Monday, June 13, 2022

Highlights of the 2021 - 2022 School Year

 This academic year had it's ups and downs, and we made it to the end! Time to celebrate all that we've worked hard to accomplish! The highlights are in chronological order (from September until the end of the year. 

1. Student Interviews

At the start of the school year I was so excited to be back in the building with students! Even though teaching 9 months pregnant was hard, I loved getting to know students as we conducted "student interviews". It was fun to talk about families, pets, places to travel, and fears in Spanish. 

2. Locura de marzo

I was excited to return knowing that we would be completing Locura de marzo together! This is always one of my favorite units, and I felt the same this year even though no me gusto the winning song. It was so close on some of the votes! 

3. Class Characters & Individual Characters

This year we had the opportunity to create class characters and have student artists draw them as we were creating them! Each class had a unique and special character that had quite the interesting story. Then we leveled up and had students create their own characters. Each class voted for the best character created by a student (pictured below)!

4. Special Events in World History Class

In World History we had a fun finish as we had a Mr. Patrick Campbell from GASP-PGH come speak to the class about Pittsburgh Air Quality (this tied into our China Unit as we compared the causes and effects of pollution in China to our lives in Pittsburgh). 

First period also had a special "chopstick competitions" where JC, using unconventional (but effective) methods, was able to win the race!

5. Growth in Speaking Skills

The final (and greatest) highlight of this year is how many Spanish students improved their speaking skills! We played the Question & Answer game a few times to practice answering questions in Spanish about our class stories and the Locura de marzo, and it was great to hear students say complex sentences from their head! (Using notes was OK too!) For 7th and 8th graders I checked their speaking individually with volleyball translations of our class story and so many students had strong pronunciation and understanding of the story! It was so nice to hear students speak after a year online and being out on leave. 

I'm so excited to build on the growth we accomplished this year! Have a great summer!

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

A Fresh Start For the Head and the Heart

It's been a year of transitions! At the start of the year we transitioned back into in-person learning, and as we were getting in the swing of things I had a baby and was out for awhile. Now I'm ready to return and finish the year strong. 

David my son (in his "monobobsled" because we were watching the Winter Olympics), Mike my husband, myself and the newest family member Evelyn.

For seventh grade Individuals and Societies classes we are going to continue with the unit on India, learning about Hinduism, Buddhism and the caste system. 

For all Spanish classes we will be participating in our annual Locura de marzo, a music competition built in a similar way as NCAA's March Madness. All Spanish students at Obama will be voting on these songs to select the school favorite! You can get a sneak peak of the songs in the video below or listen to all of them on this Spotify playlist.

One thing I love about my job is that I'm a student's Spanish teacher for a few consecutive years (and sometimes even across subjects). This has alleviated at least one challenge of the pandemic because I get to develop a relationship and leverage the strengths of my students. I also know what I taught them in previous years, and they know my classroom expectations. I wanted to write up a few reminders that will carry over from last year (and probably continue next year as well). 

  • Schoology will be updated with folders for each week. 
    • There is a Week at a glance document that will contain important information about goals for each lesson, links to assignments, directions for missed/make up work and due dates. This should be the place students and parents go to answer questions like What did I miss? and I'm going to be out what do I need to do? 
    • In Home Access Center (HAC), in the description of the assignment, I will reference the folder on Schoology where the work/directions can be found. 
  • In general, work for the previous week will be due the following Monday. For example, work assigned the week of March 7th - 11th needs to be turned in by 7:30am Monday March 14th. (This gives students time to get it to me during homeroom.) 
  • Please review the Welcome Letter posted in Schoology for information about grade categories and the late work policy.
While I am so grateful for the time I got to spend with my family, my passion is teaching, and I'm excited to return to the classroom and work with my students.