Monday, August 31, 2009

212 Degrees

Watched this for warm up today:

What did you think? Leave a comment if you have something interesting to share.

Agenda: Monday, August 31, 2009

Learning Targets:
*Work co-operatively to discuss AVID Strategies for Success

1. Warmup - 212 degrees video
2. Present AVID Strategies. All students will be working together and presenting to the class on these strategies: 1. Binder 2. Cornell Notes 3. Tuturing 4. Philosophical Chairs 5. Socratic Seminar 6. SLANT 7. Parent Meetings and 8. Field Trips
3. If time, discuss tutoring. Starts tomorrow.

To DO:
Bring a tutoring question for Tuesday!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Eagles Win First Football Game

Atascocita Eagles 16 - Hastings Bears 7 game story w/video: Eagles turn up heat in second half, get win
Transfer Carter
shines playing QB;
Bears still struggle
JENNY DIAL Copyright 2009 Houston Chronicle
Aug. 29, 2009, 2:23AM

Our Eagles won on the road Friday night. It must have been a very competitive game. Especially since the very controversial QB that transferred back to Hastings this week played the second half and was very good. Proud of the Eagles D for holding Hastings and that awesome QB to only 7 points.

Wish I could see the game next week, but I am heading to Nacadoches, TX for a couple of fantasy football drafts. I'll have to wait for the next home game.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Agenda - Aug 28, Friday

*Work together in co-operative groups to review and learn AVID strategies for success.

1. Prep for 10 minutes
2. Present the AVID strategies for success:
**Mr. Duez's Sophomres will go to Mr. McWhorter's freshmen class to present the strategies to them.
3. Discuss Pre-AP and AP classes. Prep for tutoring - starts on Tuesday.

have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Teammates "Carry On."

Today we watched this video from ESPN's Outside the Lines. Two friends. Two teammates.

It's a story about over coming obstacles, I guess. But, really... in the end it's about friendship. Do yourself a favor and watch it all the way to the end.

"I will show you my strength."

And you think your Pre-AP or AP class is tough? It's not about "I can't." Everyone can do it, if we work at it and work together.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

AVID Skill and Tecnique - Socratic Seminar

Socratic Seminar

Costas Levels of Questioning

As a review of some of the AVID Skills and techniques we have learned, here is "Costa's Levels of Questioning." Remember we need to bring in high level questions for tutoring and use higher levels of questions in our notes on the left side for Cornell.

Costas Level Questioning

Cornell Notes - Power Point

As a quick reminder, here is my power point on Cornell Notes. This might help you refresh your memory about how to use Cornell.

As a former student of mine wrote me this week, "Thank you so much Mr. Duez for teaching me Cornell Notes. They are helping me so much during my junior AP classes."


Agenda - Aug 26, Wednesday

Learning Targets:
*Work co-operatively in groups to re-learn and teach the AVID strategies.

1. Warmup - "What part of AVID has influenced and helped you the most?" (Quickwrite)
2. Divide up into groups and design a quick lesson to teach the class about that topic. This will help us review AVID Strategies before we begin tutoring next week and get into the normal flow of the weeks to come.
3. On Thu/Fri we will be working in groups to present AVID Strategies

Coming up:
On Monday - Weekly goals are due.
Next Tuesday - First day of Tutoring
Next Friday - Free Write in class - The College Essay.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Agenda - Aug 25, Tuesday

*Set our priorities and goals
*Write about our obstacles

1. A Bug's Life (First 10 min) - Watch the video and discuss any obstacles and barriers in their path.
2. Discuss: Juniors - Research Project ASFI; Sophomores - Road Trip Nation
3. Team Building: "The Race is On!" How fast can you work together as a group? (10 minutes)
4. AP Timed Writing Rubric. Time to write the College Essay in class.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Tuesday's Free Write - "A Bug's Life"

On Tuesday we are going to write about overcoming our obstacles. We'll watch 10 minutes from the movie "A Bug's Life."

Students will answer the question, "What is your leaf or obstacle that might keep you from reaching your goal of graduating from college?"
"Can you compare Flick's invention/device with something in your life?"

Anyone want to share here on the blog? Feel free. Hit the comment button.

"Talk to you l8tr!" New Law prohibits Cell Phones

Talk to you later: New law prohibits cell phone use in school zones
With the passing of House Bill 55 during the last legislative session, lawmakers have taken a first step toward prying cell phones out of the hands of Texas motorists - at least in school zones.

All across the state, municipalities are expecting the installation of signs that alert drivers of the new legislation that, as of September 1, makes the use of cellular phones illegal in school zones.

The Texas Department of Public Safety summarizes the new law by saying, “[House Bill] 55 makes it illegal to use a wireless communication device in a school zone unless the vehicle is stopped or a hands-free device is used. Cities or counties wanting to enforce this law must post a sign at the beginning of each school zone to inform drivers that using a wireless communications device is prohibited and the operator is subject to a fine. It is a defense to prosecution if the operator was making an emergency call.”

