Thursday, December 6, 2012


Thanks to all who have come to check out my blog, unfortunately this school year seems to have eaten my lunch and I've not added anything of substance.

My schedule changed and four preps along with adding interactive notebooks to my classes didn't mix well. I realize I really need more grounding in interactive notebooks. I feel that they more of a note repository and not a learning tool. I have searched for professional development on creating and utilizing notebooks but have found any.

On a positive note, our high school football team made it to the state playoffs for the first time in twenty eight years. I'm happy to say they are the Division 1 Class 1A State Champions.  It has been a very exiting few weeks.

I hope to post a review of the YA book Slammed in a few days.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

School Time Flies By

Already the first three weeks have flown and we are starting our fourth week. My schedule changed dramatically from last year and I have a mix of high school and junior high classes. The joy of teaching in a small rural school!

I started Interactive Social Studies Notebooks with each class and I have to say my high school students are a little resistant to the idea. They are going along with the program, but they don't see the big picture. I have some students who are finding them very helpful as a way to organize information. I also went off the textbook and I'm using notes, handouts, and projects to teach the standards. I didn't see any real difference in the first assessment but I know the students are more engaged in class.

This week was book fair week and I was able to take all of my classes by restructuring some class time. My high school students rarely get to attend and I have some avid readers. They were happy to spend money and I wish we were able to host both high school and middle school book fairs. Some of the YA books are a little young for my high school students. But I love reading and the librarian and I were able to share and encourage some readers.

My book bags came home full! I purchased hard copies of the Hunger Games trilogy and the Percy Jackson Olympians series. I also added Chasing Lincoln's Killer and Bloody Times for my Civil War reading. I added Divergent, Sound Bender and The Fast and the Furriest to find some new to me authors. I know I have more books in my bag, but I left them at school so that I could discuss them with my students. As I read, I'll post quick reviews as soon as the nights are cool and encourage me to read on the back porch.

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Nervousness Setting In

We've had our first half day of school, schedules have been doled out, forms given, and students met! Now the fun will really begin. We have an administration day tomorrow and I'm still not set on what I'm doing for my first day of class.

Tennessee has a tax free weekend this weekend and I didn't give out a supply list today because I want them to have the chance to take advantage of the weekend. I'm sure many will have the basics on Friday and I want a chance to explain our interactive notebooks and what they will need to work with them. I always keep a supply of basic pencils and paper in my room.

This year, I'm a traveling teacher. I have three US History classes and one geography. The classes are in both our high school and junior high. Traveling between rooms will make it a little difficult to have supplies stocked in each location. But I'm determined to give it my all.

Having just started creating interactive notebooks, I'm still learning and processing all that I have to do to make this a successful tool for my students. I'm trying to not rely on my textbook and to revamp the materials I have to be more visual and thought provoking. I know that the first week we will be learning classroom procedures. The students and I will be learning together. I'm using a pretest with my HS students, giving them time to show me what they know individually but then giving them group time to fill in the gaps.

I am still mulling over what I want to do with my JR high groups. I need to bounce ideas off of coworkers and get over my nervous feelings about starting our notebooks. I love being excited about my job!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

New Year Starting

We start the new year with a professional development day on Monday! I'm excited about the new school year. I teach in a 7-12 rural high school and I am teaching a variety of grades this school year. I will have a junior high personal computing/enrichment class for 7th and 8th grade. This will be an interesting change in our schedule. We will have an A/B day with this class and I'll alternate groups with math focused enrichment. I'm curious to see how the students react to the change.

I will also have two classes of 11th grade US History and two classes of junior high social studies. This is really where my excitement and nervousness lies. As I've looked at changing my teaching style to enhance my students learning experience, I've incorporated technology as much as a small school has allowed.

This summer I've discovered interactive notebooks and really love the idea and challenge they will present to my students and myself. At the same time, several of my colleagues have been to workshops and received training in this tool. It has really jumpstarted our group as we've gotten together and realized we've all hit on the same thing. It is really nice to hear the notifications on my phone or ipad and see a friend posting and sharing links they've found for us. I feel like our faculty is getting closer (I didn't think that could happen, we are a pretty tight group already). :)

Pinterest is a wonderful tool we've used and where we continue to find information. As the school year rolls through I will be posting pics and links of our notebooks and sharing our journey. Pinterest has also given my creativity a fling and this is my classroom door thanks to pinning!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

New Blog Start

After spending my summer break searching Pinterest and sifting through blog after blog, I realized not many middle school or high school blogs geared towards teachers exist. I found many blogs for class participation but few that were written by teachers for teachers. I'm not the only one searching. I've decided to jump in with both feet and start another blog. This will be just for school and about school. I may not say about my individual classes, but I will post about what I'm learning as an educator. In the Olympic spirit, let the games begin!