Thursday, May 25, 2006

Junior High vs Middle School teacher

I am very proud to be a middle school teacher versus being a junior high school teacher. What is the difference you say? I think it is a focus on the student rather than a focus on the content. That is my big problem with "No Child Left Behind" We are looking at what we can stuff in their heads rather than how much they have learned in a year's time, and what is getting in the way of their learning. With middle school it could be any of a number of things that have effected their test score on that particular day.

I would certainly want a qualified teacher teaching my child. On the other hand I want a teacher who cares about what my child is learning, are they making progress and whatever else is going on. I think at this level a good teacher can teach most any subject, if you follow good teaching principles. It is not so far away from elementary school where the teachers can & do teach every subject. (Can you tell that I am elementary based?)

This rant started because of proposed changes in our groupings of students. The suggestion/dictate came from outside of our school. (Not that I don't believe in change, but only if you can prove to me that it is in the best interest of all students.) I believe it has been resolved but, we shall see who has the power.

At one point I was thinking that maybe retirement can't come any too soon if this is the way my school is leaning. I love teaching students all kinds of things including integrating the technology. I learn so much from others and I want my students to continue to have that opportunity. I love learning from my students too.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

My Evaluation of Literature Circle Weblogs

this is an audio post - click to play

7th grade students Literary Blogging

The first group of 7th graders have completed their Literature Circles' weblog on
The students chose their own books that had to be at least 200 pages.
They decided on how many pages to read for each meeting according to the 4week calendar that I had set up.
Each week they were required to do at least one blog from a choice of two blogs.
I tried to have a couple of evaluative type blogs so they could evaluate their groups and how blogging was going. They also had to blog about their books (literary elements.)

This week I started with two others groups using Literature Circles and weblogging at Nicenet.

FYI-The parent group at our school did gives us full support especially as I mentioned the idea of online classes as the future goal of these students.