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I love my job! I can't imagine doing anything else.
I am originally from New Orleans, Louisiana. I graduated from University of Louisiana, Lafayette...deep in the heart of Cajun Country, and received my BA in Public Relations with a minor in English.
I worked for about 10 years in the tourism industry in New Orleans and moved to Texas in 2003. It was at this point that I decided to fulfill a life long dream of being a teacher.
I graduated from the Region 4 alternative certification program in 2005 and have loved every moment since then. I have, in the past 14 years, earned my certification in Reading, English and Language Arts (4-12), Science (4-8), Special Education (K-12), ESL instruction, and Gifted and Talented.
I started my career teaching at McAdams Junior High and was there for 14 years! I am making the jump to the 9th Grade center this year - an exciting change!
Removing "to be" verbs
Check out this article: How to Eliminate the Verb 'to be'
Comma patterns : pdf
Self teaching unit on comma patterns
Sentence types and punctuation patterns
Summer! I love my summers:)This summer I have been working in my garden a lot - but only in the mornings! Its to darn hot;) I have started to walk a lot and complete about 5 miles four times a week; I'm very proud and feel great.
Back in March we got 4 Hens!!!! Doctor McCluckin', HENrietta, Clementine, and Rusty are there names and in June they started to lay their first eggs! Holy Moly-who new chickens were so fun, I'm hooked!
I'm writing this in July - so trainings have begun for us teachers. I love this time of year! This is a time that I spend in deep thought about what I want for our classroom this year... How do I want it to feel? How do I want it to flow? Its especially exciting and nerve racking because I have to move all of my things from MJHS to the new school. Those of you that know me realize how big a task that will be because of my classroom library. While making changes and tweaking the curriculum, I am always amazed that after 14 years of teaching I am still learning - this is the main reason I adore my job.
My big family vacation is coming up soon! We are traveling to Angel Fire New Mexico to enjoy some much needed cool weather:) I'm very excited and can't wait for hiking, white water rafting and evening fires in the mountains.
I am so excited about this year! I can't wait to see last years students from MJHS and to meet all of you coming from Kranz.
The first week was such a success! We put together our binders. We learned our way around, mostly;)
The kids created 6 word memoirs - they are amazing!! You'll see ALL of them front and center at open house on September 3rd.
Check out the 6 word memoir movement - come up with your own. Its really quite fun:)
Next week the students will be writing more and reading from the book they will pick. A big part of the class will be reading solid pieces of literature and mimicking the style of the author/poet. This allows the students to safely try different styles and find their voice as a writer. The subject and topic will always be theirs; the style will be inspired by others.
All students have a binder now and are expected to bring it to class everyday. A composition notebook is also kept in class to use for notes and journaling.
I'm so excited to start the book choosing process next week - this is my favorite!
Oh my goodness - its happening! Students will be in the new building on Monday! I'll be in the 9th grade for the first time as well, lol (well first time since the 1986;).
I am super excited to be on this journey with you guys. I know there are a lot of mixed emotions. Excited to start high school and celebrate that goal, yet, nervous because you have no idea where to go and what to do that first day. I feel your pain! DHS is huge! Good news - the 9th grade center is small and you will spend most of your time there. Please trust that we are all here for you. We will be helping you every step, don't hesitate to ask questions.
Be mindful of your classmates. Help each other out. If you notice that someone is overwhelmed, help them:) Bring them to a teacher or other adult if you don't know how to help.
Smile at one another:) We are all in this "Fish Bowl" together.
Sept 1, 2019
This week we were all tired;) I find the second week to be the hardest; the adrenaline rush of starting a new year has worn off, the bad habits of the summer are still rearing their ugly heads, and the curriculum is kicking in. The freshman realize at about this time that the expectations are different than they were in 8th grade, and the learning curve is steep for some.
For parents to enjoy: We read and wrote a reverse poem in class, check it out...
Pretty Ugly is a poem that helps us to see the power of tone and how word choice as well as word placement matters - the kids were wowed at how reading the poem in reverse changed everything
All in all we had a great week despite some of the whining;) I am amazed at the resolve to do well by some and saddened by how fast others shut down when the challenge is presented to them. My goal this year and every year, is to help students find the joy in learning again.
