Monday, December 16, 2013

Tis the Season.....

It is that time of year again, when projects are due, books are to be turned in and candy canes become a staple in each classroom. Well, this classroom is not an exception. I love this time of year! My room is decorated and lessons are all planned. Both English 11 and Speech are in the final stages of the last projects.

Speech students will be giving their final speech on Wednesday-Friday. It is the persuasive speech and so much work has gone into these speeches. From picking a topic, researching, creating a works cited and organizing the information so their Ethos, Pathos and Logos are all clear, has been very challenging. I look forward to hearing many of the speeches. 

English 11 students just finished Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. We take the test on Wednesday after watching the movie and will do a quick compare and contrast essay in class about the different mediums of this story. They also have a post test. This test measures growth as a Language Arts student from the beginning of the year until now. I look forward to seeing the results. 

Happy Holidays! 

Finals for periods 2 & 4 are Thursday
Finals for periods 1 & 3 are Friday

This Friday we have an adjusted schedule:

7:40 – 9:10                  Period 1
9:15 – 9:35                  Period 2
9:40 – 11:05                Period 3
11:10 – 11:30              Period 4
11:30 – 11:40              Locker clean-out
11:40 – 12:40              Lunch in cafetorium
12:40 – 2:40                Auction for Riley’s Children Hospital

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

How do you make a tissue dance?

Put a little boogie in it!

It is that time of year again, stuffy noses, lots of sneezing, the common cold is making the rounds. I am all out of tissue in B-08, so I am offering 5 extra credit points for each bow of tissues a student brings in. (Maximum of 10 points available!) Student have from December 2-6 (Monday-Friday) to earn the points. Please write your name on the bottom of the boxes and bring them to class!

Thank you.
-Mrs. Burman

Friday, November 22, 2013

Research Project

English 11 is in the middle of a big project! We are doing a large project on the novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Students are researching prejudice in American History and lining such prejudice up with American Literature! Today they were going through sources and making note cards. I have also attached a calendar for those interested in seeing due dates. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 21, 2013


In Speech we are working on our self-concept and how that effects our self-esteem. Your self-concept is the picture you have of yourself in your head. You have different views; Social, Physical, and Intellectual sides of self and we decided to create picture collages that help everyone see the picture we have of ourselves.

Here are a few examples:

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Positive Thoughts

At the beginning of each speech class I have the students, one at a time, stand against the white board. The other students then come and write nice comments around the students head. The student smiles, I take a picture then erase the comments. I create a video of all the pictures for each class and they watch it before their first speech. Both classes finished the "Speech of Introduction" this past week and these are the videos that gave each student a little self "pick-me-up" before stepping in front of their peers.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Abbott & Costello in Speech Class?

I showed a video to my Speech classes recently about how confusing our language can be! We talked about how some words can have more than one meaning, and how nonverbal communication, such as voice and facial expression, can be very humorous!

I loved see these students laugh at an oldie, but a goodie! Enjoy:

Monday, October 28, 2013

October = National Bullying Prevention Month

Tomorrow, Tuesday, the entire school will get to meet Mike Culver. He will be speaking about bullying and how it is effecting students today. Did you know 5 out of 10 students report being bullied each school year? That is over whelming.

Mike will be speaking during the end of first period through homeroom. For more information about National Bullying Prevention Month see this link.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Chugging along.

All classes are chugging along in the right direction. English 11 is working their way through a novel, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and so far they all seem to be "enjoying" the coming of age story that highlights so much American History, good and bad. 

Speech classes took their first tests this week, not to shabby! I was very impressed with all the work they put into small group presentations. We are in Chapter 2 now and will actually finish and start a new chapter before the end of the week. We will even start our first speech on Thursday of this week! 

Swimming starts in full swing this week- see all you ladies at the pool ready to swim by 3pm. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

No wasting time....

Starting a new term in the middle of the week can sometimes cause delays in the lessons and basically a slow start, not these classes! We are already starting to take notes and do chapter activities in both Speech classes. In English 11 we spent three days reviewing material learned the first nine weeks while I was away. We covered things like essays, literature themes, authors and context. 

