Into My Classroom

Fourth Year Biology Teacher Sharing My Musings With The World

Archive for August 2010

2nd day in

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I feel like I’m doing a much better job at setting my expectations this year.  For all my classes, I started off with the quick autobiography assignment from the AVID book.  I didn’t have any hesitation like I did last year and the students got right to work.  I want my classes to be really rigorous and I felt like I got off to a great start in my AP classes by giving them their diagnostic tests for homework.  I have to work really hard at making sure to give homework daily so students are practicing concepts.  The homework must be meaningful for this work, which is why I’ll be working extra hard this year.

I do have a concern about one of my students.  She is extremely shy and a classmate told me she was crying because she did not want to read her autobiography out loud.  I know she wrote it, but she didn’t even want to hand it in.  I glanced at her paper and her writing skills definitely need some work.  I’m pretty sure that she has an IEP and I’m going to reference my exceptional children binder that I created in grad school for teaching strategies.

In addition to organization this year, another issue I see is time management.  I’m only two days in and I already feel stressed!  I need to develop a system to keep my work and personal life in balance.  I tend to focus on either one or the other, which is not good.  I’m thinking about spending one day during the week, possibly Friday, to rest my brain and pick up with work again on Saturday.  I wanted to use my planning periods to plan but it goes by so quickly!  So for the rest of this week, figuring out a system for the rest of the year will definitely be a goal.

Good thing…I had two of my AP students already ask me for help with ACT prep!  We made arrangements to meet on Mondays after school.  I was really happy to see students so dedicated to being academically successful.


Written by Ashley Erin

August 10, 2010 at 7:59 pm

Posted in Daily Reflection

1st day of school…check!

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I think I am way too excited about school starting back again.  I have learned so many things this summer and teaching two new classes is very interesting.  I have to keep up with my main goal of being organized because I have three classes, well four actually, to prep for.

My AP classes are enjoyable because most of the students I have had before.  I am really going to have fun teaching them again and can’t wait until the end of the year to see how they perform on the AP tests.  I had an honors biology class today and it is the smallest honors class I’ve had yet, with only around 10 students.  This group seems like it is going to be truly representative of an honors class and I plan to do more with them.

Written by Ashley Erin

August 9, 2010 at 3:46 pm

Posted in Daily Reflection

July PD.

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July was very eventful and full of learning opportunities!

Smithsonian Biodiversity Institute:  This institute was held in Washington, D.C. and I am really glad that I had the opportunity to attend.  Biodiversity is a weak area for me, being that I really love biochemistry.  I never get to teach biodiversity due to time restraints, but now I feel that I can incorporate it into earlier lessons.  Attending the institute will also help me in teaching AP Environmental Science.

During the institute, we spent time at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, the National Zoo, the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, along with many other places.  We learned about biodiversity of many different species ranging from tropical plants to echinoderms.  The institute was a mixture of presentations and hands-on activities.  We even went canoeing and I was so happy that I didn’t fall in the water!!!  We were so busy the entire week and it was very exhausting yet very fun.

AP Environmental Science Workshop:  This was very interesting because we took several field trips.  We went to a water treatment plant and coal plant.  I am excited about teaching this class because there are many different topics and all the lab supplies are already here so I can start labs early.

Written by Ashley Erin

August 9, 2010 at 3:41 pm