Saturday, October 31, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

AHS Pep Rally

Glad to hear AHS is winning tonight. Watched the Pep Rally here
Go Eagles!

Agenda: Friday, Oct. 30, 2009

Quote of the Day:  "What we do in life echoes through eternity."  - Roman General Maximus from the movie Gladiator (pictured to the left, played by Russell Crowe)

 Today we will look at Lesson 3 "No Roadmap" for Road Trip Nation.
We will also see video interview examples from this lesson. 
The students answered these two questions:

It is important to remember that creativity does not necessarily have to do with art.  Creativity can be applied to thoughts and ideas in many aspects of your life.  What are three ways you could be more creative with the choices you make so that the road you are traveling on is really yours?

Think of yourself (your likes, dislikes, passions, innermost thoughts, and dreams) like a diamond.  What makes you valuable? Unique? Amazing?

Your assignment - due Monday, November 9th:
Interview a teacher.  Ask that teacher 3 questions:

1)  What was your major in college?
2)  Did you always want to become a teacher?
3)  What was your road like to becoming a teacher? 

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Agenda: Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Quote of the Day:  Quote of the Day: "Time the devourer of everything." - Ovid, Roman Poet (pictured to the right source)

Agenda -

1)  Tutoring.  First 45 min.
2)  Sophomores (wed) - We'll look at Lesson 3:  "There is no Roadmap" of Road Trip Nation.  The assignment is to interview 3 of your teachers.  Ask these questions: 
What was your favorite class in high school?
What was your major in college?  Why did you choose that major?
Since graduating from college, what jobs have you held?
Why did you ultimately decide to become a ____________ teacher?
Take notes on what the teacher says.  
The first students to return this to me will have the chance to be our spokesperson with AT&T which will be asking for our feedback on the Road Trip Nation program.

Our field trip to Deer Park ISD to visit the RTN RV is on Monday, November 2, 2009.  Please get your permission slip to me as soon as possible.

If time permits we will watch the interview by Pat Croce. 

2)  Juniors on Thursday -- We will be looking at lesson 1 "The MLK Friendly Letter."  You wrote those last Friday for the sub and they were "subpar."  So we'll be working on improving them in class.  You will re-write them according to the actual prompt.  When this is understood and completed we'll move on to looking at redoing the last activity on MLK's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail."  We'll get in the same groups and look for actual sources of information and why you chose the characteristics that you did from Campbell.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Inspiration - Elena's "Notes Left Behind"

Girl's Notes "Left Behind" Help Parents Grieve

Girl's 'Notes Left Behind' Help Grieving Parents Help Others

POSTED: 3:24 pm EDT October 26, 2009
UPDATED: 12:38 pm EDT October 27, 2009

Brooke and Keith Desserich say they never intended to write a book about their daughter.
It started as a parent's personal journal to their younger daughter Gracie, so she would be able to remember her 6-year-old sister, Elena, who was diagnosed with pediatric brain cancer.
Elena Desserich
"They told us at the very beginning that she had 135 days to live," Keith Desserich said.Though her parents didn't want her to know the severity of her cancer, they feel that she must have known what was happening. The tumor slowly took away her ability to talk.But Elena was still able to write."That was her way to letting us know everything would be OK," Brooke Desserich said.After Elena passed away, her parents discovered that their daughter had left a message behind for them -- a lot of messages, actually."We started to pull out notes and they would be in between CDs or between books on our bookshelf," Keith Desserich said.Then the couple started finding them everywhere."We started to collect them and they would all say 'I love you Mom, Dad and Grace.' We kept finding them, and still to this day, we keep finding them," Keith Desserich said. "Literally, there are hundreds of notes that we found."Elena’s parents each hold onto a sealed note they've never opened."We always want to know that there’s one more note that we haven't read yet," Keith Desserich said.The Desserich family initially didn’t want the story published, but in the end, they decided they would if all the money went to their cancer foundation, The Cure Starts Now, dedicated to finding "home run" cures for all cancers.The book, Notes Left Behind, goes on sale Tuesday. The family will appear at the Joseph-Beth Bookstore on Tuesday and at Barnes and Noble in Kenwood on Wednesday, at 7 p.m. both days.

You can watch the video on the website link above.  

