Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Come and gone

The accreditation team is now done. Only their paperwork must e completed and they are own thei way. They have visited all (most) of the classrooms and teachers, made their recommendations, and filled out their charts, graphs, and inspections.

As they have visited each classroom, only my 8th grade Louisiana history has been snubbed. Not one of them – all seven of them – failed to come by my class. I’m not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing. Sure they saw me interacting with the sixth and seventh grade history classes so many they just knew I was the type of guy who gets involved in all students work.

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I’m a 21 very veteran teacher with “Teacher of the Year” accolades, maybe it it is just the fact that I’m 60 and still loving what I do. Who knows but I feel jilted.

The team was very nice and I got to talk too many of them. I am not worried about my skills – I guess I was just wanted their comments. Maybe I was just wanted too much. By noon they will all be gone. Back on their planes to parts unknown – Beaumont, Austin, Tucson, Denver, and other Episcopal parishes and schools.

Back at school I have been running into problems with my temporary classroom and its “permanent teacher. She is really not permanent – she only works three days a week but she has angry issues. Lately she has been taking it out on me and my students who use the art room two classes, two days a week. She claims we “touch” her stuff – no we don’t. Use her pencil sharpener – yes we do sometimes. Move her stuff around – no we don’t. Put things on her bulletin board – yes we do, temporarily. She says the room is always a mess – no, it is not; first I go back and clean it up every afternoon, make sure nothing has been touched and generally make sure it is just as we found it.

Being that she is ONLY a part-time teacher, I get to use the room on days she is not there and teaching. It’s a small school with limited classroom space. She needs to just get over it. As an art teacher myself I know how possessive a fellow teacher can be but she is “off the chain” as my former students used to say. I hate to even go in there tomorrow.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

History Math

Ok, so I found out why I had no comments. I had to go over to “Moderate” them. Stupid me. I am so sorry. I have been in my Xangaworld way to long I guess. Anyway, having found that out I may be here more often then. I have been looking over other middle school blogs (not that I’m leaving elementary ones out) and finding some really interesting items. As I get more and more intune with the workings of TpT maybe I can and will update all my postings and make a little more money.

I tend to be more elementary minded as I weave into my history class lots of math and ELA type of items. I want my students to know that all our subjects are interwoven and that they can’t just thing about one subject at a time. This week I will hit them with a simple set of math problems as they search our state after they finish mapping it.

The math problems ask them to figure out how any parishes (counties) border what item such as how many parishes border Texas, or how many parishes are completely on the east side of the Mississippi River. Working as a team of two, they have to then figure out the fraction then convert it to a simple fraction.
First team to finish WITH THE RIGHT ANSWERS wins. Nothing fancy, but it works, and again gets them to looking at our state before we really begin our in-depth study of history.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Constitution Day 2011

I knew I had to do something that would be interesting for my students so we filmed the U.S. Preamble, word by word, with each student saying one or two words each. I then edited the entire preamble using Pinnacle 12 software. The only problem was as I edited it I found that a few students did not say their whole part, leaving out words. That means that on Monday I will have to go back, add those few words and then edit them into the production.

However, the “idea” was a success and they loved being part of a ‘forever’ production. Below is the rough draft of the video without a few words. We will fix it and upload the completed video Monday evening.
Rough draft of our Preamble Video

We used a Flip camera and Pinnacle Software to do the production.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Noticed at last

After four months it seems like I finely hit pay dirt. I was noticed at another bog site. It makes me want to work hard, post better stuff and see if I can make a difference at TpT.
Thanks to all the folks at the best of TpT for at least looking my way.
They get more traffic than I do so any help goes a long way. Once the weekend comes around I will start to redo my blog products and add a few new ones to my list of freebies. See y'all then.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Just other freebie stuff

I am still playing around with activities that my students can do as short small fill-ins as they work through a chapter. Right now our sixth graders are working on Egypt. The are doing hieroglyphics and converting them to a new standard computer keyboard. I created a simple work sheet that they can use to make sure they have all the symbols. It’s nothing fancy but it did work. I will now do the full TpT stuff and give it away.
I also have a pyramid cutout that they will do later this week and bring back to us. It gives them another small hands-on activity. It is printed on card stock which will hold up much better than regular paper. Again I will do all the TpT stuff then give it away also.

I just decided that I will start doing things like this for my own students then if they work, I will give them away at TpT. Money is no longer an option here anymore. It’s all about exchanging ideas that someone can use.

Our American history students do a few really neat activities over the last couple of weeks which I will write up. My own eighth grade students have been busy but it is all “state related” so there is not much I can post there. Anyone who would lake that activies can email me and I will tell them where to get them.

Now I get to write up directions on how to use thems items and make sure they fit into someone's lessons.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Inservice, Tropical Storm Lee, and my stuff

Yea! It’s a holiday and the sun is shinning and the air is cool. Yet I am setting inside working on lesson plans for the month of September. Actually, I’m not writing lesson plans but revising them since I have used the same lesson ideas for the past several years during the month of September. They are all built around geography and the state we live in.

Only this year I have to reorganize them so that they fit the classroom schedule I have at my new school. I only have three days with which I have access to a promethean board, the other two days I am using someone else’s classroom with nothing but my own voice. That means what I used to do is limited to the three days I have the board and the other two limited to other things I do that do not use a board.

It’s not a problem for me to do this modification but it does mean that I have to restructure my lesson plans so that the administration understands what is going on and when. We are also being evaluated this month for accreditation so I really have to have everything in place and documented. No problem but it just means I need to “Have my act together” this month.

I did not mean I have to remake power-points, or create new worksheets, it just means I can pick the best of the best for each day this month the slide them in where needed. The only thing I have to create new is a lesson for Constitution Day. Not a problem, just take one of my best of the Best and model it into a one day event. Easy.

I would rather be out doing something else by the ground is to soft from all the rain we got from Tropical Storm Lee over the last several days. And it looks like we may be in store for another storm this weekend according to the Weather channel.

Tomorrow is an in-service day but I have been given an assignment to decorate the room/office the evaluators are using. All of them are from out of state so my principal asked if I could “Louisiana the room”, place a lot of my museum pieces on the shelves, put up posters, pictures, anything to make the room they will be using feel “homey”. Not a problem. I spend a couple of hours sorting through my tubs in the garage and pulling some great pieces. I will take pictures – before and after tomorrow.

Hey it gets me out of a boring in-service tomorrow morning for about four hours. Also I get to be with lots of my “stuff”. How cool can that be?