Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Class... On Tuesday?

Today we had a make-up session for our Master's program. It was so nice to hear from and see everyone! It was especially nice to be able to take the work and really get some good feedback. I had a bit of a breakdown and went to the bad place when I found out that my UbD was, in fact, not complete... it was complete enough for Mary Kay and Sara... but for Roger and Michele I have to make it "sub ready". That kind of stressed me out. I think it would be easy enough if it was all something I've taught before... but it's all new... so there is just SO much I have to create. Oh well... it will be beneficial because then I have nothing to worry about and/or plan... I can just enjoy the beginning of the year and really get the documentation and results scored/tallied in time. It will be nice.
It will be nice...
It will be nice...

Otherwise I still have work I need to get done on my RoL and Action Plan... and really think about the Perfect Classroom.

We had our picnic tonight and it was fantastic. It was at Lynn's house and it was so nice to meet and see everyone's family. Bryce had a great midget-beating story, and everything was just enjoyable. It was nice to see everyone and their loved ones in a different context... although the majority of people were quieter because they knew their spouses felt out of place and so they couldn't leave them!

Beautiful night. Good food. Great company.

I love my community.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Alles neues!

WooHoo! We bought a new camcorder today. I am very excited about this because, aside from the home movie capabilities, I can now also use the video for class and have students really interact with video and do awesome fun things with using German as they "walk through" videos! I know it will be useful here in the U.S. for places like the zoo and grocery store... but how awesome will it be for "everyday life" stuff in Germany as well!! And this means that if I don't happen to get one for my classroom due to the SMART technology, that will be okay. I think I'm going to e-mail Al anyway... just to try for one.

Okay. I really need to finish my RoL... seriously. I plan on bringing my laptop to Anika's game tonight and doing a bunch of it there (hopefully).

alles gute!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

New Blogs!

So tonight... after a bit of "to-do" and scurrying around electronically, I got blogs set up for each of the German classes! This way each class can have notes and homework posted daily (hopefully by the students) for those who either were absent or just might want/need a reminder! I'm excited! I invited the park.german e-mail account as an author, so they have rights to post (and only post)!
If used correctly, this could be awesome (and easy)!

Wanna check 'em out?
Here they are: Deutsch 1, Deutsch 2, Deutsch 3

I need to find those notes I made about the introductory survey on technology availability.

Gearing up...

Slowly but surely my mind is gearing up for the school year, as is normal protocol for me in August. It seems to be taking one thing at a time in its process.
This year we have begun with the Speech Team. I think it all began with a $1 purchase I made at Target (woo-hoo for the dollar bin!). I bought a plastic expanding file that we can use to hold all of the pertinent information we need for tournaments. As one of the head coaches, I think it's important to empower people and just make sure we have the right tools to do what we do best effectively and efficiently. So this was step one... A plastic expanding file...Funny, huh?
But now my brain is beginning to move those gears again and, at times, really gets going into the thoughts of all that is speech. But I'm not pushing it... I want it to be a natural birth.

It's exciting.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

My last class

I had my last Understanding by Design class last night. It was a worthwhile class and it felt SOOO good to just hand in my unit and call it good. I still need to e-mail my annotated bibliography, but it was great to hand in everything else! I was concerned when we discussed it because I thought I had left stuff out, but then Mary Kay took a look at it and said everything was fine! I felt awesome... and when I was speaking my plan out loud, I even surprised myself at the cohesiveness of the podcasting stuff. A proud moment for me.
Then we spoke about some things during the discussion in class that I found most interesting. The first was the idea that in Japan, they have the students experience first and then find the words and information they need through uncoverage and construction of learning. I was considering how I could fit this into my classes. The thing I could think of is just the authentic experience of speaking (reading or writing) about a topic... and then using that to figure out what information they need. So example: in the movie chapter, ask the students questions and try for 15-20 minutes to speak in German about what they can... having the students take notes on what vocabulary would be useful for them within that topic! It coud be the same with food, restaurants, classes and school and so much more. it would put their vocabulary necessity in a very authentic and meaningful context! How exciting!! I need to include that in my classes. Instead of having the students imagine what vocabulary they want for the day of talking, maybe we try first without any vocabulary... then learn the vocabulary... and then do it again the next day! I wonder if it should begin as mainly teacher led discussion (to be sure that the kids are either talking in German or not at all) and then could lead to students doing it on their own.
The second thing we briefly talked about that I have been considering is grading. It was interesting. Do you grade homeworok if it's just practice? And what if they don't need the practice to do well on the test? Then should they be punished for not doing the practice? Hm... This is something to keep rolling over in my mind... but it reminded me that I need to/want to do observational assessment of the students. Just random snapshots of students progress. This could be acccumulated through the dialogue journals, hot seat, in-class speaking and other writings/works. Just notes here and there... and if I watch/look for two kids in each class every day, it should work itself out. Then I think I would also have a better idea of how the class is performing as a whole. Interesting. I think I'm going to make a sheet for that right away.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Things to do...

I really, really need to complete my work for Nate's class as soon as possible so that I can be done with that.
I also need to do my UbD stuff so that I can hand that in tomorrow night so I'm done with that as well.
That way I can focus on the things I need for NEXT TUESDAY (Wow... that day is coming fast.) The things I need for that are:
  • Review of Literature
  • Perfect Classroom
  • UbD (which will be done)
  • AR Plan (which is on it's way)

Das Erste...

Guten Tag meine Alle!
Ich hoffe, daß ihr ein tollen Sommer habt! Ich mache viele Arbeit für die Schule diesen Sommer! Dieses Blog ist nur ein Anfang...