Sunday, December 7, 2014

Research, Burman's Best Friend.

In all the classes, research is happening!

Speech classes start on Persuasive Speeches and will be finding support to help build their Logos and Ethos in their persuasion!

English 11 has started their To Kill a Mockingbird research project. Please students, keep up on dead lines, I promise it will help in the long run. Information can be found on this page.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Positive Words for Positive Feelings

In Speech, I often battle the fear of speaking. It usually comes down to student feeling judged or not good enough. To battle this feeling we do an activity early in the course, like day 2 or 3 when students are still getting to know each other.

I count them off in smaller groups, assign them an area on the white board and sit one person against the board. I instruct the groups to write as many nice things about the person around their head. I snap a picture when the group is finished and we quickly erase. I then make a video of all the images to be watched the day of the first speech. What a relief to see kind and positive things written by classmates.

This has made all the difference in our classroom culture and over all first speech jitters. This is by far one of my favorite activities (Demonstration Speeches with food are a close second.) I also want to highlight 2 very interesting speeches from the first round of "Speech of Introductions." Students seem to find the coolest ways to explain what defines them!

Video Games 
Sleeping and Eating

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Fast Presentations

The English 11 class did such a wonderful job with creating and presenting their ThingLinks that I took a video. Aren't they fast workers/presenters? See this post for more information about the assignment and some up close examples.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

ThingLink & Emily Dickinson

English 11 - 3 just started, and finished (Yes, they are that impressive.) a section in Unit 3 about Emily Dickinson. Instead of the same old, read and respond, we broke it up and threw some technology in for presentation and the outcome, my friends, was simply beautiful.

We used ThingLink which is a website (and an application for the iPad) type of presentation supplement. Here is how I presented the assignment and I honestly let them run with it and there are examples below. Hover over the picture and you can see bullets with more information about the assigned poem.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Blackout Poetry

Today in my English 11-3 we started a poetry unit. Sometimes students are overwhelmed with the idea of writing their own poems. Heck, sometimes I am overwhelmed when trying to craft my words into a poem, or blog post.

Sooooooo, I did some searching and came across Austin Kleon. He is a writer/artist who lives in Austin, Texas. He started a movement called Blackout Poetry. You use already generated text, and mark out the words that mean nothing to you, but leave visible the words that move you.

What was created in "my four walls of learning" moved me and I am beyond excited to present some of these tomorrow to the students, don't worry I posted several examples below, and to continue through our study of poetry. We are starting a group project with Emily Dickinson using ThingLink! Stay tuned for the assignment and outcomes.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Reading Circle

English 11 - Period 4 seems to be really enjoying the novel, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier and today we read chapter 10. I love seeing them so interested in the novel. We watched a few videos to help set a better understanding of the civil war that caused this true story. Students have also been blogging about their experiences with war and how the documentary is helping them understand the novel on a new level.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Fall Festival

Just a reminder this is Fall Festival week! Dress up and bring in food and toiletries for the Wells Community Harvest Food Bank! I love this week due to all the after school activities and dress up days!

Monday: Hay Day
Tuesday: Favorite Character Day
Wednesday: Class Color Day

  • 12 - Black
  • 11 - Red
  • 10 - Blue
  •   9 - Green

Thursday: Throwback Thursday
Friday: Gridiron Day - Red and Black Day

I will post pictures to my IG account and Twitter account as the week goes on! Follow the #bo8 to see the pictures!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A King's Speech

This week Speech students have been looking back in time, back to King George V and his sons, Edward and Albert. Did you know that Albert had a terrible speech impediment. When he was forced to become king the radio had just become very popular. How was he going to stand strong when he could barely say his name without a stammer.

This true story helps students see the true strength in a leader, and one of those strengths would be to verbally unite a mass of people. Albert soon become King George VI and his wonderful therapist Lionel helped guide him through a stammer and the technical and psychology side of a speech issue. 

Here is a sound track to the real King George VI giving a speech via a radio recording. Below the video with a radio recording, there is a filming of King George VI giving a speech, notice his nonverbal evidence of a stutter or stammer. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

First Speech of the Year!

I love the first speech of the year! But.... sometimes my students don't! So, to try and get them to see the positive side of public speaking we do an activity called "Positive Thoughts". On (or close to) the first day of school each student stands against a white board while a group of classmates write positive comments around their heads. They are not allowed to see any of the comments until the day of their first speech in the form of a movie.

