Tuesday, December 4, 2018

100 Years and Going

We are celebrating a big birthday around here.

The Comet, our school run newspaper, is turning 100 this year.

100 years of stories, pictures, and memories. We are actually the oldest paper in Wells County! How cool is that? On December 14th, during a coffee social hosted by the student council, the staff will be passing out our retro version of The Comet. Come get yours, and some coffee next Friday!

Here is a little story The News-Banner put together for the community.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Fog to Close November

Please see your respective class pages to see what we have planned for this surprise day off. It was like the higher power knew that after a 2 day week, BHMSD just could not fully handle a 5 day week. All eLearning will be due on Wednesday December 5th (Tanner Cooley's Birthday). 

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Ice Ice Baby - eLearning

All assignments are posted to my website AND Canvas.
Check out the listings and email me with questions.

Stay warm, don't fall, and make good choices.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Spooky Stories

Juniors are currently working on their Gothic Literature Analysis Essays and they might be dreading it a little. They did however seem to enjoy the actual story the essay is centered around. We were able to read "The Fall of the House of Usher" by Edgar Allan Poe during the week of Halloween and it was great. The students seemed to be pretty entertained by the scary story and loved my verbal reviews.

After reading the essay, we took notes on Gothic Literature, talked about the four elements needed to be considered Gothic Literature and started exploring the reading to find these qualifications. After finding two examples for each element, we started reviewing MLA Requirements and began writing our essays.

This will be our first essay using direct quotes and is going to be a great way to warm up to parenthetical documentation before our large research project at the end of the semester.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Getting Social

English 11 is off and working on their second essay. They are working on their Autobiographical Narrative. It will be due next week, but we are using class time to get it done!

Publications is starting to feel more like a well oiled machine. We have our new camera, and two new lens. We did a little Burman Photography Boot Camp and the hard work with the camera is paying off! Follow along as we post throughout the year on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!

We have three rules when it comes to success with a camera.

1. Find the Light
2. Find the People
3. Fill the Frame

See how my students are doing! I am also pushing them by teaching them manual, they have control over ISO, F-stop, and Shutter Speed, even back of camera focus. I am so proud!

Monday, August 27, 2018

Didn't Miss a Beat

I love the start of the school year. Yes, we are in fact starting week 3 and it is starting to feel like we found a rhythm. I am in a great spot as a teacher this year. I have had 98% of my students already. They know me, I know them. This makes the first moments of the year more productive and fun.

In American Literature [English 11] we are finishing up our Myths Films? Don't worry I will post a few here when they are all done. I loved seeing the students be creative and find their strengths in story telling. I gave the project requirements, they made the rubric and had time to finish it throughout the week.

Publications have been busy with Ad Sales and getting things organized. We are learning together and with the help of our wonderful Editor in Chief (Hailey) things are taking form. We can't wait to show you what we have been working on, until then, follow us on social media! Twitter and Instagram are our main places to post, Facebook is coming soon!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Stealing Like Poets

We will be diving into Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman in the coming days. Before we are flooded with poetry terms and style details, we will become poets ourselves.

Poetry can be so scary; word choice, meter, rhyming, ugh. Overwhelmed is an understatement. So we will be stealing word to build poems. I love Blackout Poetry and how studnets become so creative when given a page of words to choose from. Check out a TedTalk by Austin Kleon about how Blackout Poetry started.

I gathered old books that were too damaged to be used at the library. Then ripped the pages out [it was liberating] and borrowed a ton of markers. I guided the students by showing them previous years examples and gave them some helpful tools.

  1. Find Anchors - These are often nouns or strong verbs.
  2. Build Emotion - Find words that surround these anchors the build emotion.
  3. Direction - We read top to bottom and left to right, so try to follow that flow.
  4. Focus - Do not read the entire page, look for words, not the story! 
  5. Color - Make it clear which words make up your poems, use the markers for this.

The results have been amazing. Take a look as the worked, so creative and committed. These are the things teachers heart live on.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Kind Words and Speeches

Today was my current Speech student's first speech. They did so good and I love getting to show them the video of all there positive comments. They giggle, and they joke about it, but I really do think seeing their positive comments makes this first speech go so much smoother than in years before. I am so proud of how hard the students are working to make their speeches perfect! They use notecards, handwritten outlines and formal outlines on Google Docs to keep things organized. Check out their video of positive comments and see some behind the scenes of preparing for speeches.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Newbies and Gameplans

It is a new quarter. The LAST quarter of the year. Time has been flying by this year. The weather in the last few weeks has been crazy. I only got to spend two days with my new speech class before Spring Break, thank you random snow day. So we have been spending more time together and growing together. I live and breath the idea of a Speech class needing to be comfortable with each other, much like a family.

