Sorry I’m so boring.
Listen to this if you’re studying too:
It’ll change your life. Props.
Sorry I’m so boring.
Listen to this if you’re studying too:
It’ll change your life. Props.
Thank you, Miss Kao for politely reminding me that I still have a blog:
Mary: you haven’t updated your blog ALL MONTH
Me: I KNOWI’m too busyBut Thanks for checking
Mary: the link is tempting to click onhow was your weekend?
Sorry for being so laxadasical about writing into the Blog recently. But I’ve been like – wicked busy.
Turns out that Providence College was willing to remit my entire tuition if I was willing to take a job as a Hall Director of a Freshmen male dorm. Notably: McDermott Hall. I subsequently signed up for the job and am now currently living on Providence College campus, and providing my services as one, Graduate Hall Director.
So it goes. Now I’m 1. a Student of College Courses, 2. a Teacher of both English and Chinese, and 3. a Hall Director of about 104 students. Zoinks. Responsibilities ABOUND, Batman!
“I‘d rather be busy than bored. I’d rather be busy than bored. I’d rather be busy than bored …” …Right?
Either way – my blog postings have been deterred since I started said job – ’cause I have several million things to take care of every day aaaaand there’s only so much coffee that I can blast interveinously into my system every day. My blood may be more caffeine than actual hemoglobin .. but I’m okay with that.
OH, and I started back into the gym. Concannon Fitness Center is a gorgeous place of exercise. Except they double-charged my account when I signed up. They should prepare themselves to feel the wrath of a poor teacher today. The reckoning shall be SWIFT and PROBABLY QUITE POLITE. Sigh.
In other news.. The TAPA Times Vol. II will be published this Thursday (with hope!). The articles this week are ranging from Human Trafficking in Europe to a recap of the New York Giants Season, to the Occupy Wall Street phenomena. These kids are good.
Listen to 8tracks.com. Your ears will thank you.
I just discovered 8tracks.com.
It’s kinda like Pandora – except with a theme. The theme is that there are pre-created lists of music mixes that are at least 8 tracks deep (cue the ‘ohh’ about the name) and cater to different kinds of styles or genres. Each one will have a special title, that range in things from, ‘Songs that are for crying to‘ to, ‘中国歌‘ (Chinese Songs).
Give it a shot.
My most recent educational ventures have been into the world of Literacy via my ‘Reading in the Content Area‘ course. The course itself centers around students and how it is exactly how they come to be literate, successful readers and writers of the English Language (focused, obviously, on Americans).
I am able to take a lot out of this study, considering how I’ve been (for all intensive purposes) an ESL teacher for my previous 3-year stint in China, teaching kids who’s English wasn’t bad, but was certainly not native. Big distinction to make there.
One of the most striking things that I met while poring through studies, videos and textbooks about Literacy in the classroom and educational reform was that Literacy is not merely the ability to read, write speak and listen to accurately your mother language. Rather, literacy of students, in the educational realms, is considered now to include Technological literacy (learning to use the rapidly advancing techno-gadgets that our society is leaning into more and more), Social literacy (knowing how to talk to and interact appropriately with other people in a community), and even Moral or Emotional literacy (being able to comprehend the meaning behind our emotions and how to make moral decisions).
Prior to moving into this academic discussion, I never really considered this. Sure, I had made these connections in the back of my mind – seeing how educators are responsible these days for developing their students (or at least helping to develop them) into a person that, when they graduate from High School, will be ready to meet the world and prepared to enter whatever the next step of their life will be. Literacy is obviously a large part of this, as having a mastery of the English Language is paramount in continuing into any other disicpline of study that a student ACTUALLY is passionate or enthusiastic about. I don’t disillusion myself into thinking that all of my students are going to experience English or Chinese and at that VERY MOMENT decide tearfully, “OH GOSH, FINALLY! MY LIFE FINALLY MAKES SENSE. I WILL BECOME AN ENGLISH SCHOLAR! THANK YOU MR. LABONTEE! THANK YOU!” I mean, granted, any teacher gets weak in the knees imagining that moment (it’s part of the reason why teachers get into the job, right? The amazing pay and benefits can’t be everything… (laugh here.)) but it’s unfortunately completely unrealistic.
Side note, I just realized I use WAY too many parentheses. Sorry. You’re gonna have to deal with my broken and scattered ideas.
Unfortunately, we are met often with Standards-based Education that oftentimes suppresses our creativity in providing and nuturing these skills in students – or altogether halts our attempts in the face of ‘teaching for the test’, when the NECAPS (New England Common Assessment Program) or similarly designed tests rear their grotesque, multiple-choice emblazoned heads and slash their no. 2 penciled claws.
Alas – I digress.
Literacy has more to it than meets the eye. And I really dig it.
I was almost late to work today. Shout out to Mr. Mac for saving my morning. Cheers, sir.
Here’s a Quiz I fashioned for my 8th grade Mandarin Chinese class!
