Friday, November 30, 2012

In like a "Lion"

First week on the job. So I took a long-term sub position this week. I started on Tuesday because I wanted to go in on Monday after-school and setup my classroom. It's a tough situation where the students have had no structure all year! I mean for over 14 weeks. So...I came in and it's going...OK. What's going right? The decor and room setup. I arranged the desks in a U-shape so I can see all faces, and see the name tags I placed on every desk. Opps! I didn't take a pic of that...I'll have to add it later. I have white boards for each subject to alert students to the Objective, Agenda & HW. Yep, got those at Lowes. I bought a $13 piece of "whiteboard" in the paneling dept., asked them to cut it into 1' x 1' sections and now I have 32 whiteboards and since I have 22 students in my largest class...I have 6 whiteboards for my "announcements" and 3 for gifts. Those boards got an extra touch, some duct tape boarders and some ribbon hot-glued and taped down.
Next to the white boards are 3 frames with scrapbook paper...the glass is great with the dry erase markers too! The masking tape headers help keep the headers in tack when erasing. I love this! On the desks in the blue milk crate are the "mailboxes" and the kids love having their own mailbox for absent work and pass backs. The box on the floor is the lost and found and well it's full so now I don't know what to do with the stuff.
I've added a touch of home with my Lilo and Stitch Lithos and my Ohana message.
And of course the class wouldn't be complete without the Ninny Muggins poster! (see post below)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Pop Culture Outlines Expectations

Throw out the dunce come the ninny muggins. This "Don't be a Ninny Muggins" poster uses pop culture to encourage students to do certain behaviors so they aren't caught in a slump.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Crafty Room

Like Mother...Like Daughter I suppose. My daughter has decided to make the brand new family craft area...a business. Yes, with the help of her friend they are designing classes to teach art to "younger" students. I'm posting this to Criss Cross Classroom because there are some cute tips in the organizing we set up in just one day. Before
We started with a box of "junk" and an unorganized room.
We took a 3 x 3' sheet of pegboard and organized a lot of stuff. The caddys I picked up at Dollar General 70% off so they only cost me 45 cents.
We didn't buy anything else, we simply organized craft supplies that have been collected over the past 12 years. Crafts from my in-home daycare, stuff the girls collected from birthdays, and leftovers from stuff I picked up at the school auctions. The store hardware came from Toys R Us when they went out of business in town a few years back. This easy access for a home craft room could also be great organization in a classroom. I love how many items can hang on the hardware hooks. I borrowed an idea from Pinterest to attach plastic cups to the pegboard. I have room to add more cups as I want to sort more items. I really like the cups for easy access to paintbrushes. Now my daughter is designing plans for when she will offer classes at the group table, and how she will purchase more supplies by charging for the classes. Hmmm! She must be ready for the Savings Race.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Interdisciplinary Teaching

Great info on why teach across the curriculum. LINK

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Need

The need for cross-curricular materials and resources is evident in the STEMM schools being developed across the United States. The Dayton Regional STEM School, part of the Ohio STEM Learning Network, states that STEM schools incorporate inquiry and project based learning into the “traditional” STEM curriculum (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), and integrate with social studies, language arts, and art courses. My lessons start with math content standards from the current common core standards and incorporate cross-curricular lessons in other subject areas. Each lesson is independent and shows a wide array of cross-curricular planning. These lessons may be better developed with the collaboration of subject area teachers in the conjoining field, however a connection to content is established on each lesson. The bulk of my research is in the need of cross-curricular planning and the importance of these connections. One of the earliest learning theories, associationism indicates that learning occurs from experiences. This statement comes from Aristotole’s ‘De memoria et reminiscentia,’ (Tracye & Morrow, p. 21) for this reason, the bulk of these cross-curricular lessons will be based on project-based experiences and inquiry-based learning. Give Them an Inch They'll Take a Mile This lesson explores the use of maps and the relationships of area. Often in classes, area is a rectangle that can be measured. What happens if there is no ruler? What is the area? Check out this lesson and let me know your thoughts.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Pics in education the past year.

My speech...they say a picture says a thousand words...this one almost does.

Woodrow Wilson 2012 Class Announcement

WWF Press Release (I love these girls.)

Glee Club

more Glee (hope we can bring it back)
Showcase UC 

Wordle: whyteach

Let the Lessons Begin

Cross-Curricular Lessons

the beginnings....

I'm In Depth to You 
is a lesson using videos related to the Summer Olympics to investigate waves, the size, frequency and how the depth of the pool relates to swimming speed. I've named it "I'm In Depth to You" because a swimmer may just be owing a race to the depth of a pool. 

Science/ Math /Physical Education

Fueling Up 
is a lesson investigating the cost savings of a hybrid vechicle. Throw in some technology with an Excel spreadsheet and we have a practical lesson in budgeting.

Science/ Math/ Technology

Food for Thought
(Feeding Frenzy)

A lesson on feeding the hungry, using proportions, and linear relationships.  Social settings in the mathematics classroom. 

