Monday, November 30, 2009


Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I love Christmas, but there is something about Thanksgiving that is so much more. Its more family driven than gift-driven. I'm not one of those individuals that thinks that every holiday is consumer driven, but it does get hectic from time to time. I love Thanksgiving because its about contributing to a dinner with a dish, a conversation topic, a laugh, just your personality at the table, its all a great celebration of appreciating those people who are real and true around you.

Even though Thanksgiving was smaller this year, it helped to appreciate those people who were missing. I missed the Wickersham side of Kate's family, mainly because they are so different from us, and the combination keeps Thanksgiving...spicy. I missed my MD family...I miss my MD family a lot. If I could be in two places at once I definitely would. I'm still working on that teleportation thing :)

Happy Thanksgiving to the Family I have and the Family I adopted in to my life, you are stuck with me now HAHAHA! I hope everyone had a wonderful, thoughtful, and thankful weekend. I did.

Photo: My family is the best family! Mia and her Puppa.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

"Partnership for the 21st Century Skills"

Analyzing the following website proved troublesome:

You can tell right away that this website is designed by someone in the business world. It kind of made me laugh, actually. For teachers, websites need to have neon signs, blinking graphics, or video to get any attention to to the lack of time we can contribute to research during the day. My first thought was "This website is definitely designed for someone sitting at their desks in a quiet room typing emails."

This being said, the idea behind this program is very exciting. I'm not sure exactly how much collaboration is happening between business personnel and teachers. I don't see a list of contributors, but why haven't we thought of this before? We have Vo-Tech schools that connect vocations to schools, why not connect all schools to the work world?

My worry is that, as with many educational policies, this technology push will begin with little input from a large, diverse portion of teachers. We know more than any other groups of professionals the diverse population we will be dealing with and what accommodations/restrictions need to be put in place with such a policy. What do we expect of students who have limited English Proficiency? What about students with IEPs (Gifted and Special Education)?

I am glad that PA is not taking on this initiative just yet. It shows good judgement to wait and see what the underlying objectives are (which does exist when talking about combining business with education).

Friday, November 20, 2009

Diary of a Math Genius

I wanted to show everyone how well my students are working in their "Math Diaries" that we recieved from Check out some of these wonderful samples!

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Sorry to all who commented on my posts. All were very important and thoughtful. I was trying to figure out a way to use blogs and also regulate what comments could be posted. As you can see, I was playing with the monitoring items on this blog site. (Thinking ahead to when I try it in the classroom!) SO, I just figured out how to accept your comments just now. In the future I will be more prompt in accepting your comments.

Thanks for giving me the learning curve!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Using Blogs in the Classroom

I actually want to incorporate blogs in my classroom due to the fact that it will encourage reading and reviewing of peer work. I find in my school, students often write things without rereading to make sure it makes sense. I wonder if having it posted to the internet would encourage the students to make sure their words are understood.

As a math teacher, I would love to incorporate blogs as a ticket out, or as a reflective homework assignment. We are always encouraging students to write out their thoughts even in such a number-based subject area. I think this will help students' connect the skills we learn to our school's themes each semester. Currently our school is focusing on "Global Awareness." What better way to understand this concept than to have them on the "world wide web" experiencing people around them and diverse and divergent thinking.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Conflicting Messages

We have had an inservice because of the Election today. One of the things that prompted a heated discussion is the importance of in depth learning versus the scope and sequence and making sure we were on time with the topics discussed. Whether or not we are aware of it, there does seem to be a conflicting message here. As teachers, at least in our school system, there seems to be chasm between what we actually are accomplishing and what we are told we must do. I myself have had quite a few struggles with what is relavent to the students and what I MUST teach and when I must teach it. I have been spending extra time making sure students understand a certain topic and due to that I have lost speed on my scope and sequence. I am now a month behind with certain classes. Does this mean I am failing at my job, or succeeding?