Mary Oliver

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?"

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Finally Feeling Like Fall

It finally feels like fall today. We have the windows open and there is a cool breeze coming through. (Also the smell of wild onions, since Steve is cutting the "grass". I use the term loosely, as we have very little actual grass.)

I just have a few zinnias left, but this one stood out. Such a pretty pink.

It's been a really full week, which makes me appreciate a weekend that much more. I am thoroughly enjoying my new students this year, and am starting to find my rhythm with each of the different bells. I have two science classes with unusually small numbers this year and that is a first for me. It is a totally different dynamic when you have ten students instead of the usual 25-30, and it requires a different flow. It's nice but it took me a week or two to find it. I've also had to adjust my teaching style somewhat, as a result of being on my scooter instead of being able to walk around independently. One of the positive results of having limited mobility is that I've had to relinquish more control to my students, with respect to getting out lab equipment, writing on the board, and distributing supplies. As a control freak, this has been a good lesson for me.

My other two science classes have twenty and thirty students, so that's pretty normal. The class of thirty is an honors science and I'm really excited about implementing some new lessons for them; taking some of the gifted strategies I'm still learning in grad school and applying them is pretty cool. My class of twenty students is my AVID science class, and they still hold a special place in my heart. AVID is the program that takes students who are average achievers, gives them a bell of support mainly in the form of organizational skills, and treats them as if they were honors students, which improves their achievement. In other words, they rise to the high expectations we place on them. AVID also exposes them to the idea of college and what it takes to get there, so they start taking the courses they need in order to have a good shot of being accepted, and most importantly, being successful in college.

My SOL Prep bell is actually my gifted elective bell, with only nine students, and the curriculum for it is pretty wide open. Basically, I'm supposed to encourage their giftedness and challenge them to find their passion. The past two weeks, we have been reading articles about racism and sexism and how social media impacts both those -isms. Listening to their discussions and reading what they write is quite simply amazing. I am loving this class. Next week we're going to do a mini science fiction unit and then I'm going to turn them loose in the library and see what they come up with.

I met my youngest daughter, Melissa, for coffee the other night during a major thunderstorm. Apparently there were even a few tornados sighted, but thankfully, not in the area she and I were. On my way there, I took this picture of the sun shining through the dark clouds. I thought it was an interesting shot.

Last night we had hail with yet another thunderstorm. Weird weather around here these days. Hope you are enjoying a lovely fall weekend!

1 comment:

  1. Your AVID concept is very interesting. I have always believed that kids (and adults) would try to achieve based on the expectations placed upon them. Nice to know that it actually works. We know it works the other way, for sure.

    I'm so glad you are enjoying your classes this year. And getting to implement what you are learning is a huge bonus!