Monday, March 29, 2010

Friday, March 26

Rose #1: The lowest score on my Of Mice and Men test was 55/60! The essays were FANTASTIC.

Rose #2: We got through all of the material in my last class despite my students' best efforts to drive me insane. This is a big accomplishment on a Friday afternoon when it's raining outside.

I hope you stopped to smell the roses today!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thursday, March 25

Rose #1: One of my students just said, "Embroiled? Does that mean deep fried?" I can already tell it won't get any better than that today! :)

I hope you stopped to smell the roses today!

Wednesday, March 24

Rose #1: The SUNSHINE! :)

Rose #2: Healthy legs for running!

Rose #3: My 11th grade students started a conversation yesterday comparing the movie version of Of Mice and Men to the video version we were watching. I'm proud of them for taking the intiative to start the discussion on their own!

I hope you stopped to smell the roses today!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tuesday, March 23

Rose #1: My rose for today is that after a long day of teaching, I was rewarded with one of my best up and coming "leaders" being elected vice-president of our Key Club for next year. This student is sort of a project of mine and I'm so excited that the other students saw the potential in him that I see.

I hope you stopped to smell the roses today!

Monday, March 22

Rose #1: One of my students knew every answer to Of Mice and Men review Jeopardy!

Rose #2: My tenth graders actually liked the black & white version of Lord of the Flies and they TOLD me they liked it.

Rose #3: My students were impressed that I let them watch an episode of The Simpsons in class. I was shocked myself.

I hope you stopped to smell the roses today!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

This made my heart smile.....

Rose #1: Found in a student's journal:

"The way I react to coming in 2nd or 3rd place is that you did your best and came out strong. One time, I was at church and they was talking about racing. I learned that it didn't matter if you came out 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place. The only words they should hear is 'well done.'"

Rose #2: My journals in general! I haven't been good about reading them over the past couple of weeks, but every week I choose an article from's Current Events archives. Students respond to a question. These journals impressed me at first mostly because the students who started off writing very short responses that basically just reiterated class discussion or summarized the article began writing longer responses and including personal examples. Now I'm noticing that students have become, for the most part, so thoughtful in their responses.

I hope you stopped to smell the roses today!

Tuesday, March 16

Rose #1: Today was tornado drill day in Virginia. Because we are housed in trailers, for tornado drills, we have to go over to the high school which is across two parking lots from us. As you can imagine, my students despise doing this because they realize that if there was really a tornado, we wouldn't have advanced warning so that we could walk casually over to the high school. However, they were EXTREMELY well-behaved. In fact, the students from the high school were much more poorly behaved, in my opinion, and the drill ended up lasting longer than it was supposed to because the other students weren't in place on time. I was proud of my kids. (Also, during the tornado drill, I got to see one of my students from last year who transferred back to that high school. That was DEFINITELY a bright spot in my day because I really miss her!)

I hope you stopped to smell the roses today!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Monday, March 15

Rose #1: I attended an IEP meeting today for a student I have who suffers from a severe lack of a short-term memory. He has always struggled with writing, but for this most recent IEP meeting, we were able to eliminate the writing goal, as he has reached it. It felt good during the meeting to know that he is making so much progress on his writing and his academic goals in my class. He's not very self-confident, especially since he knows that he has this "disability" that he can't do anything about. I felt good knowing that something I'm doing is working, and I felt motivated to try to do even more.

Rose #2: One of my students who exercises an inconsistent amount of effort in the classroom came up to me today to show me his poetry project. The project was assigned last week and students have two full class periods to work on it. The rest they have to complete on their own. This student showed me how much he had done and, while his project didn't look like MY project would, if I did one, he has definitely put a lot of effort into it, and some of that effort had to go on outside of school. I'm really excited to see his final project, and I'm hopeful that he doesn't quit.

I hope you stopped to smell the roses today!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday, March 12

Rose #1: It's Friday.

Rose #2: One of my students came up to me today and said, "Ms. Oxley, online it says I have 100% in your class right now." I said, "Yes, that's correct." He said, "My mom wants to know how that's possible." Hilarious.

Rose #3: When my principal came in to observe me today, 7 out of my 8 students were in engaged in their silent reading. Snaps for me.

Rose #4: I told the blusher he looked nice today. He blushed.

I hope you stopped to smell the roses today.

Thursday, March 11

Rose #1: Can I just say that I LOVE being the kind of teacher kids know they can go to if they need a classroom to hang out in in the morning before classes start? I really, really love that.

