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…

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Computer Arrived via DonorsChoose.org #DonationForDeskTop

#DonationForDeskTop

#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 DonorsChoose.org 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 happenā€¦ 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.

Classroom is ready to welcome students back to school! (#Remind101)

Before/After Clean Up ;]

Before/After Clean Up ;]

I am excited for the students to return. I am also excited for our open house on Wednesday night. I will be handing out fliers to let parents know about my classroom blog (here), grabbing parent emails for future reference, and I will, of course, be giving them (parents & students) an overview of what to expect for the school year. I will also be trying out something new called, Remind101. Here is the handout that I will be giving parents (here), and here is a little something from their website: “Remind101 was built, in conjunction with educators, to solve communication obstacles between teachers, students and parents. Across all grade levels and institution types, Remind101 is a safe and simple communication solution to help teachers extend their classrooms. Signing up takes less than two minutes on the website, iPhone app or Android app, and it only takes seconds for students or parents to join a class. Safety is a primary feature: teachers never see students/parents phone numbers, nor will students/parents see theirs” – (Remind101 Website). Honestly, I’m not completely sold on it for obvious privacy issues, but there seems to be some pretty good safeguards in place. Along with this classroom blog, it will be another form of communication between parents. Keeping an open line is always important, so we shall see how this new tool works or doesn’t work in regards to communicating with parents…

Continue reading

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

View & Respond – Jasmine McClain

 Jasmine McClain

Jasmine McClain

On March 4th, the class will work on (7.SL.1) & (7.SL.5) common core speaking/listening standards with this view & respond about Jasmine McClain. Students will began class with a bell work prompt about any bullying, and how does it make them feel. I will be passing out a news story on Jasmine McClain to give background to the story. If you are unaware, Jasmine McClain is from Chadbourn, NC where “authorities are investigating the death of a 10-year-old girl who hanged herself Monday night after repeatedly being bullied at school.” Along with that news story, students will have questions to answer before we begin classroom discussion. That handout can be viewed [here]. The class will then move to the viewing portion by watching this video [here]. Students will be prompted to actively watch by using the 5W’s (who, what, where, when, and why)… Students will be given about 5 to 7 minutes to answer the questions from the previously mentioned handout. Once students have completed the handout, I will open up the floor for discussion.

Continue reading