Below are some pictures of 4th period speech working on a digital interview. The pairs (sometimes small groups) were to answer these questions about themselves verbally and their partners will be introducing them today as a speech practice! 

Just a reminder that all agendas and plans, even links to assignments can be found on this website, be sure to save it to your Apple device be it iPod, iPad, or iPhone! Thanks for stopping by and have a great week. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

I'm back!

That is right ladies and gentlemen, Mrs. Burman is back and ready to fill those big brains with all sorts of American Literature and Speech knowledge! I have been spending time with the beautiful and ever growing Amelia!

But, my time will now be spent between class, the pool, and home! Get ready for a fun filled time in B08 and I look forward to seeing you all grow as well.

Please save this website on your iPad home page as I post all things needed for this class on the website. Thank you!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Swimming Starts Soon!

It is that time of year again, time for the beginning of something great! Girls swim season is upon us, and I can't be more excited! Caps are ordered, suits have been picked, warm ups are being embroidered and now all we have to do is get physically ready.

Our slogan this year is "Train insane or remain the same!" I expect to see lots of girls at pre-season workouts and taking time in the evenings to get back in the water! See you all at 3pm in B07.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Be 1:1 Ready - Teachers Helping Teachers

Welcome - Feel free to browse this website for examples of what one could create and how a teacher could implement certain activities.

After the presentation please take time to complete the survey about the presentation. Thank you!

Please use the links below to follow along. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Baby Burman Arrives!

I promised a website post when little baby Burman arrived! I am over two weeks late in the announcement, but Amelia Kay Burman was actually one day early.

On June 14th at 10:17pm Amelia was born! She was 7lbs 11oz and 20 inches long! We are so happy and tired, I never thought those two emotions would go so well together. I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer. If you are lucky I might see you around town with Amelia. Until next time- be good, be safe and be happy.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Is it summer yet?

The school year is coming to a close, and all the classes are finishing up last projects, good reads, and studying for finals. Before you as students begin to roll your eyes at my enthusiasm, know that this time of year is hard for teachers too!

We must be super organized, contact parents, hound students, have all the rubrics ready, tests created, and essays graded! As a student I loved this time of year, there was something about being proud of a large project turned in, or just the relief that it was no longer looming over my head on a to-do list. I hope the students in my classes are getting the proud side of their work and not the "FINALLY DONE!" side instead.

English 11- We are closing the novella, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck and will be having the test over the novella on Monday. They also have a teacher evaluation and post test in their future before becoming seniors! I will have almost ALL research projects returned before the test over OMAM.

English 12 - These seniors are on the downward slope of English 12. They completed the Valedictory projects, yes they were great! I especially loved all the baby pictures. We are finished with all assigned reading and have our final on Monday. During class we have been completing study guides! Hope these help since the final is worth 20% of the grade!

Speech - We have two more speeches before the end of the year! The impromptu speech will be on Friday (they are only 1-3 minutes long!) and then the Persuasive Speeches are all the days next week. Below are the assigned days- no confusion on these days!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Happenings this Spring!

I love this nice weather, and I am sure the students do as well! Some how, even through the sunshine outside, students are working hard inside. Currently each class is working on or finishing up a project.

English 12 will be in the computer lab for the last day today as they finish up their Research Project. It is not due until Monday- but I wanted to give them four full days in the lab to work. No excuses seniors! Other than the final this will be the last of the literary thinking so prove what you all have learned in the last 18 weeks!

Speech is currently presenting speeches! Funny how that works! The students are demonstrating several different things, so far I have learned how to make cup cakes, egg salad and how to show cattle. I feel like a student all over again. There are clips of these speeches on the speech page! Check it out.

English 11 has one more week on their Research Projects and I am so proud of how hard they are working. There are many steps in this project and so far they are really impressing me with their overall mastery of each! So, I made a movie to show off their hard work:

Sunday, April 28, 2013

So close but so much left to do!

