Saturday, November 19, 2005

I promise...

I promise to be better at keeping up with blogging.

As far as the grading discussion went, I was motivated to examine what I am doing. I know I probably talked too much during his presentation and our subsequent discussion, but I was fighting to process the philosophy with the practical how to as we went. My initial thought was that Tony's method does what I have been trying to do, but in a much more usable manner. I knew that I intended parents to see my Homewrok category as the "responsibility" category Tony has. But parents didn't see it unless we discussed it at conferences. I knew my Homewrok Check and Test categories were directed at content mastery, but... And my participation category was more of a "good kid" category as points were lost for not bring =ing materials to class rather than awarded for truly participating. I don't think Tony's method is a radical change (although I hear that some of the articles he has shared to the other groups push the envelope!). I think Tony's is a practical change that will, more or less, be a different way of inputting my grades as opposed to a philosphical change. I will struggle some with the appropriate % for categories, a bit with what to label the categories, and very little with why I am doing it.

Monday, November 14, 2005


I attended the A.P. workshop this weekend and was a bit pessimistic abouts its value given the lack of a weekend I was going to have. was great on a number of levels. Although my students have enjoyed some success and I am comfortable with how I do it, I found a bunch of new approaches - many of which are constructivist. AP has been my least constructivist course due to the amount of necessary coverage of material. But I found myself changing my activities, readings, and "lectures" based on some great ideas. I also found myself "arguing" with a teacher (one who was very impressed with his voice and ocabulary, but with a stunning lack of grasp on government/politics!) who insisted A.P. should by lecture-based. The 3 AP Govt teachers from Creek (15 sections!!!!) seemed to enjoy the battle.

Additionally, a teacher from Hays, Kansas, was there. Hays has gone to all laptops for students. He raved about the possibilities, suggested some necessary programs to include, discussed the pitfalls and how to combat them, and left as a great resource for me for next year.

How did Hays, KANSAS!!!, get so progresive in a state of...never mind, it isn't the time or place to go there?!?!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

A new course?!

I am excited for a change I got approved (tentatively) today. The course that I think most about is my AP government course - a 5 day a week, one semester course with much more to cover than I have time for. A course with so much more potential to examine and play, but rarely enough leeway with required content to allow it in a fashion I was comfortable with. Next year, I get to change to a full year, 3 day a week course that gives me more days to play, but not at the expense of "coverage." In that arena, I am not comfortable giving up the coverage. Now I get to plan for constructivism to hit hard and can leave some of my fears behind. Plus, with the passage of "C" I no longer worry about losing some of our options due to budget cuts!