Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Annotate This...

This year our campus is embracing literacy strategies across content areas.  Our campus instructional coach, Lena Atherton, recently published a blog post with some reflections and ideas on "literacy for life."

In her post, Lena talks states that "writing is thinking put to paper."  Specifically, one way for students to 'get' the content is to have them annotate it.  I, like Lena tend to annotate content naturally...well, it's become automatic for me over the years.  Not so for our students.  Many students don't know how...they've never been taught and/or if they have, they have a tendency to push back against annotating because (as Lena puts it), "it hurts their brains."

So...the wheels starting turning.  How can I incorporate annotation into my content?  Much of my content is taught through instructional videos (I'm learning to flip my classroom!).  But...what if I taught the students how to annotate the videos and the content on our class Wikispace?  What would that look like?

Right now, I'm not sure.  I'm going to give it a try though.  I already have my students create reflective blog posts in a concerted effort to get them writing.  I think I'm ready to take on this next challenge and teach them to annotate the course content. we come!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Here We Go Again...

It's so hard to believe that another school year has begun...

It seems like only yesterday I was attending classes to obtain my certification to teach.  I encountered some resistance; there are those in "academia" who believe that if one doesn't receive a 'degree in teaching,' then one isn't prepared to be effective in the classroom.

I (totally) beg to differ.  When I began my classes to obtain an "alternative certification" to teach, I already had completed my BBA (graduated Suma Cum Laud), an my MBA (4.0 with a concentration in Finance).  Moreover, I had 18 years experience in business and industry (not to mention the 'School of Life").

Thanks to the experienced teachers in Region IV (and my mentor, Diane E), I was prepared to enter the classroom.  My first year in the classroom was successful.  Just ask Annahy... she's an amazing young woman.  I'm not sure that I can really take any credit for where she is today, but I believe she learned from my experiences.

Since then, I continue to stretch and grow 'beyond my original programming.'  I've come to realize that if I want to continue excellence in teaching, I must be willing to be a life-long learner.  To that end...

This year my campus has initiated a goal to integrate Edmodo into our curriculum.  I wasn't sure how I would 'feel' about incorporating another Web2.0 tool into my 'belt,' but I've come to love Edmodo in a very short period of time.

I can create, schedule, monitor, review, and grade assignments all in one place.  Awesomesauce.  I can monitor, confer, and give feedback to students in mostly real time.  Again, awesomesauce.

I have a renewed sense of vigor into my teaching...I can hardly wait to see what unfolds during this 12th year of my teaching...

A special shout out to the "23 Things" for introducing me to Julie Lindsay and Vickie Davis...this set me on the highway to integrating Web2.0 in my classroom!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Oh the Finance of It All...

I love finance...I just love crunching those's really fun for me. Unfortunately, my students don't always feel the same way...

In my Sports and Entertainment Marketing classes we've been studying the 7 key functions of marketing. This week we're studying finance. Since this is a one-semester course, I don't have the luxury of spending as much time as I would like on the topic; however, I make certain that I cover ratio analysis.

I must be getting better at teaching this...the students had a blast running ratios on Harley-Davidson and then analyzing the results to see if HD would be a good investment--this was our "Guided Practice."

They're "Independent Practice" assignment was to conduct ratio analysis on Nike for the past four years and then interpret the results/trends. They got it! They were able to verbalize what those results/trends meant!! Yeah! Several students started talking about investing in the stock market!

Cool stuff...when they 'get it' it always brings a big smile to my face and reminds of why I teach...

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Vu This!

While completing an online professional development course (sponsored by my school district), I discovered a Web2.0 tool called VuVox. This tool creates a panorama that allows the use to incorporate video and other media.

I decided to introduce the tool to my Career Preparation students. They are studying job health and safety factors. To help them understand the importance of the topic, I am having them create a VuVox that will first outline potential health and safety issues in their chosen careers and then present ways that employers and employees can work together to lessen and/or eliminate those issues. I had to work with them on how to research, but they are beginning to make the connections...yeah!

We're in the middle of the project right now, but things seem to be going well. Some of the students are perplexed that I don't know everything about VuVox (I'm learning with them). I told them that it's fun to learn with's even more fun for me when they learn about a tool and then teach me!

I'll be sure to post some of their products as we finish this project!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Beam Me Up, Scotty!

I've been working on an online Professional Development course through my district. It's called "11 Tools for the 21st Century."

There are so many of those tools that I already use in the classroom...hooray for me, right? Wrong! I've been using so many of these tools, seeing some terrific results from student in my classes...but...I haven't been sharing!

What's wrong with me!

I could be sending out cool stuff and receiving back valuable insights from people lots smarter than me...people that could help me become a better teacher.

To get me started (again), I want to share by "11 Tools" blog with you. It's called, "Beam Me Up, Scotty!" Please read the posts and for heaven's sake, don't hold back the feedback!!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ready, Set...Go!

The school year has begun here in the great state of Texas. The first week back went well, I think. I have 4 preps this year, but thankfully, only 3 per semester. Last year I had 4 preps per semester--that was an experience.

I'm really excited about teaching Global Business this semester. I had the privilege of attending the Institute on the Environment and the Economy this summer sponsored by The Foundation for Teaching Economics and the Texas Council on Economic Education. Participating in this course gave me some awesome tools to help teach economics to my Global Business students and make it relevant. If you ever have the opportunity to attend any training sponsored by either of these organizations, seize it! It's worth the time, I assure you.

During the first week of school I introduced my students to me, their courses, class/course expectations, Google accounts, Wikispaces, and Blogs. This week as we begin our curriculum, the students will learn how to create a blog post, create links in the post, upload pictures to their post, and tag it. As the semester progresses they will learn a host of other Web2.0 applications integrated throughout the curriculum that I truly hope will help prepare them for success in both college and career.

It's going to be a great year!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

What? No Way! It's Been That Long?

Waaaaaaaay back in the year 2001 (haha), I went through a metamorphisis; I became a teacher. I left the corporate rat race because I wanted to make a difference. Still, it's hard to believe that I am beginning my 10th year in teaching. Where has the time gone?

As I reflect over the past nine years, I realize that I've "grown." I have a thirst for knowledge and that thirst keeps me learning, and pushing, and driving for new and creative ways to teach my students. I've always embraced project-based learning, but rather than create on paper, I now utilize Web2.0 tools and Flat Classroom style techniques to open students to a whole new world of possibilities. My goal? I want my students will become productive citizens as they finish their high school careers and begin writing new chapters in their book of life.

I have the priviledge of "keeping up" with a number of my former students on Facebook. It's exciting to see the paths they choose--

I'm energized to begin this school year...and...I wonder what the next ten years will bring?