Monthly Archives: July 2013

You Have Questions…

Thank you to all those who have already completed the 7th Grade Survey for me (I’m still waiting for 15 more…hint, hint, nudge, nudge). As you will recall, the final question for that survey is “What questions do you have for me?” Since most of you have included a question or two, I thought I should start answering them. [Sidenote: You’ve been asking some really interesting questions, by the way! Keep ’em coming!!]

  • Why did you decide to teach seventh grade? Well, to be perfectly honest…I didn’t. I had always planned on teaching high school history, but God had a different plan for me…and I listened. I was working as a teacher’s assistant down at St. Isidore’s when I got a call that they needed a teacher to finish out the school year at CTK. And I’ve been here ever since!
  • What will we be learning in social studies this year? Seventh grade social studies focuses on world history. We begin, briefly, with the fall of the Roman Empire and work our way up to about the 1500s, with stops along the way in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.
  • Will we be doing many group projects? I firmly believe that being able to work well in a group is one of the most important skills you will learn in middle school. So, yes, you will have many opportunities to work with your classmates on assignments and projects. And, in case you’re wondering, I don’t give group grades…I give individual grades. I don’t believe that a student who does more than their fair share of the work should receive the same grade as someone who does no work. Do you?
  • How can I be successful in your class? Ooohhhh…great question! I suppose I could give you the standard teacher line: “Do your work. Turn in your work. Study, study, study!” But I’m going to assume you’ll do that anyway. So my answer to that question will take a slightly different route: 
    • Ask Questions. If you aren’t sure about something, ask someone who probably has the answers. It might be me…it might be Google. But ask your questions sooner rather than later. There’s no sense in putting off the learning!
    • Learn to Love Learning. If you can find something fascinating about everything you learn, school will be easy! But more importantly, you will live a long, happy life with a strong, healthy brain!
    • Have fun! Learning is cool! Come to school every day with an open mind and a positive attitude and we’ll have an awesome year!
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how cray cray would you say you are? Well, since the person who asked this question has an older sibling who has been through my class already, I’ll just respond with, “I believe I’ve already answered your question.”

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Touch Wood in a Japanese Forest With Bach

Your assignment for this summer’s day is to watch this video and then ask yourself what kind of genius it took to create it. How much time and effort went in to creating this video? Was it worth it? More importantly, was it worth it to those who created the video?

Now, after you’ve answered those questions, it’s time for you to think about your own genius. What would you be willing to put this much time and effort into? Once you have an answer to that question…

Go out and do it!!

P.S. If you’d like to read more about this commercial (yes, commercial!), visit this page: Touch Wood in a Japanese Forest. There’s also a video that shows how they created the original video.

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July 23, 2013 · 7:19 am

Google Drive iPad Portfolio


Are you ready to use iPads for school this year? I know I am! If you’d like to get yourself ready to jump right in, you might want to watch this video on using the Google Drive app. It’s an excellent explanation of how to navigate around the app and will help you to be ready to start using Google Docs right away.

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July 21, 2013 · 6:52 pm