Yes, the end of the school year is in sight. That DOES NOT mean we will be staring at the finish line in B08. With a baby due, (anytime towards the end of the year) I have done a pretty hefty job of planning for all the classes! This means I have a calendar for each class that literally tells what we will be doing each day up until finals, the calendars even have graduation labeled!

During my time as a student I hated this time of year, all I wanted to do was hold onto the good grades and play in the summer sun. (NOTE: My last day of school was always in the MIDDLE of with the school year ending before Memorial Day at Bluffton-Harrison Metropolitan School District I can't see many people wanting to lay out and go to the pool that early with it being so cold still.)

We even talked about how to engage your students towards the end of the school year while in the College of Education at Purdue University. The top three things we came up with then, with the help of USNews, are as follows:

1. Save the fun stuff for spring. 
In each class the things that students have talked about loving in the curriculum are finding their place. In English 11 we finish the hard Research Project and read Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. We read it out loud with voices and enjoy discussion rather than tons of quizzes. In English 12 there will be a personal project looking back on the past and making an iMovie! Last but not least we have Speech, they will be doing their last speech on topics that they feel are important, thus creating a confident class.

2. Give students a choice.
I have rules in my classroom, as any teacher, but I do begin to allow students to monitor themselves with independent projects. This gives them the choice to work hard for a few days, then take a break. I really think this tests the maturity of many students and prepares them for the next grade, or for the seniors, it prepares them for life.

3. Enjoy the 'warmer' weather. 
I plan to have at least one class outside for each course before the end of the school year. It isn't really that warm out BUT it is no longer deep freeze Indiana winter. This will be a reward for all the hard work as the year ends!

Below I have each calendar for each course. Parents, please look at what is due and what we will be doing! This is great way to keep your child on task at home as well as in the classroom.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Happenings around B-08

Good morning all!

This week has been a busy one so far, and it is only Wednesday! We found out all the end of the year information/schedules during a staff meeting (see picture below for more details) and each class seems to be in the midst of working hard!

English 11: We are in the middle of To Kill a Mockingbird and finishing up grammar lessons for the year. The next big things are MLA review and Research Project! The small class is moving right along and I am enjoying all the one-on-one work time I have for this class. 

English 12: Students are reading Angels and Demons as an independent read outside of class and we are just starting our quizzes checking for reading. We are also finishing up in class work on Canterbury Tales and will begin Shakespeare's shortest tragedy, Macbeth on Friday! We clearly like to read in English 12!

Speech: Yesterday was the first day of our first round of speeches! The Speech of Introduction is going so well! I was pleasantly surprised when all the students were prepared and ready for their time at the podium! We will breeze through chapter 3&4 and start on our next speech end of this week/beginning of next week. Keep up the good work and remember to check the website for helpful links and review. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

TDC Commercial and Charity Information

Come support these ladies this Saturday! See you there.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Just keep going!

Welcome back from Spring Break 2013! I know I had a very restful break- something about being in your third trimester of pregnancy prevents you from flying anywhere, so I spent time organizing the house and school work!

Each class is starting something new this week and I can't wait to see what the students do with the topics, themes and activities planned. Please continue to use the website as a place for being organized or working ahead! Also be checking PowerSchool as I am trying to keep grades as up to date as possible (essays and projects take a little more time) and if a student is absent I plug in a "0" with a "missing" symbol next to it. This has been helping students get work in quickly and not being surprised at the end of the term when "ABS" (absent) turns into "0" (zero) and really hurts the final grade.

There are 38 more days of school for students to continue learning, see how much you can accomplish in that amount of time!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Group Work, Spring Break, and Missed Work

This post is covering several events, issues, and concerns that have come up in the classroom lately.

Group work:

In English 11 students are working on a short story group project.  Many student hate group work while others find it helpful. I built this project closely to this article called "Productive Group Work in Middle and High School Classrooms" by Nancy Frey, Douglas Fisher and Aida Allen. 

