What a sad day for the world, we lost a profound soul today with the loss of Maya Angelou. I ordered Maya Angelou's audiobook to hear her soulful voice speak wisdom once more. This was my book, the one that spoke to me. Since our school year is coming to an end I could not help but reflect on this day. Mrs. Angelou, a teacher herself knew of our struggles and triumphs. As we see students succeed and graduate, and students that don't, but still push on; I can't help but constantly reflect on that the woman that I looked up to so much, that gave me strength, courage, and voice. We never met, but I felt her words. Those words made an impact on me. At the end of this school year I only hope I give some of that hope to my students that Mrs. Angelou gave to me. Thank you Mrs. Angelou.
Photo Quote Credit: Quote Images via Twitter
As part of our final, we have always had students do a classroom presentation of a book that they have read over the trimester. It was boring and on the surface questions that they answered. This year we decided to transition to book talks. I have been trying to find examples of great book talks, and have posted the ones I used as examples here. In our book talks we focused on a speech that hooked the reader in, gave a brief summary, gave the students thoughts on the book and concludes with a catchy ending that makes the audience want to read the book. In addition to a speech, students are expected to create a Prezi presentation that enhances the speech by displaying quotes, images and/or any other important information that would enhance their presentation. These are some of the great examples I found on YouTube!
Pep up your students with some energetic music! Help get your students to graduation with some cool tunes. Want to see something on the playlist? Shoot me a comment and I will add it on there...and I will be adding more as I hear them! Go to http://tape.ly/16307 To listen, or click on the image
Want to create your own playlists! tape.ly is a great way to make and share playlists! If you make one of your own, please share :) It is so nice to have pre-listened playlist for teacher, by teachers!
Happy Graduation Season!http://tape.ly/16307
Every year the California Continuation Education Association Conference is always tons of fun, enlightening, and validating. This year's conference was focused on the Common Core. In this time of transition, state-wide collaboration is such a jem. The conference is a time that all of us alternative education staff can get together and share best practices, share struggles and get great ideas for the next school year especially with the transition to the Common Core.
This years conference had many take-aways, but a few really stuck with me. Some were directly from presentations, some from conversations, and all were reinforced throughout my time at the conference:
2. Be mindful
2. The Common Core is a chance for opportunity.
I am absolutely biased, but I believe that Continuation School Teachers are the most creative breed of teacher. Seeing and hearing the phenomenal lessons that were given to students, the higher level of thinking and learning that would be needed to achieve this high standards, and all the while scaffolding the assignments gave to ensure students of every level are able to succeed was simply amazing. This is an art, and my colleagues that presented had some of the most innovating lessons, programs, and tools that demonstrated this artistry.
Other Common Core take-aways are that the standards and the Smarter Balance assessments are not married. Most will agree that the standards are great; they allow for teachers to be creative, teach in-depth concepts and 21st Century Skills which are often difficult to assess, but this is new and creating assessments is an evolution...they get better through reflection which takes time. So separating those two concepts is essential.
3. Collaborate, Collaborate, Collaborate!
This is so key, we are creating great work out there, but often in our unique settings there is little collaboration available. This is often due to single person departments, or teachers don't have a common class that they teach. It is my hopes, and really why I started this blog, to mend some of the distance and use technology to our advantage. We need to harvest material and make it our own. It is key to hear the outcomes that other teachers had, and what worked and what didn't work. It is never the same for anybody, or every class; but evolution and constantly making lessons better is key.
Again, the CCEA conference is my most anticipated event of the year because I get to be around new friends that know my students, understand my struggles, and are passionate about students and helping them overcome adversity.