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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Elective Teacher's Community's LiveJournal:

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Thursday, January 29th, 2009
1:39 am
Survey: Please help me with my action research project! :)

My name is Lily and I am currently going to NYU for grad school in educational theater (all grades) and secondary English.  I am currently doing an action research project on dramatic activities in the content classroom.  I have created a survey just for teachers.  It would mean so much to me if you guys could fill it out.  It would help me sooooooo much!

Thanks so much in advance.  This is the URL - http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=8D_2fKBNc9HIqM_2fVZeH6jQrg_3d_3d

Monday, July 7th, 2008
12:56 am
10 Themes for 10 Months Of School (ART)
After what I would consider a colossal failure with last years brand new Scott Foresman curriculum for art k-5 and my first year teaching that particular age range; I have decided to use 10 main themes for the school year and use the curriculum material to fill the themes.

This all comes from an amazing April of Earth Day activities. I spent a ton of time planning the month but when it was all said and done my students had: read the Little Critters book, "It's Earth Day", made their own recycled paper, created lists and drawings of recycled, reduced, and reused items, and had learned about rainforest conservation (as well as how to draw a toucan with oil pastels.) All of the items above were a smashing success and I would like to emulate the theme idea.

I am trying to determine which themes (not holiday related) that I can use with all of my grades with differentiated materials for Age and Grade Level Expectations. The ideas I have right now are listed below. PLEASE HELP ME WITH AS MANY THEMES AS YOU CAN THINK OF! I would be grateful for any ideas.

Under the Sea
Earth Day
The Beach
The Circus
Thursday, January 31st, 2008
12:02 pm
Help with a research project and support charities at the same time!
As part of my phD research project in English linguistics, I have developed a questionnaire.
I need quite a number of U.S. American teachers to answer it.

Now, this questionnaire does not actually ask for your personal opinions, it merely gives opinion statements and asks you which one sounds more positive. E.g. "I enjoy ice cream from time to time." vs. "Ice cream is the very best thing in the world." (The actual questionnaire, of course, has nothing to do with ice cream – that‘s just an example of the type of questions asked.)
I have decided to give an extra incentive for all volunteers. I cannot ‘pay’ you, but I offer to make a donation of 2$ for every completed questionnaire. And, the best thing: Every volunteer can decide to which organization his/her money will go! You can choose between
The American Red Cross,
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals,
Teaching inc.
After the first 20 questionnaires, I added further 10 dollars to the donation sum, and if I get 20 more, I will add 10 more dollars. That’s, of course, only a small symbolic ‘thank you’ gesture to express my sincere gratitude for your time and effort!

Answering the complete questionnaire will take – based on how quick a reader you are – 5 to 10 minutes.

If you would like to participate, just send me a PM or E-mail (judith dot buendgens hyphen kosten at gmx dot net), and you will receive your username, a password and a URL. At the end of the questionnaire you have the option to enter your e-mail address. If you do so, you will receive updates on how the project progresses and how much money will be donated.

Thank you very much!

Judith Buendgens-Kosten
Friday, March 16th, 2007
1:12 am
Wednesday, November 8th, 2006
3:11 pm
I'm doing a linoleum color reduction print with my high school printing class. The linoleum I have is kind of brittle and I know if heated, it will probably be softer. I don't have access to any type of oven, but do you think if I held an iron on it, it would work? Has anyone ever done this before? Any help would be appreciated!!

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2006
6:20 pm
Wednesday, September 20th, 2006
7:20 pm
Keying in numbers
I have an idea for my keyboarding class, but I need lots of input. One of the biggest problems I find with my seventh graders is that they don't know how to properly key in numbers. I have been going over practices and drills with them, but I want to do something fun.

I thought of putting a CD together of excerpts of songs that have numbers in them. You know how we all sing 867-530n-i-i-i-ine. I need more songs with numbers in them! If you can suggest Song/Artist, I can get them. This might not be ready this semester, but I have a new group in December that I can probably pull this together for.

Saturday, July 29th, 2006
4:44 pm
Professional Development
Is anyone out there going to the Linking Mathematics and Computer Science Workshop at Purdue University this upcoming week? Just curious is there are LJ members there. We don't seem to be an active group, but maybe a lot of readers?
Wednesday, May 10th, 2006
10:09 pm
My Story
I kind of sound like the brave art teacher defending the school with my trusty paintbrush and palette but...


x-posted to 1st year teachers and my own journal
Monday, May 1st, 2006
10:31 pm
Fabulous Art Project.
(x-posted to 1st year teachers and my journal)

I have finally documented a large scale project I have been working on for the last three weeks (6 if you count writing for approval).

Problem: Student destruction of school property was bringing down the morale of students and faculty.
Project: Paint the ceiling tiles so students will not destroy them.

I have included a picture and two links (None with students)

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Current Mood: content
Saturday, April 29th, 2006
9:36 pm
A Victory For Electives!
Florida State Legislation was just passed that will require all elementary aged students to take a fine art for at LEAST forty-five minutes a day five days a week! This means that elementary teachers that are given 25 minute classes or half day schedules will be able to become full time.