It serves as a reminder that their classmate are in fact supportive and think nice things about each other. Also, they are excited about seeing the film and forget about the anxiety of speaking, even if it is just a three minute break.

Here is our film:

Friday, August 22, 2014

Shared Meanings

In Speech class we are finishing up chapters 1 and 2! These students are doing so well. I am not sure if it is the early time of the class, or just the great personalities, but these students are so happy and willing to work together.

Today we watched a short film to help understand why it is important to have shared meanings when communicating and to use words with concrete meanings! Enjoy!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Busy Bo8

Starting the school year on a Monday was very different, we as teachers hit the ground running after day one. I know in Bo8 we are working hard and starting to find our groove. This semester I am teaching Speech and English 11, both are great courses and so far even the students seem to be enjoying the change to a digital binder and assignment base.

In English 11, we are working on vocabulary and grammar already, we have also completed a preview worksheet on Unit 1. We will be starting with Native American Myths and documents of that time period.

In Speech, we are working on finding our personality traits (or colors) and apply that information to how we are as communicators. The students have already presented a little in groups and seem to really enjoy each other. We did a positive comments activity and that will be made into a movie next week. Be sure to check back for that. In the pictures below you can see the students working on a communication activity where they must find shared meanings and listening skills.

Don't forget! - Share what we are doing in class or Instagram OR Twitter with the hashtag #bo8

Monday, August 11, 2014

So good to see you again.

I am so happy to see your faces in the halls, in my classroom, in the building! There will be so much to talk about these first few days, don't be afraid to ask questions.

Here is the modified schedule for Monday:

  7:40                         All students report to homerooms
  7:40                         Pledge of Allegiance and moment of silence
  7:45                         Announcements
  7:50                         9th grade students released to the cafetorium
  7:55-9:10                9th grade meeting in the cafetorium
  9:15-10:10              10th-12th grade meeting in the cafetorium
  10:15-11:10             1st period
  11:15-12:40             3rd period
  12:45-1:40               2nd period
  1:45-2:40                 4th period

Friday, May 23, 2014

Working with the windows open.

English 11 students are working hard on their research papers. They are on the last and final leg of the project! After doing an annotated bibliography, works cited, note cards, and outline they are ready to put it all together. Here are a few pictures in the computer lab. We are using a mix of iPad, books, online articles, Google Docs, Google Drive, and desktop computers for this project. You can see a little of each in the pictures.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Research Papers, Persuasive Speeches, and Finals (oh my!)

We are closing in on lots of big projects here in B-08. English 11 students are pushing through to the end with To Kill a Mockingbird and the research that goes along with it. The final research paper is due on Tuesday at the end of class. It will be submitted digitally and graded that way too! I am crossing my fingers for a smooth grading process. Ha! I am sure the students are as well.

English 11- here are some helpful links:
Purdue OWL - for in-text citations information.
MLA Sample Paper - for a visual aid in what your paper should be looking like.
Cat Bounce - Because you all need to relax.

In Speech the students are researching and starting their outlines for the Persuasive Speech, this is the longest and hardest speech of the course. We spend 2-3 days just researching and creating the correct MLA works cited page, then we start organizing the information into an outline. Then, the students begin memorizing, making visual aids, and practicing. This speech is worth 160 points. Here is a good examples of a Persuasive Speech:

Sunday, May 11, 2014

May Madness

I know March technically has this title, however I would like to dub this month of May, as pure madness! The end of the school year is close, Tiger Dance Company show is this week, I am coaching the Wells Community Swim Team and that started last week, oh and the Grad parties have started! Oy, this month is crazy.

Students stay focused and finish the year strong!

English 11 - We finished To Kill a Mockingbird and are beginning our Research Project this week!

Speech - We are currently watching The Great Debaters and doing some work on Persuasion before our final speech, the Persuasive Speech. (Don't worry, we still have the Impromptu Speech to do as well!)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Unit 4 - Civil War

English 11 is almost out of our textbook! We are finishing up Unit 4, and this time period focuses on the Civil War, Naturalism, Regionalism, and Realism.

So far the students seem to like these pieces of literature more so than the poetry we just finished in Unit 3. Today we reviewed some Civil War information, the video and picture below helped keep things clear. We then began reading "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" by Ambrose Bierce. Students need to finish the story by Monday! There is a digital copy and audio link on the English 11 page. 