Agenda: Tue, 27, Oct 2009

Quote of the Day: 

“Be not too tame neither, but let your own discretion be your tutor: suit the action to the word, the word to the action.” - William Shakespeare

Today we will be tutoring.

Bring a great question and be ready to help others.

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Great Field Trip to Texas A&M

Thanks everyone for making Friday's trip to Texas A&M so wonderful.  Best field trip I've been on yet.

Agenda: Monday, October 26, 2009

Quote of the Day:  "I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it." - Voltaire

1.  Goal of the Week - 2 sentences (1st - what is your goal, 2nd - how will you attain your goal).  Also a paragraph about last week's goal.
2.  For Juniors 4th Period -- We will read "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" in class in groups.  Each group will determine which of Campbell's 6 Characteristics of a Leader that section displays the most.
Read Campbell's 6 Characteristics from "Great Leaders Grow Deep Roots." here.
We divided into 7 groups.  One group for each page of MLK's Letter.  The students in each group read the page together, highlighted important passages, and then discussed which of the 6 characteristics were most important.  The six characteristics are:
1.  Integrity
2.  Vision
3.  Concern
4.  Creativity
5.  Results-Orientation
6.  Courage 

We are preparing to write the Essay for Assignment #2 (An in class Timed Essay):
Which personal characteristics mentioned by Campbell are central for understanding the leader you are studying (MLK)?  Why were these characteristics important when the leader lived?  How did they aid him/her to be a catalyst for change?

3.  For Sophomores Period 7- We will debrief on the Texas A&M trip and discuss the campus, our meeting with Lauren Clifford and Jarrod Johnson.  We will also take a look at this Sports Illustrated article about Jarrod:  "Texas A&M QB Jerrod Johnson's story is the best you've never heard." 
Jerrod and A&M beat Tech this weekend 52-30!  

Then we will watch Lesson 3 of Road Trip Nation.  

Lesson 3 : There Is No Roadmap 
It’s human nature to want to know how things will turn out.  Answers give us comfort and a feeling of security that things are going to be okay.  As a society, we tend to look at life through a very narrow lens and down a linear path of what life should look like – go to school, get a job, start a family, and the list goes on.  It’s easy to accept that there is one path to happiness, and it’s easy to find comfort in following a prescribed sequence as opposed to setting out on your own.
But the truth is that there isn’t one path, as much as many of us would like there to be.  As many of the Leaders we’ve interviewed can attest to, you never really know exactly how things are going to turn out.  We can’t control the deck of cards life deals us; we can only control our reactions.  More often than not, we make choices in life based on what feels comfortable, safe, and secure; but those are not necessarily the paths that will make us the happiest.  Many people are too afraid to make changes in their life simply because there is no assurance that things will turn out the way they want them to – but they find comfort in being like everyone else.  (From RoadTripNation)
We'll answer these two questions:
It is important to remember that creativity does not necessarily have to do with art.  Creativity can be applied to thoughts and ideas in many aspects of your life.  What are three ways you could be more creative with the choices you make so that the road you are traveling on is really yours? 

Think of yourself (your likes, dislikes, passions, innermost thoughts, and dreams) like a diamond.  What makes you valuable? Unique? Amazing? 

A great RTN inteview that can match this lesson is the Pat Croce one.  Watch the Pat Croce interview here.

Pat Croce has been working since he was eleven years old. His childhood paper route in his hometown of Philadelphia gave him a strong sense of work ethic, and the disciplinary and organizational skills he learned stayed with him throughout his life. During his college years he played on the football team, hoping it would lead to a professional career; but soon it became clear that playing pro football was not in his future, so he decided to take some time off college. He worked various odd jobs around Philadelphia. Still not knowing what he wanted to do with his life, he began volunteering at the hospital where he was introduced to the world of sports medicine: the perfect fusion of two of his passions, sports and health. He immediately began to plan his future in the field, and by 1979, he had opened the first sports medicine center in the US. Fifteen years later, he owned 40 centers across the country. Pat partially attributes his success to his paperboy values of customer service; in therapy, he works to ensure both the physical and mental well-being of his patients. His entrepreneurial spirit has enabled him to accomplish a wide variety of feats throughout his career, from owning the Philadelphia 76ers to being a best-selling self-help author.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Texas A&M Trip for the Sophomores

Reminder to the sophomores that we'll be heading to Texas A&M on Friday.  Bus rolls out at 6:30am.  We'll return at 4pm.  Be sure to wear comfortable shoes.  A&M has the largest campus in the nation... and we'll be doing a lot of walking.  It's 5,200 acre campus is huge!


