Busy, Busy June

Back from Lake George. Absolute awesome vacation. Camping with Aviendha is awesome. No doubt about it. The only problem was that we are waist deep in potty training, and anytime Av asks to go, we go. I want her to become used to the idea that if she needs to go, she has to tell one of us. That means that if we are 20 minutes past the last rest stop that she peed at, we stop again when she asks.

This added a ton of time to our trip, but in the long run will end up being well worth it. She was amazing on the trip. She took three-hour naps each day, and slept 12 hours every night. It added zero stress to the trip to have her there. Which was awesome.

It was an interesting experience for me in particular. Last year I took the same trip up there, with the same people. Biggest difference being that I did not bring along my two-year-old at the time. I partied hardy with my college friends. We stayed a few sites over this year from where I stayed last year. Laying in bed next to Danielle with Avi in the tent with us, we were separated by a hundred feet, a road, and what seemed like a lifetimes worth of change. At four am, as I was shouting out of the tent for Johny Fesco to “Shut the Eff Up”, I realized that was me just a year ago, drinking until 4 only to wake up at 10 and start all over again. It was a very surreal experience.

Lake George weekend kicks off what is going to be an extremely busy month for us.

Saturday is a big day in our lives. It represents one year from the day/night we met. I think I will have more to write about this later, consider this a teaser. Let me simply say this for now… I never imagined when I woke up on June 5th, 2009 that I would be meeting the woman who I would spend the rest of my life with later that night.

“I just want the girl in the girl in the blue dress, to keep on dancing…”

Wednesday is Dave Matthews Band at Darien Lake, which weather allowing is going to be an absolutely awesome time.

Student Teaching

My Head…Your Wall

Well, the student teaching thing is winding down.

 
I am less than three weeks away from being done with little social experiment.
 
It has gone faster than I could have imagined. I have measured the time in Avi’s growth. The last 12 weeks have flown by, as I assume the next three will.
 
My advisor is coming out to see me “work my magic” (his words) this week, for the last time.
 
As this thing winds down, I have been thinking more and more about what comes next in my life.
 
I return to Hillside, I return to getting paid, and I start to figure out what I have to do in order to get hired to teach. It is a scary proposition.
 
I am unsure of my ability to do this, I really am.
 
I worry that I have lost so much time with Avi. I know she will never know the difference, that I am there and she sees me, but I know that I have missed time with her.
 
So as this thing comes to an end, and I begin the next phase in this process, I am excited and scared and unsure.
 
It’s a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no telling where you might be swept off to

The Week That Was

Busy, busy couple of weeks.

Just finished my first week of my second student teaching placement. I am in an 8:1:1 Special Education classroom in Spencerport, which aside from the commute time is not that different from teaching at Freddie Thomas.

The days are busy and there are a million things going on. The hardest part for me is that I am actually only teaching social studies for about 40 minutes a day. The experience is great and my cooperation teaching has been awesome. I just have a hard time seeing myself taking over the room and doing all she does in a few short weeks.

Avi has been awesome. We are taking her ice skating this evening so I should have some new video and pictures up soon.

The teaching portion of my Master’s degree is quickly coming to a close. I have a lot of loose ends to tie up so that I can say when this is done is a few months that I am going to be certified by September.

Went to go see “How to Train Your Dragon” last night with D. Not to name drop but my best friend is a producer for Dreamworks and he strongly recommended we go see it. Absolutely loved it.

Not sure if I would put it ahead of “Kung Fu Panda” as far as Dreamworks animated movies go. I really loved the Fu. But I would place it ahead of a few Pixar films on my list of favorite animated films.

The visuals were just amazing. It was almost the Anti-Eragon (don’t get me started on my hatred of Eragon). I loved that the kid needed the dragon as much as the dragon needed him, it made for a very touching story.

I love leaving a theatre feeling content with the cash we just laid down.

As far as what is exiting me right now.

Check THIS OUT

Best. Thing. I. Have. Ever. Seen (thanks Drew)

Those who know me know that the list of things that I hate consists of the following in no particular order:

Aliens
Robots
Vamipres
Zombies
and Diseases

(Although I love Alien Robots)

But if there is an alien I love, it’s Predator. At least Predator makes no excuses about what he is going to do to you. He is going to kill you. And if you put up a good fight, he is going to tear your skull and spine out of your carcass, he is going to polish it, and he is going to hang it on his wall with all his other trophies.

