Thursday, August 22, 2013

L to J

This week I introduced L to J to all of my students.  Although many of them are familiar with the process, I took the time to explain it to them in full so they understand the logic behind this learning tool.  L to J is a simple, yet very effective way of measuring student/class learning throughout the year.  For a full explanation of the process check out the website: I have 6 sections of American History classes this year, each section will be competing to attempt to break their previous all time bests (ATB) with each quiz.  Students love competition and thrive when they have clear goals in mind.  L to J is a great way for students to compete with themselves, as a class, and against other classes.  Most importantly this is a great way to track student learning throughout the school year.  Below is a snapshot of our week one results by section.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

First Day of School

The first day of school is matter how many "first days of school" we have all been through, each one is unique and filled with anticipation of what's to come in the school year.  It's also nerve-racking, intimidating, and scary for many students and teachers alike.  As I enter my sixth year in the teaching profession, never has this been more evident.

 For the first time in my career, I'll be teaching all students of the same age, incoming freshmen.  Starting tomorrow, I will welcome in 142 new high schoolers who I will spend roughly 175+- hours with over the next nine months.  As excited as they'll be on the outside to enter the hallways of a building they've yet to have classes in, I know that deep down that intimidation, fear, and curiosity of what's to come will be weighing on them heavily these first few weeks.  For these reasons I will focus not only on my subject matter (American History) but also lessons in character, citizenship, and responsibility.  Teaching and modeling proper behavior has never been more important for educators, and this will be a goal of mine throughout this year.  They will experience things during this school year that they never have, it will be a year full of "firsts."  They will also experience adversity, and I believe it is part of my job to teach them how to handle it properly and learn from it.

I've heard a lot of "hype" about this class of 2017..both positive and negative.  Fortunately for these students, and myself, I rely on a quote from legendary football coach Bill Parcells who said: "I don't listen to the hype, I go by what I see."  I'm looking forward to a great year with these kids.  Let's make this First Day of School one to remember.