Tuesday, July 13, 2010

DC-CAS results

Here's a DCist post about the 2010 DCCAS test results. So, secondary school's up a tad, and elementary's down in both reading and math by 4.something%.

What does this say about Rhee's own style of pushing pushing pushing the test? Perhaps it doesn't work quite as well as she thought? Mmmmm???

Thursday, July 8, 2010

the writer's workshop

So. I've been called upon by a certain school to have an interview tomorrow, and I'm strapped into the seat at the restaurant I'm at (cafe, yellowgreen&orange walls, free wi-fi), and am trying to figure out a 20 minute grammar lesson. In the meantime, my mind's racing because I'm reading two books that I love (book 1), and am interested in (book 2): The Power of Grammar (book 1), and Mechanically Inclined (book 2). Both are extremely interesting and lovable (I'm such a nerd), and are filling in the gaps where one seems to falter.

The Writer's Workshop seems to be taken for granted as something that happens during the year in units, but shouldn't students be writing all the time? Or, am I to think that comprehension & ideas are more important in daily/homework writing, and not so much the skill of writing? Perhaps. I suppose it depends upon the English teacher, but I'm trying to think--how does it usually go? In Read 180, we have readings, then we have writing. In English, that's how it worked also, no? No?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


I have an interview at another school. Whoa.

Monday, July 5, 2010

summer reading list

1. Ender's Game (780 Lexile)
2. The History of Love (Nicole Krauss) (dunno the Lexile...guesses?)
3. What is the What (Dave Eggers)
4. The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing (M. T. Anderson) (1090 Lexile)
5. Walk Two Moons (Sharon Creech) (770 Lexile)
6. Love That Dog (Sharon Creech) (1010 Lexile)
7. When You Reach Me (Rebecca Stead) (750 Lexile)
8. Holes (~600)
9. Letters from Rifka (~600)

any suggestions? YA fiction? Adult fiction? Poetry?

not abandoned

It seemed like I had all but abandoned this blog. I didn't mean for it to go that way, but it did. The idea of posting as a commitment sort of got really behind the back-burner, and finally the flame sort of went out. But. That doesn't mean I can't recommit, no?

So. What shall I start with? I'll start with the end. It's interesting, now that school's been out for, what, two weeks, that everything ended in a weird, rushed, but pretty calm way. I had one fight in my class, around the end of May, maybe the middle of May. It was intense, and I don't think I handled it the best because I should've seen it coming--there were some signs that I saw, but chose (unconsciously or not) to let slide. I hope this doesn't make me a bad teacher; if not, then I've most definitely learned to look for the signs. When everything calmed down, both of 'em had two weeks suspension.

No one, except for one kid in my high school class and four kids in my middle school class, got F's. Everyone made up their work (although, let's be honest--some of 'em handed things in at the END OF THE ADVISORY...not cool). My lowest grade was a D. I will miss my students, but I know that I'll be seeing most of them next year (yeah, I think I'll be at my school next year--why? That seems to be the breaks--no one's called me back about the schools I interviewed with at the transfer fairs; so, I'm pretty resigned to the fact that I'll be back at my school, but with the added twist and pleasure of having previous students). I think the kids'll see more challenges, more expectation of excellence, and more of a culture of respect within the room. I'm going to research a bit and make some suggestions for the curriculum, and hopefully do some more in-depth shit. I'm hoping to be a more interesting Read 180 teacher next year, and maybe I'll do some good research on on sorts of leveled books, make some inquiries at the library, and have more of an emphasis on the reading stuff.

In the meantime, I'm on summer break, which means reading for pleasure and reading for a purpose. I've got two great grammar books: "The Power of Grammar" and "Mechanically Inclined." Plus, that teacher's guide, "Teach Like a Champion" (lamest title ever, but apparently a great help). I'll also try to read some young adult fiction (if I can get my hands on any). Any suggestions?

Well, here's to summer break! I'll be posting every once and again...by the way, everyone hear about Rhee and how she plans on leaving if Gray's elected? WTF, man: way to give up on a system you've tried to build up and up and let fall. Whoever the person is (if Gray's elected...man, what a hard choice), he can't be weak in the knees, that's for one thing. He's gotta be a data-monger AND a teacher-lover, I suppose. Oy.