In the Lou

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap

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Jul 01 2009

Today is the end

Today, July 1, I officially don’t work as a school teacher or with my district anymore. As such, this will be my last post onto this blog. That is a really weird statement to write for those that know me personally, as I have a certain fondness for

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Dec 08 2008

Academic stimulus plan

In a district with a $20+ million budget shortfall, I find the below not only nonsensical in terms of moving students forward toward making significant gains but just odd: Principals, Please convey the following information regarding the new Academic Stimulus Plan to your staff no later than Friday noon. It will be addressed in the…

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The polls are not yet closed in the West Coast states, yet it is more than apparent that our next president will be a black person. The candidate, his party and his views aside, it is an interesting moment to be an American. Though I was not alive at the time, I do have a…

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Nov 03 2008

Funny on an unfunny day

We were playing the pyramid game, which is essentially like the $30,000 Pyramid tv show, to review vocabulary from the last lesson which was part of their homework. Unfortunately, my students were woefully unprepared for the task. This of course was extremely frustrating as we prepare for another crash-and-burn quiz experience later this week. I…

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Oct 19 2008

Science notebooks changed my life

Science notebooks and notebooking can prove useful for secondary level students grades 5-12. It helps incorporate important science skills plus it keeps everything organized.

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Oct 19 2008

I &hearts

I know I post a lot about, but I feel it is my duty. I recently had another project funded through this amazing organization. It’s such a good example of what’s right about people and how, when given the chance, they’ll often times do good even for people they don’t know. If you’re reading…

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Oct 05 2008

Don’t forget to write

I admit that the text messaging and quick-fire emails in my life has allowed me to adjust to a significantly truncated style of communication in order to get through my days. But this week I was reminded three times the value of taking time to write. Retired and traveling

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Oct 04 2008

The only thing missing is the medals

Well, actually, I did give out medals, but they are pasted into students’ notebooks. This past week we capped off our horrendously tedious learning about metrics experience with a chance to actually use metric units. What does 58 cm really look like? Now my students have a better idea.

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Oct 02 2008

Bloggerific news about DonorsChoose

I love If you’ve never visited the site, please do. It allows anyone to directly impact a classroom of their choosing. Right now, DonorsChoose is running a blogger challenge. One of my projects was chosen by the popular blog TechCrunch to be featured in their challenge. This is certainly very exciting news. My project…

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Sep 01 2008

The teacher or leader dilemma

Heisenberg is known in science for his uncertainty principle. The more one knows about the location of an electron, the less one knows about the direction the electron is heading. The reverse holds true, as well. I have discovered a similar paradox in my teaching world, but unlike Heisenberg, I am not uncertain about anything.

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Aug 27 2008

Post Script from Year 2

I forgot to share this retrospective video that I made for our students’ promotion day ceremony. I’m sure I’ll remember other things, but this gives you a good glimpse of the fun we had!

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Aug 23 2008

Time to get poppin

For those not hip enough to know, it’s good to be poppin. As such, I made sure we were poppin this first week of school in science class. My choice of words here is not totally for the “this is some hip lingo” factor. We were literally poppin, or maybe I should say popping. Yes,…

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Aug 01 2008

MAP Results: My schools rocked the test

I’m currently in Chicago for a training on AVID for school, but this article appeared in the paper today. It discusses how, on the whole, middle schools were the best performers in the state. In particular, three St. Louis Public Schools’ middle schools were the best performers in the region. Among them… my school! St.…

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Jul 25 2008

How to make a Friday awesome

Today in St. Louis, it was rainy and gross. Thankfully, after a nap, my congestion and headache are gone. As an added benefit, I received this email from the National Science Teachers Association: Dear A, Welcome to the New Science Teacher Academy. We are pleased you could join us! Sincerely, Paul J. Tingler Project Director…

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Jun 24 2008

Thank You Friends

As I’m packing my bags tonight to fly out for my aunt’s memorial service, I’m drawn to writing once more. This time, amidst my feelings of loss and shock, because I feel lucky. I am so lucky to have people in my life that are connected to me through friendship or shared purpose with what…

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Today I understand what it feels like to be part of a statistic. As a teacher, I saw people turn my students into faceless numbers. They talk about them in a way that evokes no passion and calls to mind no important memories. Today I understand what it feels like to be part of a…

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Jun 18 2008

Slow to know

Apparently, this interesting video from the folks at EDin08 has been available since January. Shame on me for not knowing about it.

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Jun 06 2008

An offer to a student against the odds

Dear G…, I wanted to write you to let you know how proud I am of all your hard work this year. You have shown that you have the ability to be an excellent student. Your hard work on projects during the year and your awesome grade on the end-of-year test are proof of your…

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I can’t legitimately say that I need some time to think what I should be typing right now since I haven’t updated anyone in quite some time. So I won’t put it off, but I am needing to think along the way. Fortunately or unfortunately for you, this is going to be lengthy. Part 1:…

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Apr 19 2008

Science is real life stuff

Nothing is more exciting as a teacher than having a very real-world example for my students in order for them to connect their classroom knowledge to the world around them. At approximately 4:37 a.m. Friday the opportunity came knocking. This is the approximate time that

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Apr 04 2008

Music videos from my classroom

I’ve recently been into the glorious land of DonorsChoose for the first time. This is a site where you can write proposals for things one might need in the classroom. When I returned from my summer travels, my digital camera had transformed itself into a paperweight. So, I wrote a proposal. And it got funded!…

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Mar 05 2008

The definition of unfortunate

I’m a good sport. But getting hoodwinked out of a day off twice in one year is a bummer. I got a wake up call this morning at 5:53 a.m. My friend at school was calling to let me know that we were having another snow day. This was good news minus the fact that…

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Mar 04 2008

A week without teaching

Even though it was 70 degrees and sunny on Sunday, it is snowing like the dead of winter in St. Louis today. In fact, this is our biggest storm of the year. More than 8.5 inches has already blanketed the airport, the place of our official readings. Eating Ted Drewes while wearing short sleeves seems…

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Strong American Schools is a nonpartisan public awareness campaign aimed at elevating education to the top of the list of our nation’s priorities through our “candidate,” ED in ’08. We are calling for a vigorous and thorough discussion of the issue by the candidates for president in 2008. This campaign seeks to unite all Americans…

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Jan 08 2008

Awesomely Awful Science Jokes

While trying to spice up a lesson on the metric system and how to make metric conversions using the Metric Shuffle (using the popular song Cupid Shuffle as inspiration), I manufactured these half-original jokes. Q: What do you get when you put ten cards together? A: One dekacards. Q: If I had one million microphones,…

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a Teach for America science teacher in St. Louis

St. Louis
Middle School

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