Thursday, April 27, 2006
My Camera Toss Experience
After reading about Camera Toss in the Houston Chronicle I tried it out for myself. This was the best I got. Certainly no where as cool as those posted on the blog. Posted by Picasa
Quiz on the Axims
Today I gave a test on Act II of Romeo and Juliet on the Dell handhelds. It was only 20 questions, multiple choice, in HTML format that my technology guru put together. She also made a sample test for the students to do before taking the real test so that they had a feel for it before doing it for real. I also gave all of the students the opportunity to take the test on paper and pencil, after seeing how the electronic test would work. About 6 took the paper test. Overall, the test was WAY easier for me. I just had to watch for cheaters and then write down the scores in the gradebook. I am quiet sure that there were cheaters. There always are. In this case, they took the test and then closed it, went back and took it again. I saw one student taking the test like this. I'm sure there were others.

Tomorrow I need to ask the students what they thought about the test and why they did or did not like using the computers. Maybe I will get to that. Fridays are crazy. FOUR WEEKS LEFT!!!
Sunday, April 23, 2006
Reading List
I have 5 weeks until summer. I am very much looking forward to a summer by the pool with a book. Or books. And these are them:

Books that I OWN that I might or might not get to: (in no order)
- Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
- Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
- Teaching with Love and Logic by
- Setting Limits in the Classroom
-Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrel by Susanna Clark
-Catholic Christianity by Peter Kreeft
-Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder
-Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
-Bless Me, Ultima by
Rudolfo Anaya
- The Count of Monte Cristo by
Alexandre Dumas
- Shadow of the Wind by
Carlos Ruiz Zafon
- An American Childhood by Annie Dillard
- Gifts from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
-The Birth Order Book by
Kevin Leman
- Now Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton
-Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller
- Shadowplay by
Clare Asquith
- The Reading Group by Elizabeth Noble
- The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky
-Rabbit Run by John Updike
-The Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank
- A Confederacy of Dunces by
John Kennedy Toole
-Jane Austen Book Club
-Bird by Bird by Anne Lamont
- The Twelve Step Program to Quit Becoming a Compulsive Book Buyer by Anonymous

This isn't counting any young adult or other books now in my classroom.

And others that I don't own . . . yet:
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Reading Lolita in Tehran

and others. I know there are others. Oh, Summer!

Romeo and Juliet
I am staying one small step ahead of my students in reading Romeo and Juliet. I have now read through Act II. They have read only the first two scenes. Reading it in chunks and teaching it bits at a time has proved interesting. I wouldn't recommend it. Some students were arguing about who killed him/herself first and with what instrument. I was struggling to recollect from reading it years ago and watching the movie years ago. I am loving the Romeo and Juliet Navigator for my understanding.

The actual teaching of it is going well. We are not spending all class time just reading and answering questions. We sat in a circle on the floor the very first day and read the prologue several different times and ways. We almost acted out the opening scene and the sword fight. Students got into groups and recited the 2nd prologue in their own way. Most of them were ordinary, but one group did an awesome step routine. Would have been even better with more than 20 minutes to prepare. Tomorrow we will use the handhelds again and analyze the language in 2.3. On Thursday they will take a test on the handhelds. That will be interesting. Hopefully the good kind.
Friday, April 07, 2006
Oh, Axim.
Today was the first day that I used a bunch of Dell Axims in my classroom. And it is all a blur. I was talking and on my feet all class period. E.X.H.A.U.S.T.I.N.G. I learned a lot about a first day with new *cool* technology. You pretty much have to throw any real lesson plans out the window and just go with teaching some basic skills. Starting this during Romeo and Juliet isn't the smartest idea, but it's what I got. I'm gonna take a few days and try to use this technology and if it majorly messes up learning about Romeo and Juliet, we'll have enough time to backtrack and just read old style, paper and pencil.

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