the first few days forecast. If we are out, the testing crunch will be felt. We started statewide writing assessments this week. I am not an ELA teacher, but I my classroom is a computer lab and the testing takes place in my lab. I relocate for the tests and on one day I proctor my class' test. I really would like to have snow this week, we have a break in our testing schedule and then I'm ready for spring!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Study Skills

Are you teaching study skills to your middle schoolers? If so, what are you using for curriculum and how are you doing it?

My residency teacher and I have started teaching note taking skills this week.  I've not had my students taking notes in the first semester. I jumped right in to interactive notebooks and have not really done any lecture where they needed to "take" notes. But my residency teacher is more comfortable with the lecture method and we are working to get him more comfortable with the interactive notebooks.

As he has done a few lecture based lessons, we realized that only around 25% of our students take effective notes. This week, we've started teaching the outline method as they read their text. We've been very engaging and enthusiastic in our modeling of reading and outlining the text. Our students are doing well with summarization. They were amazed at how much information they knew when we did a quick review sheet over the information we'd read.

Now I am realistic and I know that not many will continue to use this method. High schoolers can be apathetic when it comes to studying. :) We (the teachers) discussed with each class how much we used note taking and outline skills in college and I was amazed at how many questions they had about our personal study methods. So I know they were engaged and interested.

I'm not really sure where I need to go next. I've been trying to find more information but nothing seems really practical. If anyone has suggestions, please let me know!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


First snow day of the year!!! I am both thankful and flummoxed. We've moved to a modified block schedule and I meet with my 8th grade classes every other day. Last Friday, we let school out early to do inclement weather and my B block missed class. Today's snow day lands on a B day. So those kiddos have missed class twice.

Under the old schedule this wouldn't matter so much, but now they've missed the equivalent of almost a week of classes. In addition to that, they are two classes behind my other class. There is no way to really catch them up before mid-term tests.

Needless to say, we are still adjusting to the new schedule and I'm going to relax, catch up on my blog reading and enjoy the rest of my snow day!

Kitties at my house are also relaxing and enjoying the day.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

December Currently

I can't believe an entire month has gone by and I've not posted. This school year is just flying. I'm linking again with Farley and her monthly link up.

Listening - West Wing's first season on DVD. I really like this show and I can't count how many times I've watched these dvds.

Loving - until just a minute ago I had a kitty in my lap. He has decided he must be by my side all the time! He is very sweet and loving.

Thinking - during this holiday season and after today's church message that I'm incredibly blessed and have much to be thankful for.

Waiting - I'm ready for winter and SNOW! I think I could live in Alaska. I have been there during summer but would love to make a winter trip to see if I'd like it even more!

Needing - my car has decided to slowly die. It has many miles on it and I wanted many more. But I've started to sink money into repairs every month and it is time to purchase a new one.

Favorite Tradition - I don't really have one. We didn't have consistent Christmas traditions after becoming adults. But that's ok. We had great times together as a family and that's what counts.

Now to start some new blog posts and not have weeks without posting.

Sunday, November 3, 2013


This year is flying by!

I'm linking with Farley for her November Currently!

I am currently watching Iron Man on TV. I can't tell you how many times I've watched it lately. It's great background noise.

I'm loving the extra hour of sleep last night and knowing it will be daylight when I drive to work tomorrow.

I really need to clean my house. But I'm just not in the mood. It really has to happen soon. :)

I've had a nagging sore throat and sinus ick for a week. It has gotten worse this weekend and today my voice has been croaking.

So I really NEED a beach vacation. :)

I love the Pioneer Woman and I made her Hot Corn Chili Dip this weekend. It is going to become new favorite as soon as I get it spicy enough. I was taking it to a friend's party and she requested I make a mild version. It was good, but I'm sure the regular version will be awesome!

Have a great week!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Fall Break is Over

Time seems to have flown this year. We are in week 12 of school and I'm feeling a little behind. My class (8th grade) and I are spending a great amount of time on our interactive notebooks. I realized today that we are several weeks behind the topics and standards I covered last year. We are going more in depth, but I also think we are probably spending a little too much time on some topics.

We have a new residency teacher who joined the class this week. He will be with us for the rest of the year. Because of the scheduling of our teachers, he will shadow three of us. He will spend four blocks of his A/B days with the high school US History and American Government teachers and two blocks with my 8th grade US History classes.

His first fun assignment with me is a new seating chart. I have a class of talkers and it seems no matter how I've arranged them they can strike up a conversation with anyone. Mr. P noticed and I challenged him to try another arrangement. I'm all for rearranging as often as is necessary and we are constantly moving around for cooperative groups. I'm looking forward to seeing how he has them arranged next week.

For the first few weeks, Mr. P will be getting used to my classes and learning names. The residency position is new and is a year long clinical practice with one mentor and one school setting. Because of our small 7-12 grade school, Mr. P gets a little different experience but also a much broader base. I think it would be a little overwhelming at first. But it is a typical situation in most small rural schools. You don't get to teach one subject all day, many of my coworkers in HS have 3-5 preps and the flow of daily classes isn't easy. Those with lab classes seem to never have the same class back to back. So they set up labs for one class, teach, then set the lab for the next class, teach and then either set the lab for a third class or reset the lab for the first lab taught that day. It can be exhausting and sometimes frustrating.

I'm happy to have two major preps for classes and two minor preps. One of my preps is keyboarding and the students have self driven assignments. The second is a contemporary issues class and very research based. Students spend the majority of class time researching an issue and discussing/debating their finds. It is a fun class and not hard to prep and we have a nice variety of subjects/standards to cover.

Looking forward to fall!