Skip to main content

Summer

It's summer!  I don't have to wake up at 5:30 (although unfortunately, I still do)!  So how have I spent my first week of vacation?  On Monday, I met my best friend and colleague at Starbucks to work on revising our Essential Learning Outcomes and create formative assessments for each one!  I loved every second (yes, I know I am weird).  In four hours,. we accomplished so much.  It was especially nice to do this right after school got out, when the year was still fresh in our minds.  On Tuesday, I attended our district's Achievement Summit. This was a day well-spent.  Several teachers from my school, as well as our amazing principal, attended.  The last hour was spent setting goals and brainstorming ideas for the upcoming school year.  Wednesday, I met my best friend and colleague at Starbucks again to continue our work from Monday. Thursday I had to meet with administration about the master schedule. In between all of this, I have been working to update my webpage.  I also decided to create a blog for each of my classes. Jen Roberts, an English teacher at Point Loma High School, was my inspiration.  Each day I will "blog" about what we did in class that day, as well as include handouts, important links, and necessary pictures.  I am so excited.  Not only does it look great, it is much more kid-friendly.  I can't wait to hear what my students think about it.

If you have read any of my other blog posts, you know that teaching is my passion, not just my job. I love summer, not just because I don't have to get up early, but because I so enjoy preparing for the upcoming school year.  Regardless of how long I've been teaching, there is always room for improvement.  I want my students to have a worthwhile, engaging experience with me.

What else do I have planned this summer? Spending time with my family, of course. My oldest is going away to college in the fall.  My middle son is  a sophomore, and my youngest is in middle-school.  Hopefully I can still get them to go to the beach with me!  We will be going to our favorite place in the world in July-Lake Tahoe-for a baseball tournament. I am catching up on my pleasure reading and am currently reading The Rosie Project; it's delightful. I go to the gym whenever I please and have even gone on a few bike rides around the lake.  Oh, and I am meeting my best friend and colleague at Starbucks tomorrow to do more work. :)  Happy Summer!

Popular posts from this blog

Ditch those Reading Logs: Try Flipgrid Instead

If you've read my posts or follow me on Twitter, you know how I feel about pointless projects and homework!  This year I made it official and ditched homework.  It's the best decision I've ever made as a teacher.  My students are loving it, I am loving it, and I think most of their parents are loving it! I have completely transformed the way I run my classroom and feel like my students are more engaged and excited than ever. 

Student Example (Click to watch)

Like homework, I never felt quite right about assigning reading logs.  Whenever my own kids had to read a book on their own for school, they were initially excited. First, they were told they had to read twenty minutes each night. Then the dreaded reading logs began.  They had to write  down what pages they read, as well as a summary.  Urgh! I can only imagine lying on the beach with my own book and having to complete a reading log.  No thanks!  And I am not going to lie. I just might have signed one of my son's read…

Have a Dance Party Before Class Starts

This year I decided to play music as students are entering my classroom and before the final bell rings.  I had no idea what a difference it would make!  Why didn't I do this before?  It creates a positive, upbeat mood and seems to energize my students and ME! 



At first I thought they'd complain when I blasted disco tunes by artists like Chic, The Bee Gees, and Vickie Sue Robinson ("Turn the Beat Around").   I thought they'd groan when I played Bon Jovi, Journey, and Whitesnake. I thought they'd roll their eyes when I played clean versions of songs by Tupac and Snoop Dogg.  I really thought they'd lose it when I played Gypsy Kings.  NOPE!  They loved it!  I had NO idea that my kids would react they way they did.  Here are the results:






If I don't have time to put the music on, several kids will ask, "Where's our dance party?" I really like Pandora because I can create my own stations.  If you're looking for a way to create a positive vi…

Creating a Cell Phone Sanctuary

Over the past few years, I have noticed a change in my students.  Not only are they tethered to their phones, but they are more anxious than ever.  In the past two school years, I have had at least three students experience school anxiety so severe that they could not come to school.   Those are just MY students.  This year I have had one student leave our school after her mother spent three weeks trying to drag her to class each morning as her daughter screamed, cried, and sometimes refused to get out of the car.  According to an article titled "Teen Anxiety and Depression: the Kids are not Alright" published in 2016, "In 2015, about 3 million teens ages 12 to 17 had had at least one major depressive episode in the past year, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. More than 2 million report experiencing depression that impairs their daily function. About 30% of girls and 20% of boys–totaling 6.3 million teens–have had an anxiety disorder, according t…