Mentoring and Support for Family and Consumer Sciences Teachers
You are probably all experiencing TAKS week in your schools. Hopefully your students will do well. Remember that CTE courses play a huge role in helping all students apply the knowledge they learn in core courses. If you are ever challenged about not being responsible for TAKS testing, remind those core courses that CTE students have a special column on the disaggragation chart for your school. It is posted how well CTE students rate according to their PEIMS code of either a 2 or 3. Data show that students who take a coherent sequence of CTE courses and/or take a Tech Prep or Dual Credit CTE course score higher on their TAKS tests than a non CTE student in a coherent sequence. So you see, we CTE teachers have a hugh impact for our students and their ability to perform on the TAKS.
Wishing you all a successful week.
Since my students have been busy writing papers and I have been posting on this blog, I purchased a book entitled Rules for Writers by Diana Hacker. It has information about the writing process, grammar, punctuation, research, ESL challenges and more. I purchased the spiral bound edition because it is easy to use.
Sometimes we forget simple rules about writing, so this book serves as an excellent resource. There is a companion website: http://dianahacker.com/rules. Be sure to include this book in your collection!
My students have been giving presentations about their animal projects this week. We have learned so much information about everything from butterflies to zebras, dolphins to rattlesnakes. I recall some of my students asking me “Why are we going to write papers about animals in this class?” My response was “Because animals and human beings are a parallel on earth.” Now they understand.
Allow me to share some interesting facts we have covered:
* Monarch butterflies are distasteful/poisonous to birds because of the milkweed their larvae eat.
* Koala bears sleep about 15 to 20 hours a day, are territorial and male koalas have nothing to do with raising their young.
* Panda bears do not hibernate because they don’t build enough fat needed for hibernation due to their vegetarian diets, the female panda can get pregnant only one day during the year and may have two to three cubs. She will pay attention to the first born cub and the others will not survive.
* Some types of snakes lay eggs, but the rattlesnake gives live birth. The eggs are carried inside the female’s body and, once fertilized, are carried for approximately 90 days. The eggs hatch inside her body and she then gives birth.
* Wolves are born blind, deaf and completely dependent on their mother. By the age of eight months they are able to hunt for their own food.
* A zebdonk is a cross between a Burchell’s zebra and a donkey.
It is quite interesting to learn about animals and their physical characteristics, diets, and habitats. Also fascinating are their behaviors for mating and reproduction, communication and how they parent.
My students are required to submit a paper (title page, a report 3-5 pages in length, a bibliography and note cards) as well as either a poster, PowerPoint or “Show’n'Tell” for this project. This allows them to demonstrate effective communication skills (verbal, nonverbal, written and electronic). They are also reinforcing lessons from other courses (science, geography, art, english, etc.) and this, in turn, will help them expand their horizons!
My last blog was about our animal project (research papers/reports). A video that I like to show my students about animals is a PBS Home Video: Baby Animals with Whoopi Goldberg at the San Diego Zoo. My students really enjoy it as it features a variety of adorable baby animals. The video is very informative and interesting, and it actually holds their attention!
I happen to be in San Diego this Easter holiday. I have plans of going to the zoo to see the exhibits. As an animal lover, I am delighted to visit the San Diego Zoo every chance I can. We can learn so much from animals… they certainly play an important role here on earth.
Congratulations to all you new and returning teachers who have made it to this final six weeks period of the 08-09 school year. You should pat yourselves on the back and smile with self-pride. Perhaps you were able to initiate some new techniques into a classroom gone slightly stale or maybe you got involved with FCCLA by entering STAR Events and/or Proficiency Events, running an officer, participating in LEO, or bringing FCCLA members to the area leadership workshops or a region meeting. All of you are to be commended for sticking it out and choosing to move forward even when times got tough. As Angelina alluded to in an earlier posting, we all have some of those troublesome students or times in our classrooms, but as we persevere, we become stronger and learn a great deal from the “battle scars”. So relish in the fact that you have made it this far and that the end is in sight.
Remember to look for the e-mail coming soon to announce the state in-service for FCS teachers that will take place this summer. It is a power packed conference that will renew your teaching strategies, provide you with many ideas, and renew friendships with other FCS teachers across the state. Even after 30 or so of these conferences, it never fails to stimulate my interest in another school year. Also the State FCCLA Leadership Conference is coming up next week in Corpus. Hope to see some of you there with your students.
If you have any questions about finishing out the year, blog us and maybe we can help. Happy end of school year to you all.
My students work on research papers about animals (or, “aminals”, as my niece would say when she was three years old) for Child Development class. Several interesting facts about animals are covered in this assignment; such as habitat, mating habits, and how they treat their young. The students write research papers on the animal of their choice and later give presentations about them. The presentations are given using posters, powerpoint or even as show’n'tell. I usually like to teach my students about some of my pets: box turtles. I started out with four turtles about ten years ago, now I have forty! I take a turtle, or two, and teach my students about them. Needless to say, I’ve learned quite a bit about turtles over the years!
There is so much to learn about animals! I enjoy finding out which animals my students select for their projects. Their choices give me more insight about them. They seem to really enjoy this assignment, and are learning about skills for the writing process and how to prepare for presentations at the same time!
One note of interest, check out ”Christian the Lion- Reunited-from The View” on YouTube. It is a warming story about two men and a lion cub. . . . . I have seen it so many times, and I still cry every time I see it! Just click on “Christian the Lion” at the beginning of this blog for the link.
I was busy this afternoon, reading various articles on children and how they learn. My neighbor’s 11 year old daughter, Vienna, is a frequent visitor and called me in the morning. I told her I was busy with my “homework” and that I would call her later in the evening. The phone rang this evening and it was Vienna, asking me if I was busy. I informed her that I finished my work and invited her over.
I had to mow the lawn, and as I did, Vienna re-arranged my patio furniture for me. I expressed my delight in the way she arranged the furniture. She then surprised me by placing my 2 chaises on the lawn, complete with a small table between them, beautifully adorned with a vase filled with three purple flowers from the vinca plants beneath my mulberry tree. I thought it an appropriate time to read some books together when she suggested we read some stories. I went inside and selected one of the “too many” children’s books in my collection, The Quiltmaker’s Gift. She asked if I wanted to read it to her, or if she should read the book. I told her I liked her voice and that I wanted to listen to her read. So, there we were, Vienna and I, outstretched on chaises, spending some quality time together.
A few moments, spent with a dear child, creating beautiful memories for both of us.