Rose #2: I got to go review two new textbook series for next year this afternoon. It was so fun! :)

I hope you stopped to smell the roses today!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Wednesday, March 10

Rose #1: The ipods were GREAT! The kids were quiet & working.

Rose #2: I started working with a homebound student today. Basically, she used to be a student at my school but was dismissed for the year, but awarded a homebound placement. I'll work with her ten hours a week for the rest of the school year. This is always really exciting for me because it gives me the chance to work one-on-one with students which is what I really love about teaching anyway, and it gives me the opportunity to teach history, science, and math, which I don't usually get to teach! (Oh, and I make bank. Booyah.)

I hope you stopped to smell the roses today!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tuesday, March 9

Rose #1: I picked up copies of Lord of the Flies and Of Mice and Men, the audio versions, from the library this weekend. I put them on my computer and through itunes have been able to put them on the ipods we're lucky enough to have at my school. A few students actually seemed EXCITED at the idea of getting to listen to the story instead of having to read it. I hope it works!

Rose #2: A ton of students in my first class got caught up on missing work by asking me what they needed to do instead of me chasing them around with make up work. That was exciting because they're grades went up just in time for interims and I have a lot less stress about trying to get them to do that missing work now!

Rose #3: I got to "order" furniture today for my NEW classroom in our NEW building! This has nothing to do with children, but it was, nonetheless, a very exciting part of my day.

I hope you stopped to smell the roses today.

Monday, March 8

Rose #1: SOL week is over. No more staying after school with students for preparation purposes.

That is all.

I hope you stopped to smell the roses today.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Thursday, March 4

Rose #1: I opened a student's journal today and read this, in response to the prompt, "What would you do if you were homeless?": Head to wilderness, build a shelter, hunt and survive for the remainder of my days. I wouldn't want to be helped.

This is the student who reminds me of Dwight Shrute from The Office.....I think maybe you can tell why, based on this journal entry. It gave me a good laugh!

Rose #2: I've been waiting to hear whether or not I've been accepted to the Eastern Virginia Writing Project's Summer Institute for this coming summer. I just heard yesterday. When I told my class I was accepted, they clapped! It was mildly out of character for them, but it was absolutely adorable.

I hope you stopped to smell the roses today!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Tuesday, March 2

Rose #1: Today, my freshmen students wrote odes. I wish I could post them all here, but some wouldn't be that funny to all of you, given that you don't know my students. What I do want to include here is a "bode," which is the name I came up with for an ode to something bad, or something that you don't like.

"Bode to My Four-Wheeler"

You may be fast, but piss me off
I fix you when you'r ebroke
I ride you, and I clean you
I dry you, and I feed you

When we ride I go through mud
You bottom out so we go no where
YOu get stuck and dig two ruts
Only to find out this really sucks

I pop your clutch in second gear
We pop wheelies in the air
Then come down and only to find
Your chain on the ground in a twine

I hope you stopped to smell the roses today!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Monday, March 1

Rose #1: My freshmen students are still studying poetry, and will be until the end of the school year. As you can imagine, this really excites them........and me. However, I have discovered the key to making poetry fun: The Twilight Zone. Apparently, my students love it, and luckily for me, The Twilight Zone producers chose to make many episodes that relate to poetry. We watched "Come Wander With Me" yesterday because we were learning about ballads. That was the reward for doing the hard work of graphing the syllables in a few stanzas of "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner." Graphing the syllables caught on very, very well with one of my classes of freshmen last week, but the class I had today did not understand. This afternoon, I was pleased to have the opportunity to sit down with several students one-on-one to do these graphs. One of my students, and I guess this is the real "rose" of the day, was looking at what I was writing on the board and had suddenly LEARNED something. I had a ballad stanza written on the board, and for those who don't know, the lines have 8 syllables, then 6 syllables, then 8 syllables, then 6 syllables, so they are lines of 4, 3, 4, 3 feet. The student said, "Ms. Oxley, I just realized that if there are 8 syllables and 4 feet, when you divide it, that's two!" And I said, "Yes, that's because in poetry, a foot is two syllables." It was one of those moments where I knew I could tell students over and over how many syllables are in a foot, but until it clicks in their minds, it doesn't mean anything.

I hope you stopped to smell the roses today!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Friday, February 26

Rose #1: I use a weekly journal activity with my students. I used an article today about schools in China. It sparked an almost hour long discussion with my senior students about what the goal of education should be. It was a very, very exciting morning for me. For the most part, my students spoke very intelligently on the subject, which really impressed me. I think we're always hearing such bad things about our youth today; it's always nice to hear examples of how they're interested and motivated.

I hope you stopped to smell the roses today!