The article describes five principles that are needed for effective cooperative learning: 

1. Positive interdependence of group members such that they need to rely on
one another to solve the problem successfully—a sink-or-swim approach.
2. Face-to-face interaction to promote the personal investment group members
have in one another, both academically and as people.
3. Individual and group accountability focused on goals and outcomes, so
members are acknowledged for their individual contributions and their
ability to be collectively responsible for the results.
4. The teaching of interpersonal and small-group skills to foster the social and
academic skills needed to work together.
5. Group processing so members have opportunities to evaluate their products
and determine how they might improve the ways they work together.

Just a note to those who are absent/leaving early for Spring Break:
If you are absent during a group project, it is your RESPONSIBILITY to contact a group member that can catch you up. This is not only an assignment on short stories, it is a test of maturity. In college or the work force you must always stay in contact with your group/team.  If there is not contact your peers may use that as a mark on the peer evaluation. 

Spring Break: 
At the end of school on Friday, March 22nd, students and teachers alike begin the 2013 Spring Break. Notice I typed end of school on FRIDAY - I have lessons going through the end of school on Friday and want all those who are leaving early to realize I still expect projects and essays that are due Friday, to be turned in via email or another student on that day. If you do not turn in progressive assignments you will receive a ZERO. Please see the Language Arts Homework Policy handed out at the beginning of each course.

Missed Work: 
This website is very detailed and kept up to date with day-to-day assignments. DO NOT come to me before class and ask if we did anything while you were gone. CHECK THE WEBSITE. This is secondary school, and I teach courses offered to 10th-12th graders. All of which are capable of checking this website and staying up to date. So just a general answer to that question: "Yes, we learned and did assignments built to help students understand concepts discussed in class, check the website for what you missed."

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Parent/Teacher Conferences

Parent/teacher conferences are scheduled for Thursday, March 14, 2013 from 4:00-7:00 pm. Please feel welcome to attend and conference with any or all of your child’s teachers. Conferences are scheduled to keep the lines of communication open between parents and teachers. The main purpose of the spring conference date is to discuss the third nine week report card and share ideas on how teachers and parents can work together to maximize achievements of the student. 

There will be door prizes for the high school parents that attend! Please come and meet with teachers face to face and help us improve your child's learning journey! Thank you and we hope to see you this afternoon. 

School will not be in session on Thursday, March 14, 2013. A Professional Development Activity 
will take place between 11:30am – 1:00pm for all teachers

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

American Literature- History and Creative Juice

These past few weeks have been very busy for the English 11 course, American Literature. We have covered the Colonial Period, and are just finishing up the Age of Reason. This past time period can prove to be boring at times because it is filled with nonfiction (real documents and essays). Basically we covered the entire period and finished up with some Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. We read about The Declaration of Independence and aphorisms.

While studying aphorisms, I introduced the idea of the "Shortest Short Story".  Ernest Hemingway was said to have written the shortest story ever: Baby shoes: never worn. For sale. This gave way to a creative moment in class. I had students write as many short stories they could! These are a few of the top ones:
  • Telling without knowledge but being believed
  • They say they won't, but they will
  • Betrayal is the maker of this evil
  • Slowed my pace, missed my chance
  • First moment of insane courage; last moment of insanity 
  • I loved him. He loved her
We also watched a parody of The Declaration of Independence! Below is the video- see if you see the allusions to the past. Doing my best to make the "boring" fun! 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Pep Talk

There is this time in the school year, between Winter Break and Spring Break, where teachers and students arrive at school when it is dark, and often leave when it is dark. It is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when there is no light to speak of. We need a pep talk to get through this time in the year. Keep it up, do not get lazy and know that it is always the darkest before the sunrise.

This video has been a viral message to keep your head up and be awesome. With midterms around the corner (February 5th- NEXT TUESDAY!) I feel like we all need a little boost.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

New Year, New Subjects, New Clubs

Welcome to the new year in B08! After only having two days with all my new classes I must say it will be an entertaining semester. I will be teacher English 11 and Speech again! I will also be adding English 12 to the schedule third period. Another new attraction would be Tiger Dance Company. The dance company will be starting in full swing next month but all the pre-work takes place this month. Please see the pages for each course or club for more information!

Happy New Year.
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