Friday, April 11, 2014


In English 11 we have been studying Emily Dickinson. Her life, poetry, and over all personality have been main topics here in B08. Luckily I am married to a wonderful English teacher at Southern Wells, and they just covered this same unit! So Mr. Burman shared with me this cool website/app and even the assignment he used. After a little tweaking and figuring out how to use it on the iPad, my students also began a project based around ThingLink. Below you find a link to my husbands class website, the actual assignment, and examples from class. Enjoy!

Mr. Burman's Class Website

Emily Dickinson ThingLink Assignment


Monday, April 7, 2014

Communication Skills

Speech class is preparing for their first chapter test tomorrow and finding out their own communication strengths and weaknesses! With a smaller class we are able to go more in depth with activities. Today we paired up and one side of the room watched as I tried to create an original shape artwork and then they tried to describe to their partner and have them recreate said art on their paper.

I would slowly take away helpful talents, proximity, hands, certain words, etc. They had a good time and figured out that some are better at taking instructions than giving them!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

In like a Lion out like a Lamb?

I can't believe is snowed over break. I am ready for sunny days and warm afternoons! I am also ready for the end of the school year. During the next few weeks I get to teach some of my favorite subjects and even the students perk up with the sunshine!

I am looking forward to the next 9 weeks! 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Tiger Dance Company - Halftime!

The TDC Jazz A group performed a few weeks ago for the boys Basketball Senior Night! The video is below along with a few pictures. The ladies are like a live commercial bringing more attention to our spring show on May 17th at 4pm. They will also be performing in BHS Idol on April 3rd!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A Nation is Born

English 11 is currently working on Unit 2  "A Nation is Born" and today we finished reading The Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson. We talks about all the persuasive techniques used and how this was basically a public letter telling the King of Britain to back off, we are our own country now! We then watched this video to help the students visualize the scenario.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Snow Days = More Time Together

The Administration, Teacher's Union, and School Board all approved the new schedule for making up some of our lost days during the "Snowpocolypse of 2014". Today I shared this information with my students. Please see the picture below for more details. As of now, I am not positive how the extra hour in school during March will be divided. I can only guess it will be dispersed evenly between periods. The extra hour will be spent in each period in sequence starting Monday.

Monday- 2:40 bell, 5 minute passing period, report to 1st period, 2:45 Bell, 55 minutes in class
Tuesday- 2:40 bell, 5 minute passing period, report to 2nd period, 2:45 Bell, 55 minutes in class
Wednesday- 2:40 bell, 5 minute passing period, report to 3rd period, 2:45 Bell, 55 minutes in class
Thursday- 2:40 bell, 5 minute passing period, report to 4th period, 2:45 Bell, 55 minutes in class
Friday- 2:40 bell, 5 minute passing period, report to 1st period, 2:45 Bell, 55 minutes in class

Sunday, February 23, 2014

A week in review....

This past week was great, we went to school 4/5 days, that is something to be celebrated! We completed several assignments and are starting to get into a rhythm.

English 11 just finished Unit 1 and did very well on the final, the average for both classes was a B+ they should all be proud. Also, first period and I, we are famous! Check this out, we were on the front page of the NewsBanner.

Speech spent a few days watching a film called, The King's Speech we have been studying how sound is made and how we create vowel/consonant sounds, take deep breaths, and so on. This film helped students see speech issues as something more serious. We will be doing a finish up activity on Monday and I am sure many students will enjoy the end of the movie! 

Thursday, February 6, 2014


With more days away from the classroom and school, there seem to be even more adjustments needed. Please check this website and your course/sport/activity page for more information.

English 11 - Your essays are due the first day we are back! 

Speech - We have one more lab work day and then the speeches begin! 

Swim - As of NOW (Thursday roughly 10am) the sectionals meet is still on! 

Tiger Dance Company - I will be posting a video SOON with new choreography. I am not worried about us learning! All costumes have been ordered, and we have pompoms ready! 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

New Speech Class!

Mixed in with snow days, delays and really cold weather, I have had the privilege of getting to work with a brand new speech class! We just finished up Chapter 1 and are now on..... wait for it.... CHAPTER 2! Crazy. Here is a little video about the first group presentations:

Sunday, January 12, 2014

New Year, New Schedule

This is one reason I love block schedule, I get to meet so many students because I get all new course after winter break (what a break that was huh?) Well, I am happy to have you as a student. Feel free to browse the site and ask lots of questions. It will be a fun, yet educational ride here in B08.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Winter Wonderland > New Semester.

Looks like the snow, ice, wind, temperatures and overall blizzard type weather has kept us from starting the new semester. I hope to see all my new students, swimmers, and dancers very soon. Until then, stay warm and enjoy a little extra time home. 

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