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October 2010

September 2010

Teacher Attitudes

I overheard this today:

"The kid is 18, he should just go get a job."

ARGH!  This is one of the two reasons we are on the bad list of schools.  We aren't graduating enough students fast enough nor are we graduating enough kids.

My attitude (I teach an elective, and so does the teacher who said this)

  • I teach an elective.  To keep my job, I have to get kids in the door.
  • No kid should not graduate because he flunked my class -- by the way, only breathing oxygen will get you a failing grade.  But I have a system that keeps kids going and successful.
    • If you couldn't do the work the first six weeks, you get a 70.
    • If you couldn't do the work the second six weeks, you get a 65
    • If you couldn't do the work the third six weeks, you get a 60 ... etc.
  • That way, you have a chance if you suddenly wake up and figure it out.
  • I have to start with what I have and then move to them to where I want them.

The prevailing attitude is the opposite, which is what I think got us in trouble in the first place.  Especially that last one.


Mobile me and iPod Touch

So I really don’t understand mobile me and iweb yet.  I’ve never been fond of two heavy of a WYSIWYG of a web editor and iWeb is probably one of the worst of the work. 

I purchased mobile me, as insurance for my ipod Touch.  Between the Findme, and trust me it sends out an obnoxious signal, and Apple Care I figure I have everything covered, as man oh man, is Apple fond of it’s products and make you pay for them.

However, I’m loving the iPod Touch and still don’t think I’ll go to an iPhone.  Waiting for whatever ATT brings out for Windows Phone 7 next year, as I am still loving the Zune.  I mostly have the iPhone for the APPs.

This is interesting, I fired up Contribute and it wants to make an automatic connection to mobile me.  Will probably like it better, since I do like Contribute (not as much as I like Live Writer, which I am using now).

Unfortunately the more you use Apple products, the more you want to use them.


Teaching at a bad school

Seriously. I am.

We have two issues this year - not graduating enough students in a sufficient time period and a math subgroup. Last year it was a different subgroup.

We have district and none district consultants working with us.

Now we do a really great job with the majority of our students. We have national merit scholars and semi finalists.
We have students in most of the ivy league schools and have a high number of students passing AP exams.

I believe our issue is that we don't start where students are and don't expect enough out of them but I don't teach math. I did have that subgroup in my remedial math class last year and do have them in my classes this year.

I hope we fix it soon.


Teaching with Technology

Love to have more ideas on this.

I am getting an hour to do staff development on Monday, which I am using to meet my TIMs requirements.

First on the Agenda:

STaR chart, because it's mandatory for us to do some training on it.  My plan is to start with showing the campus results page, and then having the group access the school as a whole.

My plan is to use my Airliner slate and hand it to a different person to lead the discussion on each survey question.

Second on the Agenda:

I have a moodle set up for the school in order to teach technology.

Right now, it is a reference point and in it's early stages.

Plan: Is to hand the computer, or the airliner slate to a participant who has not logged into the site. 

I also plan to have a different person come up and do a different new thing to the moodle. 

Post in the introduction forum.

Take text I've already created and put it in a label field

Take text I've already created and make it a website.

Last would be to discuss "Formative Assessments" since that is something that the CILT wants us to do.  (CILT = Campus I Leadership Team)



Old Home Week

The principal who hired me 18 years ago is working with us to become a better school.  We're on our second year of not meeting acceptable yearly progress.

She told me that she was glad to see I was still here and that she had heard some good things about me.  She also made me very nervous since I'm presenting on Monday.

She also told me that they "stole" me from another school.  Makes me wonder how things would have turned out if I had gone with that school.  I would have at the very least spent half as much money on gas, as it is closer to my house.

I showed her the tools I use to teach with and she seemed impressed. 


iPod vs. Zune

First, I have to say that my Red Zune is in UPS hands on it’s way to get repaired.

I like the Zune best for music.  I like the Zune pass infinitely better than the Apple store, and have for a while.  I also like the fact that you get to buy music with the pass.  I do have my purchased music on both devices.

So far, I only have 1 movie and it’s on the Zune, and I have enjoyed it there.  I tend not to watch things over and over, so probably won’t buy many more movies.  Might rent.

What I like on the iPod and use the most is the apps and the internet stuff.  I rarely play music though do have Pandora on it. 

So for me – music is better on the Zune – apps better on the iPod.  Like both!

Oh, and I like the camera on the Zune better than the camera on my phone.

I also like the iPod apps better than the Windows mobile phone software.  Don’t know if I am going to Windows 7 mobile phone yet or not.  Depends on the hardware.

Still don’t like the idea of an iPhone, but I might go to one for a second phone if they had a 64 gig model.


Technology integration mentor

That is my new title.

I have been to training and know how to get paid - which by the way is a major pay cut. $500 instead of $1000 a semester.

It involves training and I have asked for an hour on september 27, a mandatory staff development day.

We are required to do one on star chart and one of our choice. I need to start collecting signatures of everyone who comes to my room for help.

My plan is to have a group discussion on star chart in general and have the group help with the campus portion.

We also have a campus moodle and I plan to cover it during my remaining time. Not only am going to show it off but plan on taking my airliner slate and make people interact with it.

In other words, modeling how to teach with technology.


iPod

I am typing this on an iPod. New device I playing with.

I like it and got it because of the proliferation of iPhone apps but still don't want one (iPhone)

The learning curve is low and the apps are fun. I am using a Typepad app for this blog entry.

I am afraid the Mac mini might be taking over.


If you are in Texas, ALWAYS Self Pay after an accident.

I don’t know if it works this way in any other state.

In Texas, if you are in an automobile accident that is not your fault, and you get injured, you get paid by both companies as long as you have PIP.  Ask your agent.  Now!

Your PIP (Personal Injury Protection), will pay for your medical expenses up to a certain amount.  The other company will ALSO pay.

Here’s an example.

I was rear ended in May.  I felt like I was hit by a car the next day and for several weeks after.  I went to my local chiropractor.  He did a ton of xrays, etc. and had me sign my insurance benefits (DON’T DO THIS).  Pay them with a credit card.  Seriously.

So I have PIP with Farmers.  It doesn’t affect what you pay your insurance company.  They pay out I think $2500 max.  They will pay the amount of the claim I think (I have a call out to the person servicing the account).

The other company will ALSO pay the full amount.  In my case, the other company settled for $3200.  Sweet!

This is freaking weird, and I have no idea how it works anywhere else.  I also thought the insurance people were smoking dope when they explained this to me.

Moral:  In Texas, self pay.

On my second accident both Farmers and Nationwide paid me for my days off.  Unfortunately they had to figure out the pay as if I got paid yearly, instead of for 187 days, but since they paid me double, I got money for the days I had to take off work and get a sub and still ended out ahead.

Yeah, not really CS related, but I wish I’d known this at the start.


How to Create Computer Scientists « CompSci Woman

Quoted from http://www.compsciwoman.com/2010/09/06/how-to-create-computer-scientists/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CompsciWoman+%28CompSci+Woman%29#utm_source=feed&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=feed:

How to Create Computer Scientists « CompSci Woman

My dad doesn’t think it’s that simple. He reminded me that I played The Incredible Machines and other games like it.

 

Maybe I should be doing more Incredible Machine.  Yes, I have a coyp of it in my lab.