Closed for the Summer ;)

Summer Time!

Summer Time!

In my Boys To Men voice, we have come to the end of the road. School is now officially out for the Summer. We’ve all said our goodbyes, and 8th Grade Graduation was yesterday. I will miss that group of students, but it is time for the next step in their academic journey. I wished them well, and told them to make good choices because this is the next step in their life and the choices they make will determine who they will become in the near future…

As for my 7th Graders, the majority of students will be returning for their 8th Grade year, but a few won’t. Those were the hardest goodbyes. I told them my door is always open for them to stop by and say hello. For those leaving the state, I let them know the blog is open to say hello as well.

This year has flown by, and I have enjoyed it tremendously. I know I have given my best effort to prepare this group of kids for 8th Grade academically as well as socially.  Soon it will be time to get ready for the next group of kids. Until the end of July rolls around, I will have a busy summer. My first child will turn 1, so I will have my hands full. I will also start my Master’s Degree in Education this summer, so I will stay pretty active. I will keep this blog updated periodically… Enjoy the Summer!

Letter Writing Activity #Dreams

set goal, make plan, work, and stick to it...

set goal, make plan, work, and stick to it…

I decided to do an impromptu writing activity in Language Arts/Writing today. The students will participate in a letter writing activity about their future aspirations. Students will begin class with a bell work question, “Describe 3 realistic life goals that you want to reach by the age of 18.” Once they have completed that, they will be given the following instructions:


1) You will be writing a letter about your future dreams and aspirations.

2) Address the letter to yourself (future you)

3) List specific goals that you hope to attain by the age of 18 and beyond.

4) For every goal, give yourself advice on how to reach that goal.

5) Open the letter upon high school graduation or when you feel yourself getting off track later in life. Continue reading

Class in the news after Ludacris announces contest winner [KGun9 News & Arizona Daily Star]

I always tell my students, “put in the work and good things will happen.” As we went into Winter Break, students received some reinforcement to that notion as well as a little press for a competition in which they all participated in [read more about competition]. Although there could only be one winner, they all enjoyed hearing about their class as well as school in the news. They also, of course, enjoyed receiving a special shout out from Ludacris (see here). Above is footage from KGun9 News, and I was also able to find an article on the Arizona Daily Star. I didn’t have any luck finding KVOA Channel 4’s news article and/or footage, but we appreciate them as well. All in all, it was a good way to end 2013. I’m glad the news was able to shine some light on such positivity as well as help me reinforce that notion that working hard actually paying off. Looking forward to an even better 3rd & 4th Quarter in 2014…

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Ludacris Announces Classroom Contest Winner [Video]

As the holiday season approaches, students have been getting anxious to find out who the winner will be for the Soul By Ludacris Headphone Contest. As an added bonus, Ludacris gave a special shout out to announce the class winner. The winner was extremely happy as well as shocked that Ludacris took the time to give her a special mention.

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Computer Arrived via #DonationForDeskTop



Thank you to everybody that supported our class project! The desktop computer came today!!! Although it was the wrong brand, I am grateful because this one is pretty similar. I contacted about the mixup, and they let me know that the other one may have been out of stock, so they sent this one. I’m currently setting up the computer as well as installing Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010. I’m very excited to get it set up in the classroom for the students to use after Labor Day! Next step, thank you letters as well as a few photos for the donors that helped make this happen…

Soul By Ludacris Headphones Contest [Extrinsic Reward]

 Soul by Ludacris SL150 Pro Hi-Definition On-Ear Headphones (Autographed)

Soul by Ludacris SL150 Pro Hi-Definition On-Ear Headphones (Autographed)

Last year, I had a contest during the 4th Quarter to see who could receive the highest average in either Literature or Writing. The reward was a pair of custom Air Force Ones [see contest here]. I’ve decided this year to do a contest to give away a pair of Soul By Ludacris Headphones [see picture]. How it will work is pretty simple. I will show the headphones to the students, give them a few ground rules, and they will compete for the highest grade average. What I haven’t decided is the time frame of this contest. I’m thinking about either the first two quarters, or making it for the entire four quarters. If I do it for two quarters, it will make for a nice holiday gift. If I do it for the entire four quarters, it might motivate somebody for an entire year. We shall see and keep it TBD (feedback is welcome)…

A little extrinsic reward, you bet. I’ve had these headphones for awhile, and I rarely use them. They’re very good quality, but I don’t use them. I figured a student that works hard to win these will get a lot more use out of them. Lesson for the students, when you work hard for things, you give yourself an opportunity for good things to happen… On that same note, there is only one pair of headphones, so working hard, just like in life, might not get you what you want all the time. That being said, you still have to put forth the effort to give yourself an opportunity to be successful.

21st Century Classroom #DonationForDeskTop

Enter “INSPIRE” to have donation matched by DonorsChoose.Org – #ImagineThePossibilities…

I’ve created a classroom project request at because I want to make sure my students have the materials they need to reach their full potential. The project entails one classroom computer to be used for completing homework, researching information for a project, or simply typing an essay paper. This access to technology will potentially better equip students for the future. Unfortunately the future is no longer just written, it’s typed, it’s coded, it’s on Facebook, it’s on Twitter, it’s on Instagram, it’s reported via online news outlets, it’s blogged about, and without access to all the previously mentioned, the future can seem out of reach. Please help me make that reach a little easier.

I’m asking for donations of any size to help my students. For the next week (7/5 to 7/12), any donation you make to my project will be doubled via! If you know anyone who is passionate about education, please pass this along. Your donation will brighten my students’ school year, and you’ll get photos and thank yous from our class.

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Ready To Go (2013/2014 School Year)


As the last 20 or so days of the summer (school not regular people’s calender) come to a close, I’ve already begun to go into out with the old and in with the new mode of thinking. I’ve just printed my lesson plans for 2013/2014… Class notes have also been completed for next year – all in Microsoft word format. I had planned to take it easy this summer, and for the most part, I am doing just that. I’ve prepared two major things for next year, lesson plans and class notes. That being said, there are obvious pros as well as some not so obvious cons.

First and foremost, I have a plan as to where I want the students to go according to each quarter. Another pro, I have more time to focus on direct instruction as well as adjustments/enrichment/remediation instead of planning day to day or week to week. The last major pro, and perhaps the best reason that I planned the entire year out ahead of time, it lets me enjoy the students w/o worrying about creating lesson plans under the pressure of grading, other responsibilities, and just day to day life outside of teaching. Continue reading