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Winter Break is almost here, and I'm so proud of how well the students are holding up. It seems as if we teachers are all administering tests, so I can only imagine how worn out the students must feel. I don't prefer so many tests so close together and am actively campaigning for some changes within the language arts community - at least to the extent of not competing with the math department for Benchmark tests. (I don't have that much clout, but I don't mind making suggestions.) We are also finishing up our George Mason Project Excel in the extended class. The students will shortly create a concession stand menu that will balance healthy food options with junk food items; sadly it's the junk food selections that give the most profit, as we are learning. Their assignment is to find this balance of menu items, while raising money for school uniforms. This is the unit - problem-solving combined with research.  I hope all of you can find time to enjoy the winter break and welcome the new year safely.
Posted by hicockab  On Dec 17, 2018 at 9:44 PM
Yes, I admit that I'm enjoying my surprise day off. I love my job, but having a day to relax with a book and a hot cup of coffee first thing in the morning is wonderful. Seeing so many families from our first SLC last night serves to remind me how deeply we are all invested in the growth of "our" children. I am revisiting a few teaching items and found the following statistics: *20 minutes of reading per day per year exposes children to over a million words per year. *Students who read for fun score higher on standardized writing tests. *In the business world, a person typically spends 2 hours a day reading. *The 25 fastest growing professions have far greater than average literacy demands. This information came from Kelley Gallagher's webpage. He is considered a leading educator in reading and writing and has been a featured keynote speaker for Prince William County teachers. His common sense approach to teaching literacy is top notch, and I refer to his books/materials frequently.
Posted by hicockab  On Nov 15, 2018 at 10:40 AM
I am pleased to let everyone know that we have worked very hard preparing our folders for our SLCs. My co-teachers and I have discussed what it means to reflect and "own" the learning, as well as what it means to set concrete goals. Our next unit is on Fact and Opinion, and we plan to read plenty of nonfiction material. How can you help? Try reading some nonfiction material at home and discuss the facts presented in the articles. (We will soon segue into the unit on author's bias and such.)
Posted by hicockab  On Nov 08, 2018 at 3:03 PM
Nov. 6 
Teacher workdays fly by! I have at least reorganized the room arrangement a bit and will create new seating for tomorrow. Tomorrow's agenda? Get these SLC folders organized and ready! Our next unit, Fact and Opinion, will begin Thursday.
Posted by hicockab  On Nov 06, 2018 at 1:09 PM