Saturday, August 31, 2013

"Ain't Nobody Got Time For That": Concentrating in class

Dear Students:

We are approaching Week 5 in school.  The one issue that starts to emerge in classrooms across the nation is student disengagement.  By now, new friendships have been formed; old friends are bonding over similar summer experiences, and the gossip has started.

There is a time and a place for everything.  When instructors are teaching, that is the moment where you need to:

* Remain quiet
* Become focused

In essence, "ain't nobody got time" for unnecessary chatter.   For years, I have said, "Whatever is not being done in the classroom will come out in the wash" (i.e. gradebook).

In order to get my point across, I am sharing the following video with you:

Have a wonderful and safe Labor Day weekend.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Make sure that your "game" is tight: The benefits of using a day planner

Dear Students:

I hope that your first two weeks of school have been WONDERFUL!  I have been so busy.  The past ten business days have been an absolute blur.  I am thoroughly enjoying the opportunity to teach American Studies and Senior English.  My doctorate is in American Studies, and it is nice to demonstrate my expertise in the subject on a daily basis.

This year, it is mandatory that my students use a day planner.  My aim is to treat my learners as professionals.  As a professional, you must be organized.  Daily, I instruct my class to take out their day planner and record their assignment due dates. The usage of an agenda is not enough.  Students receive five agendas per week, and oftentimes, they are buried in their folders and never seen again.  Due dates should be located in one spot..  Thus far, the feedback has been positive.

To my former students, utilize the day planner that DV gave you during the first week of school.  You my elect to:

* highlight due dates in different colors (based on the subject)
* purchase binder clippers
* create reminder alarms in your cell phone

On a personal note, it has been wonderful seeing so many of my former Freshmen Honor English students.  Thank you for stopping me in the hallway and corridors.  As a reminder, I do offer tutoring services, and it begins today.  I am quite familiar with the Sophomore Honors curriculum since one of my "tutees" aced it last school year.

Go Thunder!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

"Tomorrow, Tomorrow, I will start the day tomorrow with a SMILE. . .": A New Year, A New Set of Rules, and a New Attitude

Dear Students:

I cannot believe that the 2013-2014 school year begins TOMORROW.  Where has the summer gone?  Did I really start this blog exactly a year ago tomorrow?!?!?!?  Yikes!

  I thoroughly enjoyed my break.  I have included some photos from my trip to Los Angeles.  I returned to Desert Vista last Thursday, and I have been nonstop busy since.  Also, I am including a photo of my former students (recent graduates).  They wanted to see me prior to leaving for college.  Truly, I was honored.  I wish them continued success!  They are a wonderful group of young women, and it was a pleasure of being their instructor/mentor.

Are you ready for your reading quiz?  :)  This year, Mrs. Wisenger and Mrs. Calo will be teaching Sophomore Honors English.  You are in excellent hands.  I look forward to hearing about your progress.  Be sure to review the pointers that I gave you regarding critical reading and analysis. 

I have a classroom - C 211!  Please feel free to stop by and say hello. 

By now, you have probably heard that President Barack Obama will be at Desert Vista on TUESDAY.  I am beyond excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I informed my grandmother, aka "CNN Reporter for the Geriatrics" about our great news.  She screamed, "WWWWHAT?!?!!"  This is a wonderful accomplishment. 

This year, I would like for you to build upon the skills that you learned during your Freshman year of high school.  Also, embrace the following advice:

1. Be a professional.
2. Refrain from idle gossip/being judgemental.
3. Take what you learn from one course and apply it across the curriculum.,
4. Help a lost Freshman.  As a reminder, you were a Freshman last year.  :)

I wish you a WONDERFUL return to campus!

Go Thunder!