We have been doing speed interviews and even an activity called "White Board Love" where kids write nice things around the frame of a student to help them build confidence. I will be sure to share the end result! Speech class will continue growing and completing the first few chapters before writing and presenting their first speech.

English 11 is in the middle of my favorite unit. We are working through Romanticism, Gothic Literature, and Transcendentalism. My favorite authors are in this unit and the studnets are currently enjoying Edgar Allan Poe. The dreary weather has made it even creepier when reading these scary stories. We will be working on our third writing assignment this week and focusing on direct quotes.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Persuading and Equiano

Just when I was ready for a full week of instruction, one of my stinkers gets a fever and Ben is giving ISTEP at his school, so here we are! Or, should I say there I am not?

Either way, here are the plans for both classes. I seem a little sleepy in the videos BUT I promise you get the idea and can follow along with what I expect. Behave, stay off your phones and learn a little while I am gone!



Tuesday, February 6, 2018

February 6 - eLearning

Here are the game plans for elearning today!

I want to take a moment and remind you that I expect this work to be done and will not be coddling you as far as make up work. Do you work and do it without a babysitter.


 English 11

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Positive Thoughts

I love positive affirmations for yourself, but hearing these nice things from your peers can be even more impactful. Each speech class will experience this fun activity. We take turns sitting against a whiteboard while classmates write kind and positive comments around our heads. I snap a picture, erase and make a video for them to see the comments [for the first time] the day of their first speech!

All few positive comments can change someones day, especially before they tackle their fear of public speaking. Cheers to being kind and staying positive.

Monday, January 22, 2018


I love learning about my students and their skill sets. In Speech we spend a large amount of time getting to know each other and finding out strengths. During this snap shot we were trying to figure out if we were better at giving directions or taking directions. I designed this lesson years ago and EVERY single time, I love it more.

Here are the details:

This activity will help students determine their strengths and weaknesses in communication and help them view the communication as a process.

Pair off students and have one face the board while the other faces away. The students are facing each other though! Draw a figure on the board that is not ordinary.

Ask the student facing the board to describe the figure so that the other student can draw it on a piece of paper without looking. Allow the student describing to use hand gestures, shape words and all things that might help.

After completing the first figure begin restricting parts of the communication, (No hands! Or No using shape words!). Draw a new figure and allow them to continue.

Let both students be describers. After completing the activity discuss why communication is a complex process that requires eye contact, vocal cues, and gestures.

Here is what it looks like:

Friday, January 12, 2018

eLearning is the new learning.

So we are on day 2 of eLearning and after teaching online for a while, this is not difficult, but it is not fun. I love getting to talk with my students and laugh with them, and give them my full attention. Being home with my 4 year old [who insists we do homeschool if we miss school] and my 2 year old [who just wants to eat all day] makes it hard to focus on my classes!

I will be by my email all day, but to help you be a bit more clear on instructions, here are some videos.... staring my kids.


English 11: 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Hello There!

Well, here we are, new year, new classes, new teacher.

I am excited to have all new student rosters as the new year begins. I have always enjoyed block scheduling so that I can meet and enjoy more students. I have several familiar faces and I can't wait to grow along side my students this year.

I made a few personal and professional resolutions for 2018. My teacher resolutions are as follows:

Share my knowledge of technology with students NOT just other teachers

I love educational technology, "duh" right? I found myself almost hiding cool new things I found from my students. So now when I find a cool new application or game or tool, I am going to share and possibly make students use it for projects!

Come earlier to school and stay a little later

I blame my beautiful little babies for this one, I just don't want to leave them! I have found though, rushing around in the morning in front of my students creates a terrible tone. I want to have everything ready to go in hopes of my students following suit.

Grade all items within one week

I love collecting things digitally. I can just go home and grade via my iPad or home desktop, BUT without the heavy load of paper, I forget I have things to grade. This past semester was the worst ever. I will be better. I plan to set alarms!

Read all assigned novels over again

Have you ever watched a movie and learned something new about a character or plot line? Well same goes with a good book. Trust me our assigned reading is great and I need to re-read all of them and fall in love all over again.

Be a more caring teacher

I have a hard time seeing students as people. There is a big separation between the person and the student, just like me. I am a teacher by day and a mommy, photographer, blogger, wife, coach, cook, maid, etc. by night. I have more going on outside of these four walls and so do the wonderful people in my room each day. Please note, caring does not mean pushover. You don't do the work, you don't get the points, however if you come in and talk with me, we can figure something out. 

Have you made any resolutions for 2018, do any apply specifically to your student life, home life, professional life?

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