Wed/Thu October 21/22, 2009

Quote of the Day: "A true friend is one soul in two bodies." - Aristotle

Sophomores on Wednesday
1.  Tutoring
2.  Road Trip Nation:  Lesson 2 ~ "Lesson 2 : Don't Fall Asleep at the Wheel"
We will watch the lesson on DVD and then write our answers to these two questions and discuss:
  1. Imagine your life if you could follow your dreams.  What would it look like?  What would you be doing? How would you be contributing to the world?  In the space below, describe what your life would be like if you could do anything.
  2. How have you actively engaged in your life today?  When have you felt most alive and in line with your true self?  Describe a time when it felt like you were living the dream. 
Remember Baron Wolman, the Rolling Stone Photographer?  He is a perfect example of "Don't Fall Asleep at the Wheel."  He has taken advantage of those moments in his life when he's had his chances.  Whether it was "being where the action was" in college with politics and being class president.  Or "being where the action was" by joining a special forces group to become a military spy.  Or "being where the action was" by taking photographs of the Berlin Wall.  Or taking advantage of his opportunities by becoming a Rolling Stone photographer.  Check out his story here (especially if you were absent and missed class):  Baron Wolman Interview from 2008 Road Trip Nation

Juniors on Thursday

1.  Tutoring.  
2.  "Watch "I have a dream" speech by Martin Luther King.  Follow along with the words of the speech.  Annotate & mark the text.  Write questions in the margin that you are needing answered.  Discuss after wards parts that you may not have understood or want to emphasize.
3.  Using the ACR Curriculum (AVID College Readiness Curriculum) we will do the first assignment that was given last period - the "Friendly Letter" assignment.  Instead of writing it out of class we will write it on Friday in class.  
Prompt: Your chosen leader (MLK) had major concerns about problems, issues, or events that occurred during the period in which he or she lived. After studying one of these and the leader’s life, prepare a friendly letter, written as if it were from the leader to a specific audience, in which he or she discusses the problem related to an issue or event and some of the possible causes and suggests a solution. Both the problem and the solution must be consistent with the leader’s views, actions, and goals—and the historical period.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Agenda: Tuesday, Oct. 20th, 2009

Tutoring today.  Come with a great question, leave as an improved student.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Agenda: Monday, October 19, 2009

Quote of the Day:  "One man with courage is a majority." - Andrew Jackson

1.  Goal of the Week is due:  1 sentence that describes the goal.  1 sentence that explains how the student will accomplish the goal.  Also a paragraph about last week's goal at the bottom.
2.  Juniors - Will see video clip on MLA Formatting and Plagerism. Video:  Your Writing Not Someone Else's 
Sophomores - Will go to the computer lab to sign up for Road Trip Nation.
3.  Juniors will also look at Martin Luther King, Jr. as our subject of our ACR- AVID College Readiness writing assignment.

We will look at the "I have a Dream" speech and look at Campbell's Six Characteristics of Exceptional Leaders to find evidence of each characteristic.
We are working towards an in class writing assignment that will be a "Friendly Letter" from MLK written by the AVID student.

Watch the MLK "I have a Dream" Speech here
1.  Goal of the Week
2.  Plagiarism videos
3.  First writing assignment, pass it out. Discuss Campbell and MLK and the assignment
4.  Show the I have a dream speech video clip and then read out loud the I have a Dream Speech in class.

Use campbell and the i have a dream speech to determine which parts are showing which characteristic.
Write a sample friendly letter

Fri w/sub
1. Watch the I have a Dream speech
2. Have the students write quietly in class their "Friendly Letter from MLK."

