Monday, January 3, 2011

Week 17(January 2011)- Most Frustrating Semester Ever for me.

I have missed weeks 3-16, too busy!

For many reasons this semester has been very frustrating for me. [Huge Initial class sizes, Department Under Staffed, New Bell Schedule,VERY IMMATURE BOYS, PLC meetings(doublespeak for dept meetings), Rookie Year as LEGO Robotics Coach]
In restrospect I must say my attitude has been at least 50% of the problem.

I think I have found balance and am ready to proceed and have a lot of fun with my students.

I think I forgot to to this, have fun with my students, this past 16 weeks.

I did Present this October at the Cal Sci Teachers Conference. Pictured with me are my colleagues, co-presenters, and friends: Mary Nelson, Kendia Herrington and Paul Lake)

I did get to visit the Kennedy Space Center in November. Totally awesome trip! I am pictured in front of the Command Module from Apollo 14.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Week 2 (Sept 2010): Light at the end of the tunnel.

The 2nd week of school for me is having the students finish their Mini Science Projects (see weeks 1 and 2 from last years posts) and do the Discovery lab. We did those this week. This week is usually the week of procedures and routines being set and the rythem of back to school is well in motion.

My only problem this year are classes with exceedingly high numbers. All of my class are 42 up to 57. Amazing how difficult it is to get work done with that many students. We will be interviewing for a 60% 8th grade Science Teacher position (3 periods) next week. This is the light at the end of the tunnel.

I was asked to attend 5 hours of on-line interactive "webinars" for our new PLC format of conducting lessons. I asked to be removed from those sessions. I felt bad, as if I were not a team player. Between high numbers of students and pay reduction and my consideration of becomming the LEGO Robotics coach I felt that losing 5 hours of my time was too much to give. If the sessions had been on something that would directly benefit my students I would have done it. I feel like a bad guy. I have to push this "feeling" aside but it is difficult and has bothered me much.

Love to teach and teach with passion!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Week 1 (Aug 2010): Rough Start. Too Many Students!

Photo of me Pointing at a heavy
Russian Airlift plane with a
Zeppelin in back ground under
the tail and the end of Hanger 1 to frame it!

Summer has come an gone. Wild-Wonderful-Exciting first 2 weeks of summer at NASA Ames working with college students and helping them become teachers

A week of camping and cabin maintenance and 4th of July weekend
Me, Bro-In-Law Brian,
Nephew Jared fixing deck

About 2 weeks of repainting the master bedroom and trips to my hometown of Bishop.

Jan and I In front of the Margerie Glacier
About a week preparing for the following 2 week trip up the West coast, Vancouver B.C. and Alaska on a cruise ship, culminating in Glacier Bay.

About a week of recovery from vacation, and making a rabbit hutch for my son then it was time to get back to work with school!

The Kinney Boys at the Boeing
Flight Museum, Seattle.
Ya, I grew a beard, started as a joke at a friend, but then the joke was on me when my wife liked me better with one!

Week in Review Aug 23-27

I have 54 students in one class! THe res are over 40.  I have seats normally for 40, with an average class size of 35 kids over the past 5 years.  My school district, Clovis Unified, has High class numbers compared to 25 being the average in neighboring school districts. Because of these high class numbers this has been the worst start of the year I have ever experienced in 24 years. I really like my students, there are just too many of them. 

My honors science class gave me an ovation yesterday after the burning can demo (see week 1 posts from last August).

Well, tough start to get it done, be positive, and help anyone I can.

Love to teach and Teach with Passion!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Summer School Day 11: Last day fo NASA PSTI Summer school

Friday June 25, 2010

I was up all but 2 hours last night. I have learned not to this any more.  I sent the wrong version of the radar gram in early this morning. Then later I made the ending video too long by clicking FULL length in place of MAGIC movie.

We said good-bye .  24  strangers come together, create a team, make some friends build everlasting memories.  This has been like a whole school year compressed into 12 days. NASA Ames almost seems like a dream...a nice dream . I am so glad I made the videos.

I have learned a lot too. I have come away from, this with knowledge of creating YouTube videos, a few neat little techie programs, and the realization that I really enjoy working with adult students and will do more in the future.

Partial Lunar eclipse this morning at 4.  I SLEPT THROUGH IT. I've begun the process of catching up on sleep.

Summer School: Day 10: D-Day-lesson presentation time

Thursday June 24, 2010

NASA Ames PSTI 2010 Website with links to student blogs, web pages and YouTube videos

Day 9 YouTube Video -Practice Lessons

NASA Ames PSTI 2010 Day 10-D-Day, THE LESSON

New- NASA Ames PSTI2010 Virtual control tower ON MARS Day 3.2

ED building room 140 (MISSION CONTROL) opens at 8.
8:30 all hands meeting.
9:00 rooms almost all open for set up.
9:00-12:25 hurry up and wait.
12:25 students enter rooms and lessons begin. I am in the room with team GO Green.

All student teams have their rooms ready, have practiced, have re-practiced and are now beginning their lessons.  Smiles, cool "flight suits" to wear, neat models to use, decisions to make, calculations to do.

I am so proud the student teams that have come together, forged a team, dealt with issues, and made a totally cool , safe, and fun lesson for some children. Oh yes, there were gift bags given to the kids.

A channel 24 camera man enters the class and begins filming the students. As he leaves I call him to me and I stick my camera into his face and I say, "Good day. so what are you doing here this afternoon?".  He smiles, and says he's filming some really excellent and impressive science lessons. Tha t was fun.

Summer School: Day 9 : Practice

Wed June 23, 2010

NASA Ames PSTI 2010 Website with links to our blogs and beginnings of our webpages.

PSTI 2010 Day 8 YouTube video-practice lessons

Last day at NASA Ames and a fun one.
We spent all morning practicing the lessons.
Each team presented their lesson to the class (we have 4 teams),
2 teams acted as students. Each was given a slip of paper that said what kind of student they were, Examples: Always raised hand, does not want to participate, is out of their seat and distracting, Etc.
One group was an observer group and scored the presenting group with a rubric.

The challenge of the whole week and a half of training, and the 50 min lesson designed
A comet was just discovered on collision course wth the ISS. You have only minutes to gather needed supplies and then use an escape pod to take the crew to a nearby asteroid and crate a habitat to keep you alive for the 5 days needed to await a rescue.

Team Blue FAEA (Future Astronaut Educators of America) created a board game type solution to have students figure if enough room room of the escope is present.

Team Red focused on designin and then creatiing the habitat to sustain life.

Team GoGreen had students calculate how much of each resource (air, food, space suits, water etc) is needed, plot it on a graph, then put the material inside the escape pod to see if it fit. (see pic above)

Team Golden Stardust broke the class into different teams, gave each team a job to do in order to save themselves.

We left for Fresno. Got students checked into the dorms, set up our rooms with our supplies, and then called it a night at 7. I love this sign that hung on the railing at Sequoia Hall.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Summer School: Day 8-Practice lesson

NASA Ames PSTI 2010
(pre-service teacher institute )
Our last day here at Ames! Bummer. We are exhausted but happy with our time here.

It's late, 12:06 I'm about to go to bed. I'll update this tomorrow morning,

Here is the YouTube link from yesterday, Day 7.(Mon)

Here is the YouTube link for today, Day 8 (Tues) 

The visitor center will be the first place we go next year, right after team building or just before. I'd like to use the visitor center for the lesson on NASA's 5  charges (this is not the correct term but close) and the Patch design design.