Archive | April, 2013

Now using centers

24 Apr

With the start of a new trimester I began using centers in my classroom.

The main reason I am using centers is because I have many more students in my classroom with Individualized Educational Plans.  This is because 2 years of World Languages are required now to graduate in Michigan, beginning with this year’s Freshmen.

Our high school World Language classes have typically included mostly college bound students who are in the top 20% of their class.  We are all happily learning to differentiate and accommodate learners of all skill levels.  I have found with centers that I can accomplish this in many ways.

1.  I can be available to all students by monitoring the classroom and checking in on their work.

2. One of the centers is occasionally just for students struggling with the current concept.  These are not just students with IEPs, I include other students as well who can use some extra guided practice.  We sit at a table together and go through the material together in a variety of ways.

3. It is a great way to differentiate student work.  All groups have the same objectives, but can complete them in different ways.

Prepping for centers is a lot of work for the first time through, but I have found it to be very much worth it.

I have gotten great ideas for center work form the Creative Language blog.  These gals have great ideas!

Let me know if you have some great ideas for centers in a World Language class.

Gracias, Penny



Bump App

12 Apr

One of my students shared the Bump App with me today.

He had not completed some questions about a movie they watched when there was a substitute.  Those questions were ones that I had written on the board.  When I write things on the board such as questions, notes or anything that I may need later, I take a picture of it with the iPod.  Then I email it to myself so I can have it on my classroom computer to upload to Skyward (grading program).

I told him that I had the picture of the questions on my iPod.  He asked me if I had Bump.  After giving him a pretty strange look, he explained.

Bump is an App that allows you to share pictures, files and such very easily.  I don’y have to email or message them out if the person is there with me.

Both parties open the Bump App on their phone or iPod.  Select what you want to share and bump your phones together.  It’s amazing!  It is going to be so easy to share whiteboard pictures with absent students now!

It is also easier to get my photos on my computer.  Just go to open the App on your iPod or phone and bump your phone on the space bar!  I am so excited!  Notes from the board to my computer in a matter of seconds!  No email to check….  You can also send files from your computer to your phone or iPod.  I am seriously stunned!

Loving this App!


Great Expectations

9 Apr

Central High School is very excited to have accomplished our goal of being a Progressive School for Great Expectations.  We are the first in the United States to accomplish this.  It has been a long journey which continues in our goal to become a Model High School for Great Expectations.

Great Expectations is a program that gives a culture to your entire school.  Their 17 practices and their Tenets are shared with all teachers and are expressly taught to the students.  

It is now very uncommon now to hear students say “Well, Mr. Adams lets us do this” or “What rule?”.  

As a bonus, our four year journey has caught the attention of Harvard University. They have visited us twice this year.  The first time to see what is going on to have raised our test scores and lower our discipline issues.  They did a case study and praised us exuberantly about the rapport between staff and students, staff to staff and students to students.

They are here again this week filming.  They are creating a video documentation of effective teaching and establishing a culture of caring in our school.  My class was videotaped yesterday while students were doing verb cards.

I just had to share my excitement.  I will be training to teach other teachers the Great Expectations way this April and June in Oklahoma.  When asked about Great Expectations, I like to say that it has taught me to make connections instead of confrontations.

Congratulations Central High School!

Gracias, Penny

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