Saturday, December 08, 2012

This week in review

Getting to my dashboard has once again become a hassle. I don't know how Google works in all this, but since our school uses Google applications, I very often cannot get to my dashboard while I'm signed in to my school mail, calendar, and other documents through Google. Our technology coordinator doesn't have an explanation. And since I stayed signed in to my school mail for simplicity, the whole task of signing in and out becomes frustrating during the week. So, I'll just limit most blogging to weekends.

This is Saturday morning and I've decided this will be a good place and time to reflect on my week and anticipate next week.

This past week: It seems it was just last Saturday morning when I spent several hours grading and grading and grading. My next few hours look the same. All my weeks --and days-- fly by. They are too, too busy and full. 
  • In my two English classes, we finished "A Christmas Carol" using the written text plus the audio by Steve Cross at Five Talents. This is hands-down the best audio ever for "A Christmas Carol." In a traditional classroom, you must have some means of evaluating assignments. I dislike giving reading questions for literature (since I think the quickest way to kill literature is to do just this), but that's the nature of the beast of classroom teaching. Every day, I reflect with fondness my twenty years of homeschooling where I did not have to do this kind of question bit. Anyway, with each stave come some questions and vocabulary. To help students learn the material, I often formulate a crossword puzzle review and a Quizlet for vocabulary. So, this week, students will spend some time on these as we wrap this up before Christmas break. I'll also use an adapted version of this site's material for some grammar review. Yesterday, I took all middle school students to see the wonderful production of "A Christmas Carol" at Blackfriar's Playhouse. I love looking at the students during the production and seeing the broad, genuine smiles. Knowing the story ahead of time is the bonus. And most, if not all, of the students have never,ever been to anything like this before. It was simply the best!
  • My 8th graders wrapped up a short Spanish - American War study that gives them a taste of the type of teaching / learning techniques they will use in the 9th grade. They will move on to finish two chapters this week in Story of the World. We should be ready to start a major study of WWI by the middle of January. I'm pleased with our right-on-target progress this year.
  • Both of my upper school world history classes began reviewing for exams this week. World I's exam will cover information on prehistory, Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Minoans, the Assyrians, and the Persians. We also read several books associated with these time periods, but I've already given comprehensive tests on these and have decided not to retest these. The students were grateful. Although I've formulated most of the exam, I still need to add maps and pictures to identify. Both of these tasks are very time-consuming. World II's exam will cover the Americas, Islam, and Africa. Both classes had a major beginning-of-school study on "Becoming a Historian" which will also be on the exam.
My goal for today is to finish all the grading (90 minutes), finish writing two exams (2 hours), formulate maps/pictures for the exams (90 minutes), vacuum and decide/cook supper. When I get through Monday, December 17, I can finally clean up these hoarder-looking piles of materials around my recliner (which serves as my comfortable desk-at-home). 

Pressing on to this new day!  
Give me grace to recall my needs, 
my lack of knowing thy will in Scripture, of wisdom to guide other, of daily repentance.
.   .   .   . 
let me not lay my pipe too short of the fountain, never touching the eternal spring, never drawing down water from above.


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