Unlike Aliens, who impregnate you with thier offspring and use you like some twisted incubator, Predator finishes you quickly.

And, Predator loves to kill Aliens, which is awesome.

This movie is going to be awesome. (Which is exactly what I said after seeing the trailer for Alien v. Predator Requiem, which failed, epically)

2-Week Notice

So I am done with Hillside until the middle of May as of next Wednesday. As I sit here on the couch (in my PJs, fulfilling every sterotype of Bloggers save the fact that I am at my house, not my mom’s basement)it is 7:38 and I should have left the house 8 minutes ago to get to work at 8.

I haven’t finished my coffee yet.

Definately on two-week notice time.

Student teaching starts the Monday we get back from Kansas City, and it would be fair to say that I am mildly panicking.

603- What My Grades Mean to Me

At first, upon reading this assignment, I thought this was going to be a fairly easy assignment. I was very wrong. The more I have thought about it the more I realized that my grades mean many different things to me.

My grades mean that I am accurately evaluating the level of understanding that my students are demonstrating, while at the same time giving my student’s the greatest opportunity possible to display their true academic ability.

It will not be my goal to trick my students, or play “gotcha” with their grades.

My grades mean that my students are synthesizing the information that I am delivering to them, and are able to internalize it and display to me that they have understood what has been taught.

My goal is for my grades to be an accurate and reliable representation of what my student’s have learned and what they understand.

My grades should reflect what I have been successful in teaching as well as those areas where there continues to be confusion within the student body.

I can be counted among those who are uncomfortable with assigning grades to my students, this is an area where I have room to continue to grow and learn.

My grades mean that I am doing a good job imparting knowledge and understanding to my students and that knowledge and understanding is reflected in valid grades.

603-Learning Targets, State Standards

1. Students will be able to define the key names and event of the Civil War.
(describe, identify, list, name, match)

Standard 1: History of the United States and New York
Standard 3: Geography
Standard 5: Civics, Citizenship, and Government

Comprehension
2. Students will be able to explain the major causes of the war as well as their effect on the outcome.
(distinguish, estimate, infer, paraphrase, summarize)

Standard 1: History of the United States and New York
Standard 2: World History
Standard 3: Geography
Standard 4: Economics
Standard 5: Civics, Citizenship, and Government

Application
3. Students will be able to produce a thematic or document based essay based on acquired knowledge.
(demonstrate, discover, manipulate, prepare, produce)

Standard 1: History of the United States and New York
Standard 2: World History
Standard 3: Geography
Standard 4: Economics
Standard 5: Civics, Citizenship, and Government

Analysis
4. Student will be able to outline the major battles of the war, describing their impact on the war at large.
(illustrate, relate, select, diagram, differentiate)

Standard 1: History of the United States and New York
Standard 3: Geography

Synthesis
5. Students will be able to summarize the major causes, events, and outcomes of the Civil War.
(categorize, combine, compile, compose, create)

Standard 1: History of the United States and New York
Standard 2: World History
Standard 3: Geography
Standard 4: Economics
Standard 5: Civics, Citizenship, and Government

Evaluation
6. Students will be able to draw conclusions about the impact the Civil War had on American History.
(appraise, discriminate, explain, justify, interpret, relate)

Standard 1: History of the United States and New York
Standard 2: World History
Standard 3: Geography
Standard 4: Economics
Standard 5: Civics, Citizenship, and Government

NYS Social Studies Standards

603-Final Assessment-Learning Targets

Knowledge
1. Students will be able to define the key names and event of the Civil War.
(describe, identify, list, name, match)

Comprehension
2. Students will be able to explain the major causes of the war as well as their effect on the outcome.
(distinguish, estimate, infer, paraphrase, summarize)

Application
3. Students will be able to produce a thematic or document based essay based on acquired knowledge.
(demonstrate, discover, manipulate, prepare, produce)

Analysis
4. Student will be able to outline the major battle of the war, describing their impact on the war at large.
(illustrate, relate, select, diagram, differentiate)

Synthesis
5. Students will be able to summarize the major causes, events, and outcomes of the Civil War.
(categorize, combine, compile, compose, create)

Evaluation
6. Students will be able to draw conclusions about the impact the Civil War had on American History.
(appraise, discriminate, explain, justify, interpret, relate)