Tuesday, April 12, 2005

New Unit

Tomorrow we'll watch the last few minutes of To Kill a Mockingbird and this will end my very first literature unit. I am currently working on building part of my webpage to display a revised version of my unit. Hopefully I can get that up... well, after the job fair maybe?

I want to do it over the weekend, but I might want to actually manage my time and finish up all sorts of lovely preparations, (including surviving the Praxis and getting into the Plains Area Regional Conference meeting on Saturday--as in, being useful!!)... I might be done with my resume. I sent it to Jill again to glance at (glance being a keyword--she's already taken a first look, and I don't want her to spend too much time with it) and let me know if there are any glaring errors and need for revision. I finally managed to get it onto one page, which was good... at the resume workshop, they said it was OK to go over a page and do a second, but this is a first job, I haven't had any previous experience except for practicum and student teaching, and I know that first time applicants are smartest to stick to one page. Plus, it's got that whole "efficient" thing going on.


Today some of my Journalism students asked me if I was in a good mood today. I asked them why, and they told me I just seemed to be in a good mood. That is a really great goal for me--to seem to be in a good mood on a regular basis with them. I'm not 100% certain as to what I was doing, but I know I am feeling more comfortable, and I know that this class has a fun atmosphere--overall, they have great energy. Yup, I'm going to have to give them the senioritis talk (when those that have said something come back from suspension and vacation...), and I have trouble getting them to quiet down and not herd at the door at the end of the hour, but it wasn't hard at all to get them to volunteer today when I simply said, "OK, I need a volunteer..." I saw three hands. And it didn't even involve their getting points or a treat. :) I had Zach (always my first volunteer, though there is never a second or third very far behind... he's great, but I need to put him back in the front of the classroom, which is something he kind of requested: "Zach, please... just be quiet for like five minutes." "Ms. Sutton, I was much better when you had me in the front!") talk to me... we have started features, and I decided that it would be good to model some of the reporting practices. I did an interview with Zach in front of the class and told them to listen to how I asked the questions. At first Zach said, "Nevermind, pick someone else," but I knew he had enough personality to keep the class's attention, plus he's kind of a slacker and really needs encouragement that he'll do well, so I told him to just answer the questions and we'd get through it. I started with basic info, then moved to his going into the army, then he told me a story about a crazy bunch of people he met on a train from North Dakota to here, and I told the class that instead of their having to write an article based on that information, I would write the article, and they would edit it for me. Of course, I left the notes at school, so my draft here is kind of silly, but I need to write something, or I will have a too-big-to-do list once I get to school.

I look forward to the days when some of this is routine. I never see Amy running up to the "workroom" (mailboxes and photocopier) to get last minute copies done. She just finished up her Inherit the Wind unit (or is finishing it... I'm not actually sure what she's doing tomorrow) by giving a sixty-ish question multiple choice test. Hmm... might be a good idea to test more like that, especially for Journalism! I have two sets of tests in right now, and it's easy to cruise through the TKAM test, since I read it, and I feel confident that my judgement is good, but the Journalism test... well, I made it up and felt it was challenging, but I didn't think about how it would be challenging to actually grade it. I have about five more people to take it (and it was last week--how long do I have to wait?)... tonight, I grade the reviews they turned in a week ago and tomorrow I will grade the test.

More applications have been filled out. I keep bouncing between wanting to write about student teaching experiences and job search stuff. Honestly, I can't seem to keep my mind in one place, and I think I ought to wrap up the night's homework. (Homework? Is that what you call it when you're a student teacher?) English 10B is roughly planned for the next few weeks. I like Amy's Inherit the Wind unit, and I will use some of what she does and maybe add some of my own stuff, but it works and the kids seem to get through it OK. Journalism hasn't been taught before, so I don't have a direct model, but I have a rough plan for the rest of the week, which is an accomplishment.

Jill comes Thursday.
Friday is the Pops Concert, of which I still haven't gotten tickets (or warned Ryan about).
Saturday morning (9 am) is the conference meeting, 2:30 is the Praxis.
Sunday is work.
Monday is the Job Fair.

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