ten things tuesday

Ten things I'm doing at school that I enjoy:

1) My AP Psychology class is studying convergent and divergent problem-solving. Today, small groups received paper bags with everyday items in them: a plastic spoon, an eraser, a paperclip, a straw, a clothespin, and other small random things. Their task was to come up with as many non-traditional uses for the items as they could in ten minutes. It was fun to see them manipulating the objects and talking about uses, bouncing ideas, and getting into it. Some used the items individually, some used them together, and some even used the paper bag. When they reported out and we charted the uses, it got quite competitive.

2) Tomorrow we'll play Petals Around The Rose and see how long it takes them to figure out the pattern and rules.

3) In AP United States History, we're analyzing Thomas Jefferson as a candidate. With his qualifications, would he win today? We'll compare his political ideals to his actual performance in office.

4) Thursday the APUSH kids will be put into consulting agencies to create public relations campaigns for the Louisiana Purchase and the Embargo Act. They have to develop a slogan or a jingle, a tagline or a hashtag, a visual, and print material.

5) I love lesson planning. Projecting what we will be doing and setting a pace.

6) I need to start writing a syllabus. However, things pop up so I can't give day-to-day precise information. That's what prevents me from writing a syllabus. I prefer a unit outline--so the students can see the topics we're going to focus on but leaves me the flexibility to spend more or less time on the pieces.

7) This year I've been personalizing my room. Odd that it took 21 years for me to put up items that display my personality--crazy magnets, Harry Potter figures, other little touches like that. I've always had a lot of course-related posters and bulletin boards, but now it's more personal.

8) My department is going to overhaul our sequence of courses. We're going to condense our two-year American Studies class into a one-year class and develop a Civics class and an Economics class requirement (semester classes). I might get to pick up Civics!

9) We're having a department workshop day next week to map out the courses. Yay! Which means having a substitute. Boo!

10) And I've been having meaningful conversations with my students (especially the seniors) about life, adulting, and the future.


  1. Can I go back in time and have you as a teacher?? What you are doing with your students sounds fascinating....far and away more interesting than I remember high school being....

  2. oooh, what she said! I just finished America's First Daughter and while it is fiction, Jefferson and the political environment are based on fact. I'd love to know how your students come out in their debate!

  3. I would have loved you as a teacher! I suppose the teachers in my "AP" (not what it was called back then) classes were creative, but not like you. Heck, I'd probably love sitting in your classes now. :)

  4. I like to think that Jefferson would do well today, although I'm told that his voice might have been a problem. Apparently he doesn't really sound like "What'd I Miss?"

    It's cool that you're nest building in your classroom. You spend so much time there! I'm glad you're making it your own.