Polski3's View from Here

Quote of some personal revelence: "Is a dream a lie, that don't come true, or is it something worse?"

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

End of year activities.....

If your school is like mine, grades are due about two weeks prior to the actual end of the school year. Gotta grant time for parents, students (and administrators) to whine, beg, cajole, threaten, grovel and perform other acts of embarrassment to try to get teachers to change a few grades so that (1) student F can go through the promotion ceremony/graduate or (2) YOUR class is the only one in which student F was GIVEN a failing grade, so therefore, YOU need to fix YOUR deficiencies and CHANGE student F's final grade in YOUR CLASS to a passing grade..... Of course it doesn't matter that student F was absent too often, failed to make up any missing work, failed to turn in homework and when student F did turn in classwork, it was crap.....anyhow, What to do with the kiddies after grades have been turned in?????

Well, lots of video stuff that could be seen.....I even have some old filmstrips that I could show just so they can truly say that they experiences such antiquated technology in Polski3's class.....if my old f/s projector still works. I have been told by our tech lady that when "that bulb dies, you get no replacement!"

However, what I do plan to do, may include some of the following:

Give my students a DBQ experience. I will be teaching a bit about immigration and using a DBQ activity for some of it. Students should get an idea about why people came here, who came here and when, what they contributed to US culture and economy and how immigration is still a current, important topic for today. I'll have my students create a 6+6 (six illustrations with captions about the illustration) to help show me their learning about immigration.

Then, to compliment the Immigration DBQ activity, we'll do a "Choosing Your Way through History" story. From my copy of Walch Publishing Company's, "Choosing Your Way Through America's Past, Book 3: Adventures from 1850-1900," there is a story entitled, "Tenement Folk," you are a young German immigrant preparing to leave your crowded tenement in New York in 1889....the first page tells about life in urban tenements in the later years of the 19th century, then students must decide on what to do....in this story, do you (the student) go to Pittsburgh or Chicago? I have students write down their choices, circle their choice, then explain why they made THAT decision. Then they turn to the indicated second page of their story, read it and have another decision to make. However, before they decide, they write a short summary about what happened to them because of their decision. [ note: I love this series of historical stories; they have them for all time periods of history....check on Amazon or e-bay to find used copies ---and NO, I am not the author or receiver of anything financial....they are just a great tool to help make learning history more fun and interesting. There may be some free sample stories on the publishers website] Anyhow, they continue on through their story until it ends....endings for these stories might be good or...like in the story about the Black Death, not so good. But they love it. Each story also has some activities at the end that students can do, for example, students could write a letter home telling about their experinces as a recent immigrant to the United States, or draw a diagram of a typical 12x12 tenement apartment housing up to 20 people....showing where everyone can sleep....Then, students create a 6+6 about their story.

I will also throw in a few tips on dealing with high school.

Oh, and I'll also handout a copy of the US Constitution that I got from my local Congressman for my students. I thought it might be nice if each of them left school with their own copy of the US Constitution. (My local Congressman was happy to oblige; He's a former Social Studies teacher.)

That should get us through the next couple of weeks of this school season.

What do you do with your students the last couple of weeks? Please share with us!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Creating Lasting Memories.....

Today, as per our School Board memo, is our districts "TEACHER APPRECIATION DAY." It was celebrated at our schools by our district administrators giving 31 teachers their "final notice," ".....in accordance with Education Code Sections 44949 and 44955, you are hereby notified that you will be laid off as a certificated employee of this district for the ensuring 2011-2012 school year."

Mrs Polski3 was one such recipient of this Teacher Appreciation Day notification.

You'd think these people would have a bit more empathy or a bit of common sense or humanity, or....?

But they don't. Why do such people end up as district administrators?