Cluster Maps

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Gearing up for the new school year 2012-13

I am not rushing the new school year, but this is the time I begin getting my thoughts together and new links for us to try out. Our goal is for each student to be career or college ready by graduation. That means our students will be given more responsibility and independence throughout their high school years.
While we all take the 'summer off' from our school schedule, we should still be reading, practicing math skills and writing! Check out the SAT college board site and practice your vocabulary, math and writing skills. Also, keep those skills sharp by stopping by

See you in September!

Check out your fractions know-how!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

During the season of darkness, in the northern hemisphere, we rely on daily brightness “of sorts” to lighten up our days.

Here are some “gifts” for you and your students to brighten your days.

That’s all folks, stay busy, yet relax and keep your days bright, or brighten someone else’s day.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Student to teacher, “What is your favorite part about your job?”

It didn’t take me long to answer! It was about 7:45 AM on a weekday in a support study class. You can imagine the chaos that begins a school day for high school teens. A teacher orchestrating the group of students to help find some bit of school work for them to complete, while making a personal connection with each student, and encouraging independent work then beginning the cycle again.

This was just that sort of day. However, when he asked me that question, the room went silent. I didn’t hesitate, “My favorite part of my job is, years after meeting a student and working with a student, somehow over time, there is a huge reward, when I finally hear what the student has chosen for a school, college, job, family and place to live”, I said.

My student didn’t miss a beat and responded, “Oh, so you hate your job.” I began to protest, then I replied, “You asked me about my favorite part of the job, which is the surprise after all the waiting.”

I did not go on to say that I look forward to each day, that I reflect on my days and my meetings with students each week, as I learn something new to mention in my next meeting with a student. I did not go on to say that, I cherish the moments when a student gets a good grade after all the hard work. I cherish the teaching and the learning, especially when my students are teaching me and I am the learner. Everyday is worth it, but the surprise after waiting years is still the best.

Daniel Tyler Graduation UMO 2010

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Transition for your High Schooler

Since 2004 IDEA re-authorization, schools have been charged with creating
transition plans for students with IEP’s to include specific plans on
how the student will be prepared for life after high school, whether it
be work, post secondary education, or both. Let’s look at where you
might begin with your middle or high school students as they being
thinking about careers.

This is where I am going start with my students.

First,register at Princeton Review
and then click here to take the career interest 24 question survey. Be sure to save
your registration information so you can save materials and go back and
look at what you have saved. As with most surveys answer the questions fairly quickly.

Once you finish the survey you get a an Interest Color and A Usual Color. Mine happen to be Interest=Green and Usual=Red. Then about 50 careers are generated from my interests with links to each career that give me more information including facts and figures about salary, the options to move up the career ladder, what the present and future may hold, and even what
someone in this profession might read.

 This site is also linked to SAT’s, ACT’s and college information.

The other Career site I found was Office of Science Education  Here I began with 127 careers, I chose 2 categories, narrowed  my choices down to 10 careers. Next,  I selected about 30 skills I felt I had or would like to have, finally I ended up with 5 careers if I had a Master’s degree and 3 if I had a Bachelor’s degree. This only took about 10 minutes to get to the 8 careers I ended up with.

Another great website will send students to look at what their career may eventually pay
them.This website would be a great site to look at with groups of students so they could read, collect data and report out to the group the variety of jobs they might be interested in.

If you are on holiday, share this blog with your students, let them begin the search. One nice result, I still have teaching in my career choices, but also  a few in the science field I did not know about. I wonder what my students’ career options will be?


Monday, December 13, 2010

Student Pride, Teacher Proud!

Last week,  Bob Sprankle, gave explicit ways that we can use to  promote student’s making comments on blogs, student publishing, student learning and student results. That post offered me a chance to reflect on my first trimester.  I work with challenged learners and provide them with opportunities to share their learning. Here are a few examples from my high school students.These moments do not happen frequently, however,  we have to be in the right place at the right time in order to facilitate them, or not!

For the first trimester in our Skills Cafe at our high school, we have been teaching students how to use various Web 2.0 tools in their own learning and how to add tools in their own specially designed toolkits. Once we teach a student how to use the tool, then they decide if the tool actually works for them, their learning style and produces results.

One student, Mike, had failed his English vocabulary test. I shared how he could use Quizlet and study then take the test again. He created his own word list in Quizlet over the weekend, studied, came in Monday and passed the vocabulary test with 100%. He sought me out between classes and told me how he got 100% by using Quizlet! Student Success.

Last week, I was out at a department meeting. You now how hard it is to schedule a department meeting for special educators, get all the necessary substitutes and then hope for the best. This prompted Scott, to be in touch with me while I was out of the classroom. The previous day, Scott  was studying for his vocabulary test, he had written them on paper, read them over and over, I quizzed him, he knew all but 4 of the words and definitions. Now, here is the part about our Special Education Department meeting, I was out of the building. Scott had my cell phone number, because he likes to receive texts from me as reminders.  He hates email!!! So, frequently I text him reminders, questions, suggestions. Guess what? During my meeting I received a text, and a photo of his success!

This is a story about Morgan. As we introduced the webtools to our students in the first trimester, we gave them tools and a placeholder-a google doc. We showed them how to share google docs and that it could later be published as a website. We shared our links in a google site. Through experience, Morgan made her own google site and published her Animoto’s, strategies, research tools all as her own toolkit. If we model good strategies for publishing, share the tools and monitor our student work , give our students choices, they will make good decisions.

Another student, Kaitlin, had to be out of school for two weeks. She wanted to have school work. I shared an online opportunity for her to complete work and stay in touch. Each week, she completed an online course of study and emailed me the results. Nice job! She was able to keep up with her classwork while she had to be out of school.

I have told these stories over and over again to other adults and students. Why? I am proud, my students are proud.  We have flattened our classrooms. We no longer only teach between 7 AM and 2 PM. We have given our students the tools, they are collaborating, they are problem solving, they are coming up with new ways to use the tools and they are personalizing them. Isn’t this what our instruction for digital literacy is  all about?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Week 16, Trimester 2

Skills Cafe A week at a time - December 2010 Welcome! Afterschool Support Study 2-2:30 daily F. Links This link will take you to all the links we have used. Cafe-2010-2011-1 G. Did You Know? It is Trimester 2, you should have 3 of your community service hours completed for this year! H. PBS Contest! ?contactID=159134581&gwkey=UY2V78JDCI I. WatchME Video Contest Check the bulletin board, the deadline is Jan. 10, 2011 _____________________ Blog post I wrote December 13, 2010 A. Week 16- What's Ahead? Transition Plan, fill in this worksheet! Week 16 Activities, C. The Weeks in Review If your name is on the list in support study, then you need to fill out this SURVEY. D. Contest!!! Only 100 Words you could win $100.00 to $500.00 “How does technology make the world a better place?” Entries must be submitted online to TweenTribune and TeenTribune. No entries will be accepted via email or snail mail. To enter, students must log in, click “Create entry” from the “For Student Links” on the right side of the homepage, then submit their entries for their teachers to judge. Join our classroom Learning Cafe by 1/16/11 E. Do you have a learning tip to share? You can share your ideas here with your classmates. One of your Animotos, a poem, a story, ideas, your own photos or movies! Nothing to Do? Here is the $20.00 Challenge You can write an essay for NPR public radio student essay. If your essay is published, I will give you a $20.00 itunes gift certificate. You can have help with your essay. Here are the essay rules. guidelines/ _________________________________________ Ms. Oakes and Ms. Goodwin need student interviews about how to use technology tools in your day to day life for our January workshop at ATIA in Orlando, FL. Contact them!