Czech This Out! Part 2

Hello Dear Readers,

I’m back from the Czech Republic. I, my husband, & my daughter were there for the Open Source Summit. My husband and my daughter had a talk entitled, How to Raise a Tech Household.They got a chance to met Linus Torvalds, creator of Linux. Here are some pics of them on stage.




Teaching a Plot Diagram in a Weird Way…

Dear Readers,

Today, I needed to reinforce the lesson taught by the 10th grade English teacher (literary devices). I did the usual and defined them and gave examples. I even read the 10th graders a very simple story- The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and THE BIG HUNGRY BEAR. I wanted them to complete a plot diagram like the one below:

They weren’t quite understanding it, so I decided to try a different approach. I asked them about a television show they watched. One student told me about an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. We discussed it and I showed her where the each part of the diagram was happening as she described it to me. She didn’t believe me when I told her that the plot diagram plays out in every day life; she thought it was some kind of trick. So, I took her through a fight just to really prove it to her. She laughed. That’s when I gave her a homework assignment to watch an episode of Grey’s Anatomy and report back to me tomorrow. She said that it wouldn’t be fun. I told her that I beg to differ, that it can be fun to see what we’re learning in everyday life come to life, so to speak. I don’t think she quite believed me, but she agreed to do it. I’ll report her findings back to you.

Today’s Observation

Dear Readers,

Today, one month into the new school year, I had my first of 4 observations. My organization decided to split it up into four bite-sized observations instead of two major ones. I actually like this way better than the old way because I feel like the observer can get a better picture of how I teach.

Here’s a technique I learned in the summer regarding how to gather evidence from a video.

Students pick a side. For this video, they were looking for evidence to support Beyonce being weak or Beyonce being strong in the IRREPLACEABLE video.

For the sake of brevity and chaos, I put the students in a group.

Students watch the video one time just to get a feel for it and collect 1-2 pieces of evidence.

Students then watch it a second time to gather more evidence. At this point the student should have at least 3-5 pieces of evidence. If you, as a teacher, feel that your students need to watch it again, play the video a third time.

Write your evidence down

We’ll watch it a third time to gather even more evidence

Write even more evidence down

Here’s a link to my lesson:




Emotional Turmoil

Dear Readers,

I’ve been going through much emotional turmoil lately. So, I’ve been researching ways to help me through it all. In my research, I happened upon these little tidbits of information.

crying face (KimK)

  • Always remember that emotions come and go, rise and fall.
  • Resistance is the cause of every form of emotional pain.
  • When you stop refusing, defying and fighting against yourself, other people and life, you stop suffering.
  • Honor your emotions for the lessons they bring you in the moment.

I had to write this because I broke down at work today and cried. I didn’t even realize that I was as stressed as I was. I really don’t like crying at work. I think previously thought that it showed weakness. After today I don’t think that anymore. When I cried, members of my team rallied around me, gave me a pep talk, and offered their help.

I guess you learn something new everyday!

As I Went Along…

Dear Readers,

Yesterday, the first day of school, I did something I’ve never done before. I completed the day’s ppt. as I went along. The problem was that I had to unexpectedly do my braids. Usually my sister braids my hair, but she was really tired and I didn’t want to burden her. The problem is that it took about 6.5 hours to complete. After I finished braiding my hair, I still had to complete my powerpoint. Another problem was that I did not have it in me to complete any ‘real’ work. I was trying, but it just wasn’t happening. So, what I did was complete the first half of the presentation and went to bed at 2:30 a.m.

This is how it all went down. I planned for the students to complete:

  • a Silent First 5ive (It’s basically a MUST DO)
  • agenda & objective review,
  • Syllabus review,
  • Resource Lab Mission Statement, Purpose, Structure, & Focus
  • Learning Styles Survey
  • S.M.A.R.T. Goals video & worksheet
  • 3 Reasons for Plan Failure (No plan, No follow through, Taking too long to follow through)

I knew that I had the information on one of my previous power points, but was out of time and too tired to look for them. So, I made the power point with the Silent First 5ive handout, readied the syllabus, learning style survey, smart goals, & 3 Reasons for Plan Failure for printing the next morning, I cut and pasted the Resource Lab Mission Statement, asked the question: What is the purpose of Resource Lab, the new structure & focus of the Resource Lab. I did not have the S.M.A.R.T. goals video or a real plan for 3 Reasons for Plan Failure. As the students completed the activities, I disconnected my laptop from the projector, went to my desk and finished and/or refined the presentation.

I’m not sure if this would have been stressful for you, but it was stressful for me. I like to have everything completed before I step into the class. As a matter of fact, I like to plan at least 2 weeks ahead of time. Here’s a link to my Weekly Focus Plan (click here).

I will NOT be doing this again anytime soon. As I type this, I’m finishing up my lesson plans for the next 3 weeks.

I’ll keep you updated. Bye for now!