Sunday, February 24, 2013

Diocesan Institute Conference

This past week we spent three days in Columbus, GA with teachers from the Diocese of Savannah. It was a fantastic way to get recharged. The conference was filled with breakout sessions that inspired you to continue something that you are doing or to inform you about the new demands of education. Our keynote speaker was Mary McDonald she was amazing. She did a fabulous job in reminding us that we are the 'Hands of Christ' and to continue in our mission as Catholic educators. Her stories were inspiring and her message up lifting.  Just what was need to get through testing the next couple of weeks and to finish out another school year with continued enthusiasm.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Valentine's Day

Yesterday for Valentine's Day we used Laura Chandler's fraction math. The kids were very excited, so it was the perfect way to still do math and enjoy the holiday. We made compliment Valentine's Day bags and it was special to see how sweet they were to each other and to me. Unfortunately, I was not able to find white bags, so we used brown but the idea was priceless. It was a great day for all of us.

We put our Valentine's in these.


On Ash Wednesday we started a Lenten journal that we will use throughout the 40 days ( 46 counting Sundays) of Lent. These journals will have something for the students to reflect on each day. They were really excited and enjoyed decorating the covers. We have had two days of journaling and the students love them. It's amazing how reflective they can be. I will share some entries with their permission later.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Digital Stories

I'm sorry its been so long since my last post. It just has been so busy. Where does the time go? We have been finishing some digital stories (personal narratives) that the students wrote. One of the professors that taught me is coming to see the finished product. They are amazing. There is something about putting a student's voice to their writing. This experience has motivated them to continue to write. One of the things that inspired me to encourage students to write digital stories is that it was something they were already familiar with. It is truly their world. I'm just along for the ride. If I can figure out how to attach one I will share. The digital aspect can be time consuming if you do not have the resources, but it is worth the wait. The students created these with Windows Movie Maker, but if you have an iPad it is easier and faster. I will let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Biography Study

We have been learning about non-fiction text. The students have been learning about the different non-fiction text features. This week we started leaning about non-fiction text structures. While working on non-fiction text the students are doing a Biography Study. Each student chose a person they were interested in learning about. They are reading books, looking at encyclopedias, and also using the internet. The project involves many components. Once they have finished working on all the components we will be putting on a Biography Wax Museum for our school and parents. They are really excited and very engaged in their work. One of the first components is a hand drawn portrait. They are gathering notes to prepare to make a timeline, write a poem, speech, and several other pieces. Here are a few portrait pictures and students taking notes.

I love it when they use post its.

Note Taking

Amelia Earhart

Jackie Robinson

Carl Lewis

Roberto Clemente

Sylvia Earle

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Professional Development Day

Today I attended the Coastal Savannah Writing Project Literacy Conference and was fortunate enough to see Barry Lane. He is an author and speaker who shares with the world ways to motivate students to become better writers. He has a wonderful sense of humor and can motivate you to look at writing a whole new way. There are several You tube videos and a great website full of resources. Check it out
He was entertaining, motivating, and inspiring. I can't wait to try some of his ideas. We also had breakout session with area teachers that presented some great ideas to use in the classrooms. It was a great day and I feel energized once again to be a better teacher for my students.

Barry Lane

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Day 5

Today was the final day of Catholic School's Week and just as we started our week with Mass, we ended the week with Mass as well. It was a beautiful mass dedicated to our distinguished graduate and her service to Catholic Education. It is moments like these that we reflect on the lives of all teachers not just Catholic School teachers. Father used the analogy of a farmer and his crops. We are like the farmer in that we plant the seeds, we take great care of these seeds, and reap the benefits of what we sow. I had many experiences of what I've sowed. Students, parents, and faculty poured their heart and soul into  showing their appreciation for each other. Letters received from both parents and students, expressing their appreciation, reaffirmed that I cherish my vocation as a teacher.