All of us began life loving to learn. Without that love of learning we would never have walked or talked, played barbies or action figures, rode our bikes and skateboards, downloaded the latest apps, or won at hide and seek. Somewhere along the way, and I'm sure that school had something to do with it, students learned that learning was not worth it. This makes me sad. This is what I would like to change.
This week students will start reading a book of their choice. I have many levels and interests in my room and the library has an extensive collection of books to attract any reader. Students will journal as they journey through a story. I hope that our brains look forward to that journey everyday.
DHS web site
Is it really September already?? 3 weeks have flown by!
Despite some of the growing pains guaranteed with the transition to High School we have accomplished a lot so far!
This week we went to the library and learned how things are done at DHS - this library truly is amazing. Everything that the kids need is here! The library is open till about 3-3:30 everyday, as well as till 7 on Tuesdays and Thursdays for Lighted Windows Open Doors. These days the students can get help from teachers on any subject, use computers or just hang out and read or do work in a quiet(ish) space;) Our library is a powerful tool to help students do well.
This week the 9GC (9th grade center) implemented quarterly restroom passes as well. The students are in charge of their passes and are only allowed 10 during class restroom breaks (this is a total number not per class) per nine weeks. Many students were waiting until class to go to the restroom instead of going between classes or lunch. These passes are only used in the 9GC. I assure you that there is enough time between classes when in the 9GC to go to the restroom and get to class on time. On average the students are only on the main campus for 2 classes. We are trying to train the kiddos to use their time wisely.
Reading is happening in our classrooms! All students should have a book that they keep with them at all times. Everyone (including myself;) needs to read everyday outside of school time. Through reading the students will be able to excel in all other academic areas. Every task is connected to our ability to read and to communicate effectively. All students received a Novel study packet as well. They will be required to answer questions for the beginning, middle, and end of the book they chose. The completion of this packet is a test grade at the end of the 9 weeks.
In our modified classes we are starting a program called Fast ForWord. This is a powerful intervention for those who struggle with reading and with focus. This program's power is only as good as the students willingness to use it. Many of the students hate this program and think it is "stupid". I am a believer in this program. I have seen it work and use the information to guide individual lessons for each and every student - not class, but for EACH individual. This is the beauty of this program it is truly designed for the individual. Our brains are amazing and we are able to mold and train it. Please look at the link on this page to some powerful testimonials, information on the program, and a link for the students to work on the program at home. We will be starting in class this week. Students can log on everyday at home if they wish to get a few extra minutes. We will average 3 30 minute sessions a week per child. The more it is utilized the bigger the gains.
In all classes we will start our first process writing piece this week. Students will write a descriptive piece on their favorite place. We started the thought process by creating a blueprint of one of our favorite places. We continued to think about this place in our journal writing. Through this prewriting, we should have a great foundation to complete our draft this week:)
Wow- Time is flying by!
Be sure to sign up for Remind and visit our FB page.
This week we started the writing process. The Eng I Mod classes we are working on a personal narrative where we are focusing on a logical development of our stories along with some descriptive details. In the Eng I classes we are composing a descriptive essay where our goal is to have the reader experience what we experienced by painting a picture with words.
The students all picked their own topics, experiences and memories that they have so that the story experience is real - learning happens when the writer is invested in what they are writing.
All students will have a draft by the 20th. Next week we will be reading our drafts to individuals in the class as part of the revision process. We will make our corrections and play around with the descriptive details that will make our essay POP!
All students will continue to read their book of choice and answer questions on the novel study. Level 2 questions should be completed by the 20th.
Be on the lookout for information about our literacy circle - coming soon.
Homecoming week is next week:) This is going to be a fun week filled with parades, carnivals and dances. There is a theme every day - check the DHS website.
In class we are in the middle of our process writing piece. The students are crafting their writing using a mentor text as a guide. The goal is to be finished this writing by Friday.
We are discussing Theme in Fiction/literary Fiction and how we find the theme within a text.
FastForWord is continuing for Mod classes as planned every week Mon, Wed, and Fri. Students will be on FF for 30 minutes 3 times per week - please review the information I have on my website about the program.
I am in the process of meeting with each and every child to formulate their personal goal to focus on for the week. These goals will be based on student feedback, struggles, observations, and if applicable their IEP. Their Goal will be placed in their binder along with a tracking paper for all wins and losses over the semester.