Have a look-see-do.
I’m still trying to figure out how to get a Font that will allow for the tone markings above the PINYIN words… It’ll make my life much easier. For now I just write them on the words by hand after I print out the quizzes. 好辛苦。
QUIZ 1 – MANDARIN CHINESE CLASS
Match the Pinyin to the most appropriate English meaning.
Ta To be called
Mingzi How are you?
Keyi Very good
Ni hao You
Hen hao Name
Fill in the blanks in the conversation with the most appropriate Pinyin:
A: Ni hao!
B: Ni __________!
A: Ni hao ma?
B: Wo hen hao.. _____________?
A: Wo _________ hen hao!
B: Hao de! _________!
A: Ni hao! Hen gaoxing renshi ni!
B: Ni hao! Ni ____________ shenme mingzi?
A: ___________ jiao Ms. Nyla! Ni ne?
B: Ni ____________ jiao wo Li Laoshi!
A: Hao de! Xie xie!
B: Bu ke qi!
Write the correct Pinyin next to the corresponding English word:
So, how’d you do?
Today, at TAPA, I have been relegated (between classes) to syncing up all the iPads for our school (there are about 70 of them) in an attempt to have them ready by the end of the week for our students to use in accord with their classes.
I’d be remiss to not mention that the iPads are INCREDIBLE tools for any classroom.
Our science teacher has things like a ‘virtual frog dissection’ app, and a ‘model brain’ app that you can pull apart with your fingertips.
Our math teacher has EVERY formula grid you could ever wish for.
Our Chinese teacher (me) even has some app’s that allow you to practice writing/drawing Mandarin characters with your finger. We are in a digital age – and education eats it up.
Since we are a small school, it’s possible to have the iPads placed into individual students’ hands during the day. We have enough for the population. Alas, these powerful tools are not available for many schools.. at all. They are expensive – although I am aware Apple Inc. does a very fair amount of discounting prices for educational purposes – they are technological devices, something that rarely comes with a cheap price tag.
What saddens me a bit is that this kind of technology is available to the busy business-man, or moderately wealthy man who enjoys using this technology as a digital book (which is a whole other can of worms for me) or as something to play ‘Angry Birds’ on to kill time on his commute to work everyday. That’s all fine and good – these things are nothing short of miraculous when you consider how technology has advanced in the last 20 years. However – shouldn’t such technology be pressed, with more energy and fervor, into the world of academics and science? Schools, for the most part, are poor. They don’t have the ability of most high-powered for-profits to place these little gems into their workers hands for meeting purposes (when maybe a pad and pencil might suffice?) My argument may have holes (my knowledge of Apple‘s behavior as a world-wide company is unfortunately skewed) but after seeing the possibilities that these electronic support-systems hold for the educational sector, I have to make a plea for making them as easily available as possible for anyone with enough respect to use them as they should be. As a means to an educational end! After watching the aforementioned video from TED about video teaching – these iPads (literally, portable computers you can hold in one hand) are the wave of the teaching future, in my humble opinion. Education, in general, is left to begging politicians and government departments for the funds to merely RUN a school, let alone have access to such technology that would enhance this new age of students coming into our schools. I suppose I’m starting to touch on a topic that is moreover a rant and whine about the negligence of our education system in America – so I’ll cut myself short. But if you’re lucky enough to own one of these iPads, you must realize the opportunity schools could have in using said magic in the classroom.
… As long as Angry Birds doesn’t sneak onto those bad boys.
This stuff is awesome.
At Blue State.
Should be writing a paper about Standards-Based education.
I’m writing to QQ friends instead.
(QQ is like the Chinese version of AIM. Ricky -> Humongous nerd. Whatever.)
Channel some focus for me, friends! THANKS!
Oh, and China peeps:
我特别想念你们。郑州的天气怎么样？ 天上还有黑黑的云吗？ 基石教育的学生，我天天想你们的微笑！上学最近过的好吗？你们已经要变疯了吗？别着急！加油！ 别忘记我是谁！ 我想吃热干面。哭哭。 我也要去一个真实的KTV唱歌。哭哭。 好吧，我在越来越说那么不重要的话。。 我想念你们中国朋友。在QQ上给我聊天儿吧！！好吗？！ 拜拜！
I just wanted to let everyone know I’m in the process of developing a newspaper for the school I’m teaching at. I’m the ‘Head Editor‘ and I have 22 kids working for me.
… AND I AM SOO INTO IT.
As I’m developing the departments and the jobs as I’m typing this, I’ll have to leave you in #suspense about the nitty gritty until later on. Apologizes for all those readers (or people who googled this blog and clicked on it by accident) who want more Middle-School newspaper stuff in their lives.
You’ll have to wait! -Cheesy Smile Face Here-
So anyway. Happy Wednesday.
.. I hate that Wednesday’s spelling and Wednesday’s pronunciation are distant cousins and not twins.