Most schools plan to make the changes far sooner than the legislation asks for (2010-2011 school year.)Also elective etachers will be hired by number of students not just school site. So, an elementary school with 1500 kids should have two teachers of most electives instead of just one music tacher and one art teacher.

The legislation for high school (to continue requiring a full credit to graduate) was removed though the full credit is required by No Child left Behind and federal law trumps state law so it was a useless change of words.

This was a full force piece of legislation. There was a task force created to handle problems and solutions in the fine arts and surveys were created to check for elective teachers. State legislators and school districts were quite schocked to find out that the money they allocated for fine arts was being used for reading etachers to try to pass the FCAT.

And out of that news came this legislation!
Thursday, April 20th, 2006
1:04 am
Childhood's End
I'm teaching Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End as the last book of the semester for Sci Fi class.The class is made up of seniors, half of which are rude and disrespectful and the other half of which sleeps through or otherwise spaces out during class...it's an elective that only 6 of the kids seem interested in taking. To combat this, I'm hoping to find SOMETHING to engage the students and also keep them busy and learning about sci fi literature until school ends on May 18 (thank goodness). I know this is a shot in the dark, but does anyone happen to have study questions (not study guides or summaries like sparknotes) or essay question ideas, discussion questions--or, hey, while I'm asking, any chapter quizzes/tests that I might be able to steal? I *really* don't want to have to reread the book and write all of this over again--which I'm in the process of doing right now--if some kind soul out there has some materials that he or she is willing to share :)

If that inot possible...do any of you know of an online source that might contain teaching materials for this book? I've looked pretty much everywhere with my 28.8 kbps modem and my search has been fruitless.

I'm cross- posting this everywhere because I'm desperate now! Thanks again! :)

Current Mood: hopeful
Monday, April 17th, 2006
12:59 pm
Art Jobs/Networking tips
I'm a 2nd year art teacher, and I teach at an urban school for "at-risk" students. I'm only part time, however, so I'm looking (again) for a full-time job. I was looking last year, but I was also wedding planning, so my job hunt was less-than-fruitful (though my marriage was and is superb). I'm also the only art teacher in the school, the only part time art-teacher in the district, and the only High School level teacher who doesn't teach at the main high school. I can hardly ever make it to faculty or department meetings because I have to have a second job. I feel completely isolated.

It's frustrating looking for art teaching positions, because there are not a lot of them, and I have no idea how many other qualified teachers I'm up against. The problem is that I know modern job hunting has less to do with your qualifications than it does with who you know. There are just so many qualified candidates for any given job. So it comes down to networking. I've been to a job fair, have another one coming up, and I've had one interview, but I don't feel like I know anyone. I'm planning to be at the local Art Ed Convention, but I don't want people to get the impression that I'm talking to them just to make "contacts." How do you make friends with people in other districts so they know who the hell you are?

I've put together my application packets with the mind of a graphic designer trying to sell a product. It's brightly colored, cheerful, and easy to read. I have the certs and a couple of years of experience, but I'm not so experienced that they need to pay me a fortune. I should be an ideal candidate. One Superintendent's secretary already went out of her way to tell me it is "very nice." So I'm pretty sure my info is getting as much attention as any pile of paper can. I just don't know how much good it will do me in the long run.

It makes me wish that I was a math, science, special ed or ell teacher. Or a principal. There seem to be plenty of those jobs.

Any and all networking tips would be greatly appreciated.

Sunday, October 9th, 2005
2:20 pm
Drama help, anyone??
Hi there--I'm a first year teacher. I adore drama, which is good, because I'm the school's drama teacher. However, my set of 30 students (give or take a few) could not care less about the subject. The class is known as a "dumping ground" because all the kids who do not have anywhere else to go end up in there.

According to counselors and other teachers, I have the "who's who" of misbehaving students in the school. One benefit of this is that a few of them are out each day for In-School Suspension. I have many "alternative program" kids who are known for being tough. Still, many of them are not disciplined as hard as the others because the admins fear they are too close to dropping out.

The majority of the students simply want to sit around and talk for the entire 90 minutes. I have NO idea how to get them quiet. Many of them will ignore me when I announce a new assignment. They ignored me when I moved desks and made a seating chart--some sit on the floor to talk to their buddies, some sit on the a/c or desk, some draw on my chalkboards. Most of them are failing, and they do not care--grades do not motivate them at all. It feels like a true army of 30 against one...and I know that I don't have control. How can I gain control of them??

The curriculum guide states that I must teach them about the history of theatre. I must teach them theatre terminology. I have to show them how to be producers, set designers, and costumers. I have to show them the parts of a play, and then they are to write their own play and perform it. The problem is, they will NOT read along with me. They will not take notes, much less be quiet as I give notes. They didn't even feel like making a crossword puzzle in lieu of a vocabulary test. They didn't want to write a movie review for an Academy-Award winner. I'm really not sure how I can get them to learn!

I've written up a few of them, but there are SO MANY of them, I'm not exactly sure how to hand out that many detentions. I don't want the school thinking that I'm completely inept. To be honest, I have no idea how to teach them...sometimes they will put on the short plays that I give them, and many of them like to act and do the physical exercises we do, but when it comes to getting them to put anything on paper, they'd rather turn around and talk.