I am proud of some of the progress we are experiencing. The students are sharing their writing with others in order to revise and help us to the publishing point. I have created a place for documents that can help the students and families become better descriptive writers and writers in general - they are located on this home page at the top. Check it out.
On top of CHOMP time this week - I will be available for tutorials after school till 3:30 on Tuesday.
Coming soon - Literary Circles! Be on the look out for this Book club like activity that the entire 9th grade participates in.
Lighted Windows - DHS Library till 7 (get there early) Help in every subject!!
Tutorials w/ me- Tuesday the 24th till 3:30
Wed, Sept 25th - Carnival 10am-12pm ($ needed)
Sept 25th - Novel Study questions due
Oct 3 -test: Theme, Fiction/Literary NonFiction
Wow, the end of the first 9 weeks is here!!! I can't believe it! We have covered so much. The kids are doing great!
We have completed a process writing piece meaning that they have taken an idea from a concept, through revising and editing to a well organized story. The final draft is due Friday October 18th in google classroom for 5th period. All other periods are finishing theirs in class. We have explored varied sentence structures, eliminating many of our "to be" verbs, and "show not tell" (sensory language) in our writing.
We have read narrative pieces to illustrate the structure of a story and apply that structure to our own writing.
Students are well into their choice for our literature circles. The students chose from a selection of titles to read and are going to participate in book club type session on October 28th. We spend 20 minutes on Tuesdays and Thursdays reading our books. Students that need modified curriculum or need a bit of assistance due to learning differences have been signed up for Reading Ally to help keep them involved in all of the exciting things happening in the English department.
We are currently learning about the skills an effective reader needs to be successful before we launch into our next unit - Informational writing and reading! I personally love this genre because of my background in Marketing and Public Relations - so I'm ready to get nerdy;)!
At home, with the entire family, start reading the news or just watching the news - pay attention to how it is delivered. Why is it delivered a certain way (hint: who is the intended audience)? Is it delivered with a slant/an agenda/bias? Is the information from a reputable source? What graphics or illustrations were used to support the content of the story? Why? OMG! There I go- getting nerdy, LOL. No, but really, read together! Talk about it. Enjoy language - written and spoken.
The grading period ends this Friday.
Well here we are! The second quarter - wowza, time flies!
After completing a short unit on the skills of a good reader (see Tools to Know in Document are of this site),we have begun our unit on Informational texts. As we explore and practice how to become an analytical reader within the Informational genre we will continue to read our self chosen novels and start to explore poetry in the form of read alouds, song lyrics, and spoken word.
The students have created a goal for themselves as readers based on the Tools to Know - ask them about it;)
The Eng I Modified students will begin a fluency project where they will be given a story to read to at least 3 different people at home for a weekly grade. Fluency is one of our biggest hurdles and the only way to improve is to practice. Reading the same text repeatedly helps us to become fluent readers which in turn helps us to understand what we read AS we read it.
First 5 weeks of school:
Theme - Being a writer:Write like a reader;Read like a writer
Team focus: getting to know each other as peers; learning about our strengths and weaknesses.
Genre focus: Fiction/Literary NonFiction
We will be setting up our Reading and Writing workshops as well as establishing our independent reading practices;)...yes, every student will choose that "just right" book for themselves to read - and finish;)
We will analyze the writing of others - what did they do well? What did I not like? What about the author's style would I like to mimic?Then, we will try it out;)
We will begin our writing portfolios with a Personal Narrative or a Descriptive essay
Students will continue to read their self chosen books and use these as examples for writing.
Theme will continue
Genre focus: Multi genre
We will read and analyze the writing of others - what did they do well? What did I not like? What about the author's style would I like to mimic? Then, we will try it out;)
last 2 weeks:
Genre focus: Informational texts
We will continue our writing portfolios with Analysis of literature; Informational essay
Focus Genre: Informational and Argumentative
introduce: Multi genre
Students will write an informational piece to add to their portfolio. The writing will concentrate on the writing process; Editing and revising will be our main focus this time.
Students will work on grammar and mechanics every class for warm up.
CBA-Nov 14; CBA editing and revision Nov 20; Final exam covering a 2 genre paired passage Week before Christmas break.
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