Social Studies/ Math

Now How?

Now how?

When I decided I was going to teach I searched many avenues. As an adjunct instructor, I get no tuition reimbursement so I have to pay for school on our already tight budget.  With 3 kids and already below the federal poverty level even with my income (face it my husband’s and my combined income wasn’t high; even compared to a teacher) how could I finance college?  Not to mention, I was going to not be working???  So…I figured I would submit my transcripts to ODE to obtain an alternative educator’s license.  This way I could work, if I found a job, and take classes toward my licensure.  Yes! This is ideal!  Except for one thing, I mean five things…2 superintendents, and 3 principals said, yeah, I don’t think that’s a good plan ‘cause if an actual licensed person comes along…bye!  L

This led me to hit the Internet. Where could I find money?  Who has online education courses? And bloop. There was a post on Facebook, a link with John Legend talking about education.  Well, I graduated high school with John and felt compelled to visit While on the site I traveled to Ohio State University’s website, read about Project Aspire and another program, The Woodrow Wilson Teaching fellowship (WWF).  Both programs will give you funding and a scholarship to go back to school, get a master’s degree and teach.  Great!  I won’t have to worry about how to feed my family while I go to school. So I turn in my application for WWF, get selected for an interview, and the answer when I’m asked why teach?  Well, OBVIOUSLY, I’m supposed to!  It’s been laid out for me. I just need to give up everything and go for it! Well, that’s not what I said out loud but you get the picture. 

Now, to know that Ohio State isn’t offering this program 2011-2012, so I guess I’ll apply at UC.  (Great outcome! Great Cohort!) That’s not so far, right? So…I have a scholarship, and I’m going back.  I had to go so far as to buy a new car to get to UC, the 188 miles a day I decided was best suited for a Prius. I bought a car, I drove everyday to Cincinnati, I completed my coursework, planned lessons, worked in a “challenging” urban environment.  I stayed up late, got home late, juggled school and home life, traveled, traveled, traveled. I worked on project-based learning, built relationships, and learned some politics. I even studied for standardized tests. Now, I’m ready to teach.

But Where?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Why teach?

Why teach?

Possibly the most common question I’ve been asked since changing careers.  Listen, I probably technically worked in the field that I received my bachelor’s degree for only 2 years.  Although in 8 years of adult teaching I would say I’ve taught information technology.  There is a need; that’s why teach.  What I like about teaching is I can be creative, and while I have boundaries in what I teach, I design my look/tone of my classroom.  Those of you that know me know that the illusion that I have control is important.  Now, to choose a profession is which I have the least amount of control…but the illusion of control.  Perfect! Sign me up!  It’s like being a mom, a mom of 120. So, now really…why teach?

I DON’T KNOW, STOP ASKING.  Any answer I give sounds cheesy anyway.  Listen it started when I was laid off from my first job out of college and I started substitute teaching …it was a job. I didn’t think I was particularly skilled at it, I just read someone else’s plans really well, and stuck to the script.  I am really good at dialogue, pulling topics from the air and even my substitute teaching was relevant.  Not to mention…teachers kept calling me back.  They wanted me there!  Huh! So…that’s not what I went to school for and another job opportunity came up so I better do that.  But after 1 year in a job leaving at 6 AM and returning at 6 PM I wasn’t satisfied, I had no time for my family and I wasn’t making a difference.  At least not in my mind.  I was good at my job, I play work just as good as I play school. I thought I’d get a teaching license while I worked but I was going to have to quit my job to student teach.  I cannot afford that!  If only I had known, two weeks after the deadline to enroll, I got laid off AGAIN. Two weeks after that…I’m pregnant??  How do I look for a job now?! Humf.

That started the spiraling career of teaching; I might add within this stretch I joined some ladies in a bible study…Spiritual Gifts.  #1- Teacher, Are you serious? I’m just teaching to stay at home with my kids, I am not meant to teach. Yet babysitting turned to in-home certified daycare turned to: “I WANT THESE KIDS OUT OF MY HOUSE.”

I still don’t have a teaching license so…I’ll teach adults. Perfect!  After 2 years of teaching Office Technology courses another “company” closes on me and I’m without a job.  Are you serious?  Thank goodness for the community college.  That kept me afloat for 5 more years, but as courses changed, funding was depleted and I was working quarter-to-quarter to keep a contract; I was uneasy. 

So to prove that I had other skills I picked up a summer job, not teaching this was 2010.  10 years after the original teaching experience.  Here I am working a sweet gig and…I hated it!  So, I took 2 weeks off to teach kids how to use computers and design documents for their 4H projects.  I got paid well-enough to be off “work.”  Then IT happened…I went home at the end of the 2 weeks and sitting at the dinner table I told my husband, “it’s been so nice not going to work the past couple of weeks.”  Quizzically he looks at me and I smacked my forehead.  Dummy! You were working, difference is…you like it!

The hard work, the work that doesn’t feel like work.  That’s why I teach!

Now How?