Thursday, October 27, 2005

Have the Grad Gram workshop today and as always, I am nervous. No matter how many ways I try and get the information out to parents, I always have people very upset in March and April and even June, when they discover that the deadline was back in November (so we can plan for the rest of the book), and that they "NEVER HEARD ANYTHING ABOUT IT".

My students rock this year! We are having a good time working on authentic items for NPR, posting on the website for reference, and soon we will be working on entries for a national contest. I try and find ways to support the CA standards, using authentic items that reach beyond our classroom and school walls. Along the way we learn, and practice, the skills so that they eventually become second nature.

I wish that we could get a few new machines to round out the older ones we have been forced to use, but that is coming. Also, our ventilation system went out yesterday and well, with no windows and a door that was hung backwards (against the wind) it's a bit like a sauna in my room. Today is writing day and most of the time students are on task and writing the whole time. Today they are a little off task and not doing what they should be doing... With the Digital Generation, they are used to multi-tasking and it is increasingly difficult to have them focus on one task for more than 15 minutes, unless it is getting into trouble or something that they choose to work on.

All in all, things going well. Need some printer cartridges, and some new software -- all coming soon. Just have to find the time to get the order together and get things turned in... All about time.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

WHAT IS WAVE? WAVE is Writing And Vocabulary Enrichment. Every Monday, each grade level gets a new word to work with. We have students predict the definition, mark how well they know the word then rotate through three different activities designed to make meaning from the word. Each student has a notebook and we keep track of all the words we have learned. 8th Grade has the most uncommon words, 6th grade the most common and 7th has those inbetween SAT words.

Every Wedensday, we respond to a quote or a situation involving character counts in part two of the vocabulary book.

THURSDAY AND FRIDAY are saved for Commonplace Books. Commonplace books are based around student-selected artifacts which are pasted into the commonplace book and then responded to in writing on the following pages. The entries are then shared on Fridays using a variety of techniques. The commonplace books are not diaries, rather a writing that will be shared with others to help build community.