A violation of House Bill 55 can result in a class C misdemeanor citation and a fine up to $200.

Humble Independent School District spokeswoman Karen Collier said House Bill 55 is a welcome additional layer of protection for students who walk to or from school and have to navigate traffic in the morning and afternoon hours when traffic peaks around schools.

“People who talk on cell phones are as likely to get into an accident as someone who’s driving while drunk,” Collier said. “It’s a safety issue for kids. We want to keep them safe and the state obviously felt it needed to make a law about this.”

Collier said the school district’s police force will work with local agencies like the Houston Police Department in Kingwood, Humble Police, and constable’s as well as sheriff’s departments in Atascocita to enforce House Bill 55.

“Be forewarned!” she cautioned. “Get off the cell phone while in school zones.”
What do you think? Should it be against the law to use your cell phone while driving through a school zone? Or Should it be against the law to use it at all when you drive?

Agenda - Aug 24, Monday

Targets -
*Welcome Back.
*Expectations for the year.
*Questions/Problems raised and hopefully solved (schedules, classes, etc.)

Agenda -
1. Welcome Back. ~ "Who I am." Handout.
2. Syllabus & Expectations. Video - "Welcome Back 1st Day Video."
3. First assignment - "College Essay" - due next Friday.

Juniors - Research Project ASFI Preview
Sophomores - Road Trip Nation Preview

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Our classroom

This is going to be a great year.

This is my classroom for the new year. Tomorrow these seats will be filled (38 in my 6th period will do that!). I am so excited about seeing the new students that I will meet for the first time. And I am even more excited about seeing my former students and how much they have grown.

A look as you walk through the door. I am lucky to be back in the corner. Most people leave me alone. If you come through my door, well... you meant to do it. :)

I moved my desk to the back this year. I had it along that window there last year. It was hard to see the computer monitor and this gets more kids in the front of the class. I think that's a psych ploy by me to make them think they are better students. :)

Closer look at my desk. :)

A look at the front of the room. I am going to do more work with me teaching from the board this year. I know, old school. But, the kids get tired of power points and projections. We are going to add a little more light this year. :)

You can see my "Target Board" on the left side. It's where I post our learning targets, agenda, and notes to my 3 preps. Above the board are college pennants, hopefully reminding them of why we are learning what we are learning. This year I added a cut out of the Geiko "Money you would be saving if you switched to Geiko." I'll call it, "Money you could be saving if you prepare for a college education."

Our beautiful school. We are so lucky to call it home. Go Eagles!

Wishing a good first day to all the teachers and students out there.

AVID in college? It is at UTMB

UTPB to implement pilot AVID program

Very interesting article. I had heard that some California schools have AVID at the college level for freshmen, but never in Texas.
A progressive curriculum that has worked wonders at local public schools for at-risk, average-achieving students with college in their sights may soon be making its way up the educational ladder to the University of Texas of the Permian Basin.

For the first time in the university’s history, the Advancement Via Individual Determination program — which is more popularly know by the acronym AVID — may have found a new permanent home among some of UTPB’s freshmen seminar classes.

Only two years after its implementation at Ector County Independent School District campuses, the program already has experienced explosive growth and success in local secondary schools by targeting at-risk students with average grades and helping them move toward their goals of going to college.

So AVID’s sonic boom has reverberated throughout the area, catching the attention of higher education officials in the northeast side of town.

Rey Lascano, special assistant to the president and director of continuing education and outreach at UTPB, said the university plans to implement a pilot program this fall semester in two of its freshmen seminar classes that utilizes many of the AVID curriculum’s hallmarks.

"This is a program that’s been successful just about everywhere that it’s been implemented," he said. "All you have coming from something like this is a win-win."
Very interesting.

AVID Syllabus Parent Letter

Here is the AVID Syllabus and parent letter. Students, please sure it is signed and returned to Mr. Duez as soon as possible. I will be inputting email addresses into my email system and using it as a form of communication.

Please note that there is also an assignment - "The College Essay." We will be working on it in class and I will tell you in class when it is due.

AVID Syllabus Parent Letter from Google Docs Share [download here if the preview below is not working

AVID Syllabus 09

Is this possible? Online classes better?

Department of Education: Online Education Beats Classroom
Key Findings
- Students who took all or part of their class online performed better, on average, than those taking the same course through traditional face-to-face instruction.

- Instruction combining online and face-to-face elements had a larger advantage relative to purely face-to-face instruction than did purely online instruction.

- Studies in which learners in the online condition spent more time on task than students in the face-to-face condition found a greater benefit for online learning.

- Most of the variations in the way in which different studies implemented online learning did not affect student learning outcomes significantly.

- The effectiveness of online learning approaches appears quite broad across different content and learner types.

- Blended and purely online learning conditions implemented within a single study generally result in similar student learning outcomes.

- Elements such as video or online quizzes do not appear to influence the amount that students learn in online classes.