Some of them like to talk about how they wish I would dress a little sleazier, so they would "have reason to come to class." (Yeah, that one got written up.)

I teach in a fairly rural part of town, where many of the students believe there is no point in trying anyway. Many of them have parents who do not have a high school education. Oh, we're also located in the meth capital of the USA, though I would surmise that the majority of my students are more into weed.

The profanity in this class takes up a ton of my time, too. I got sick of writing them up for that...so now I just say, "watch your mouth."

I told my principal. She is new to the school, too. She told me to "network, hang in there, and have fun!" ...yeah. So it really is an army of these 30 kids against me. Ok, not 30...I have about 3 or 4 kids who are helpers that really want to learn about theatre in there. They like me enough to stay after school and play DDR and Karaoke Revolution with me on my PS2.

I am exasperated and exhausted. What can you recommend for me? Many are willing to act things out, but how to I get them to learn about the basics of theatre? How can I get them to participate? Are there any fun videos that you can recommend that would get them learning about history, blocking, terms, ANYTHING? Please, oh please help.

x-posted in an act of desperation to everywhere. Sorry if you see this over and over.

Current Mood: desperate.
Thursday, August 18th, 2005
12:24 pm
I know everyone on LJ blogs, but I have received permission to start classroom blogging as part of my curriculum. You can see my blog at: http://class-weblog.blogspot.com

I have some guidelines to follow with the principal. She said that the eyes of the district will be on my class and the use of this format. My IT support is so busy with their usual stuff that they said they would not be able to look at the possibility of downloading a program and self-hosting until the winter, but they are looking forward to this successful classroom venture.

This is my first year of teaching. I am very excited about the journals, but very nervous about being on the leading technological edge of the SD. Call me a glutton for punishment, but am I committing teaching suicide by inviting this scrutiny from my administration?

Has anyone taken this route yet? I would appreciate any and all constructive comments.
Tuesday, August 2nd, 2005
6:53 am
Last call!
Hey, everyone! I only need SIX more male teachers to help me with my classroom management survey! Those of you who have helped me, THANK YOU so much! It's really quick, easy, and anonymous. Please email me at ccapaldo710@yahoo.com or comment with your email address if you would like to help me out!
Thanks in advance!

X posted.
Monday, August 1st, 2005
5:19 pm
I accepted a job offer today to teach 7-12th grade computers and business classes. I got the offer on Friday and was supposed to call them back today with my decision. The principal called me at 8:30 this morning to find out! We got on so well in the interview that I just know that this will be an easy transition - I even get a 3 year mentor!

I am so happy. I go in on Thursday to pick up my books, take a look at the computer software in depth and see my classroom. I couldn't see it last week because that wing was in the middle of getting new flooring. The principal will have the ISD person there on Thursday to meet with me.

I have an official "sign the contract session with the school board" on the 8th. It's such a small school district that new teachers are treated with pomp and circumstance! I have an inservice on the 10th and teachers report on the 22nd. Got to get moving, got to get organized, got to get the groove going....

Current Mood: excited
Sunday, July 31st, 2005
9:29 am
Please help!
Hey, everyone!

I want to thank everyone who volunteered to fill out my classroom management survey! If you left me your email address, I have sent it to you. If you could get it back to me by Monday or Tuesday, I'd REALLY appreciate it.

I am writing to ask if any more male teachers are out there and would be willing to help. This is a completely anonymous and brief survey. It will only take about 5-10 minutes of your time. I need about 10 more male teachers to help me out. If you are willing, PLEASE comment with your email address, or email me at ccapaldo710@yahoo.com and I'll send it off to you. Thank you SO MUCH!!!

Wednesday, July 27th, 2005
11:33 pm
I am so excited. I just had an interview today. As a non-core teacher, it's been slim pickings. The interview lasted two and a half hours! The principal kept asking for my input on different things. When I finally said that I had taken up way to much of her time, she disagreed and said that she was recharged and could not wait for the new school year to begin. She said she could not give me anything concrete, but she would be talking with the superintendent and they will be making their decisions very soon.

The classes would be 7 & 8th grade computers teaching Word and Excel and desktop publishing, then 9-12 teaching accounting, web design and programming languages, VB, C++ and Java. This is my dream job! I'm just too excited I don't know if I will be able to sleep for days!

Cross posted.

Current Mood: indescribable
Monday, July 25th, 2005
1:43 pm
I need your help!
Hey, everyone!

My name is Christine, and I am a 6th grade teacher currently getting my M.Ed. in the Boston area. As part of my research course, I have to have 25 male and 25 female teachers complete a short survey regarding classroom management strategies. I have a disclosure form attached, as well as the survey. I would really appreciate some help with this. I promise it's easy, and the results are confidential. I don't even ask for your name. I am pretty much all set with the 25 female teachers, but I need about 18 more male teachers to help me. If you would like to help me out, please comment with your email address so I can send you the information. I probably will email you the survey later this week. Thank you so much in advance for your help!

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