Friday, September 9, 2011

Peer Review in E3

Today we're working on Peer Review. It's the first time I've introduced it to this group and I was elated at how well they did. The last couple of years have felt like beating baby rabbits while trying to teach students how to peer review. It's not a natural process for them when it comes to writing. They are great at reviewing each other in Facebook statuses, but not each other's writing. Anyway! I felt like today was extremely successful and the only thing I did different was draft with them while they were working on their essays and share my draft today. I read it to them talked about my process of writing it and asked them to comment on it right there in front of me. I responded to them. Allowed them again respond or rebut what I said and wallah! When I set them free to conference with each other they were motivated and giving excellent comments to each other! I am so excited about this first batch of essays. I'm looking forward to good things from these kids.

Here is a link to the instructions I gave them.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Plagiarism Resource

Here is a resource I don't want to forget. I'm putting together a presentation on how teachers can catch plagiarism. Andrew Cullison has some great pointers for using Google Docs to check for Plagiarism. We use Google Docs and I have student's submit papers for marking on Google Docs, but I hadn't thought of the ways Cullison suggests.
Good stuff.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


The first day of school is 2 and a half weeks away and I'm anticipating a great year, but I'm still a bundle of nerves. I feel almost like a first year teacher. It's only my third year, so I'm definitely not a veteran, but I do feel like I'm getting a handle on my curriculum. I have taught the same two classes, so I'm not yet worn out, but just starting to feel like I know where to go next with my lessons. My nerves this year are based mostly on management. I've worked out procedures for everything this year and tightened my resolve to run a tight, but not too tight ship. Yet, I'm nervous. I hate confrontation. I run away! Far away! Whenever I feel it coming. So, I'm going to have to get over it, but then again maybe I won't. Maybe I'll have a perfect year and my procedures will do their job and I won't have to deal with the kid who told me constantly that his goal in life was to be a druglord. He regaled me with the tales of his several arrests and all the times he should have been arrested and wasn't. I'm not a big girl and he was a big guy, so one time when I tried to kick him out he simply said, "what are you gonna do?"
What do I do with that? How do I handle that kid?

I know! I know! Call the school resource officer! Get him out of your room! Right?

Yeah, but what does that teach that kid? He's so hardened and so enabled by his family that he flat doesn't care.

Do I care too much? Sometimes I think I do. My reasons for attempting to develop relationship with that kid was a small hope that I could reach him. That I could be that superman teacher that would reach into his life and create a love for learning.
So call it first/second year teacher naivete, but if I don't care why am I here?

I have to care and I have to be firm. Finding the balance is the key.

Monday, August 1, 2011

This weeks reflection

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Monday, July 25, 2011

New direction

I'll be taking this blog in a new direction for this school year. I'll be using it to reflect on what is happening in my classroom and how things are going in my education world.

My students will connect with me through my Google Site. I will post a link here to when it is ready so that interested parties may be able to see what is going on in my classroom.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Over the summer, I'll be revamping lots of things here. I'll be researching ways to do things better, and am really looking forward to the new school year.