- Online learning can be enhanced by giving learners control of their interactions with media and prompting learner reflection.
I wonder what some of you who have taken online classes think about this report?

We saw last year when Courtney from Alabama came in as a guest speaker in AVID, a lot of her tests and papers are turned in online. So maybe that is a good thing? But, can the computer replace the things a teacher/professor can give as far as interaction?

Friday, August 21, 2009

College Degree is not enough

Posting this article is not meant to scare anyone. But, what you have to know is the truth and the reality. It is tough out there. Luckily it's less tough in the Houston area than most others in America.

Here is the beginning piece to the article:
For class of 2009, degree doesn’t mean a job
Fewer than a fifth of graduating seniors even have offers, research finds

A college diploma has long been the ticket to a good job, but the deepest economic slump in decades has dampened the dreams of many college seniors.

Matt Dumont has been looking for work since May.

“I’ve had a couple times that I was told that I was one of the top applicants, went in for an interview, and then I just never heard back from them,” said Dumont, who graduated last spring from Abilene Christian University in Texas with a degree in English and minors in Spanish and the Bible.

Dumont was haunting the college’s Career Center last week, looking for leads and advice. But the prospects are not promising for him and thousands of other new college graduates: Employment counselors and job placement specialists say the class of 2009 faces a daunting task finding work in the worst economy since the Great Depression.

Labor statistics for July showed that 15.3 percent of Americans ages 20 to 24 were unemployed, up a tenth of a percentage point from June. That’s compared to the overall jobless rate of 9.4 percent.

Those figures don’t indicate how many were recent college graduates, but surveys by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, a professional organization of career counselors at more than 2,000 U.S. colleges and universities, show that the recession has been particularly tough on those entering the job market with a college degree.

More than half of graduates in the class of 2007 had job offers in hand when they finished school, the association said. That figure dropped to one-quarter of 2008 graduates — after the recession began in December 2007 — and for the class of 2009, it was fewer than one-fifth.

Graduates ‘frustrated,’ ‘scared’
Projections for the class of 2010 won’t be final until the fall, but the association said the picture next spring was likely to be even worse.
Please go to this link to read the rest: For class of 2009, degree doesn’t mean a job
Fewer than a fifth of graduating seniors even have offers, research finds

What do you think AVID? Are you worried? What can you do to better your job and career chances after college?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Very Interesting Ted Talk

I could see this being used as a teaching device in the future. Would love to test it out!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Thoughts from Lauren @ A&M

I wrote to Lauren and wished her much success at Texas A&M this year. She wrote back and said this:
Thank you Mr. Duez I am so excited!! And I will give you a call when I come home. However I do have a friday afternoon class this semester so it will probably be close to Christmas break before I can come back and see yall at school. But tell all my AVID kids good luck this year and to stay focused :)
Can't wait to see her near Christmas and find out how everything went. We will miss her tutoring expertise!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cornell Notes & Philosophical Chairs

Today and tomorrow I am a presenter in my district for AVID Path Training in Social Studies. Basically it's two days of time with middle and high school teachers to present 'best teaching practices' to them. The great thing about the training is that we actually 'do' and model the work.

Today we focused on topics like Using Poetry, Cornell Notes, Jigsawing, Quick Writes, and Philosophical Chairs. Two things jump out to me and seemed to be significant. First, teachers really appreciate well-prepared and on task professional development. A teacher stopped me and my partner about an hour in and announced how excited he was that this training was going so well. He has been through three professional development experiences this summer and was stunned that we were on the ball. It was great to see how appreciative he and others were.

The other thing that stood out was how two techniques went over well with the teachers. The first was Cornell Notes. It may have been the best and most clearly designed Cornell Notes lesson that I have taught. (I might finally be getting the hang of this thing) Here is the power point that I used to introduce C Notes:

At the end of the power point, I distributed a sample of US History Cnotes with a grading rubric on the flip side. Then I had each of the participants grade it for themselves. Then we did "4 Corners" and had the teachers go to an A, B, and C corner (There were no Ds). After discussing it in their corner group, one person presented the faults they had with the notes.

This was a wonderful way of emphasizing with the teachers what good note taking is and how they could do this with their students to impart just how to take notes and what the teacher is looking for. I think it went over very well.

Also we did a wonderful Philosophical Chairs debate. The teachers got into it. The first thing I did was show my power point on PChairs to introduce the rules:
AVID HISTORY PATH: Philosophical Chairs PPT
Then we modeled Philosophical Chairs with this question:
Should the "Cash for Clunkers" program be continued by Congress?
The debate was split in 1/2 and was very lively, but well mannered. I think the teachers got a great feel for just how they can use it.

I am looking forward to presenting Engaging the Text, Document-Based Questions, Free Response Questions and Socratic Seminar tomorrow. This has been a wonderful group to work with. I can't believe that school starts in less than 2 weeks!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Teammates Carry On

It's a story about over coming obstacles, I guess. But, really... in the end it's about friendship. Do yourself a favor and watch it all the way to the end.

"I will show you my strength."