Friday, October 16, 2009

1st Six Week's Award Winners


Fourth Period Junior AVID Award Winners:
Eagle - Kaylin
Pigeon - Lee

Seventh Period Sophomore AVID Award Winners:
Eagle - Carol-lyn
Pigeon - Angie

Agenda: Friday, October 16th

Quote of the Day: "One of the most time consuming things is having an enemy." -- E.B. White

1) Road Trip Nation Video Interview - "Joe Quesada" The Editor-in-Chief of Marvel Comics. Check out Joe's story here:
Joe Quesada Road Trip Nation Interview
Themes: Chance & Luck, Finding Your Road, Desire, Determination, Planning

Meet Joe Quesada, “the luckiest son of a (gun) in the history of comic books.” While working at the toy store FAO Schwarz, Quesada, having recently graduated from art school, was doodling on a napkin. A stock-boy came in, saw his scribbles, and suggested he write for comics. Quesada brushed off the idea with, “Ah, silly stock-boy, comics are for kids.” However, the stock-boy insisted, and the next day he brought Frank Miller’s first issue of “Dark Knight” for Quesada.

We discussed in groups - 1) What surprised us about Joe's story? and 2) What did you relate to your life about his journey?

2) We also gave out the Eagle and Pigeon awards in class today.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Agenda: Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2009

Quote of the Day: "Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you."
— Pericles

Juniors are at UTSA for a field trip today.

Sophomores are tutoring.

Halloween is coming.. Aidan is prepared!

Halloween 09 - Indiana Jones! from Mr. Duez on Vimeo.
Aidan dressed up in his Halloween costume for 2009.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize

What do you think of this surprising development?
Proud that an American has won the award. But, hope it only leads to more peace.

Agenda: TGIF October 09, 2009

Quote of the Day:  "What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but rather what is woven into the lives others."  - Pericles

Learning Targets:
* Students will learn cooperative text analysis through text based discussion - Socratic Seminar
* Students will understand the meaning of the English novel they are reading (Awakening or Lord of the Flies)

1.Discuss Field trip to UTSA (for Juniors). We leave at 6am on Tuesday.
(5 min total)
2.  Expectations for Socratic Seminar:
You will be assessed as follows:
50% on the Annotation and Questions written on the Funeral Oration text.
50% on the Notes on a separate sheet of paper and your reflection at the end. 
I will collect both the packet and separate sheet at the end of the period.
3.  Socratic Seminar on "Novel Essay" with  Students will be placed into 6 groups and then 1 facilitator/captain of each group will have a laptop that is logged into  As you discuss the text, add questions and comments through Edmodo and reply and help other groups through the laptop.
4.  Debrief on "Novel Essay" and Edmodo.  Collect Annotations, Questions and Reflections at the door.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

8 Years Ago - We began war... we are still in Afghanistan

Many forget, we are still a nation at war. This story by Ann Curry reminds us all of the sacrifice.

Tips for Friday's Socratic Seminar w/Edmodo

Some tips for Friday's Socratic Seminar.

Reminder: Socratic Seminar w/Edmodo for Friday.

TO DO: Read the text, underline, circle, highlight things you think are important or that you do not understand. Write at least one question on the handout for class on Friday.

I will be choosing captains (facilitators) to lead the groups based on your questions and annotation of the text.

The texts that we will use are associated with your English classes and the novels you are reading.

Looking forward to seeing how it goes on Friday.

Some things to consider:
Listen actively.
Build on what others say.
Expose/suspend your assumptions.
Do not step on other’s talk. Silences and pauses are OK.
Emphasize clarification, amplification, and implications of ideas.
Converse directly with each other, not through the facilitator.
Let the conversation flow without raising hands, as much as possible.
Make references to the text and encourage others to do the same.
Watch your air time for how often you speak and how much you say when you speak.
Question 1—Agreement: Which parts of the text do we agree with in terms of our work?
Question 2—Aspiration: Which parts of the text do we aspire to or want to work toward?
Question 3—Alignment: What is the current reality, and what is the gap between where we are and our aspirations?”
Question 4—Adjustments: What needs to be done for us to succeed?

Debrief (5 Minutes). When everyone has spoken, the facilitator closes the discussion about the text and poses the following questions for open discussion:
· What did we learn?
· What new insights did we gain as result of this protocol?
· What worked well?
· Did we follow the protocol? If not, why?
· How could the process be improved?

Agenda: Wed & Thu 10/07 and 10/08, 2009

Quote of the Day: "I'm not young enough to know everything." - Sir James Matthew Barrie

TUTORING ~ bring a high level question, your binder, and some hard work to tutoring.

Sophs (wednesdsay) - After tutoring we will log into for the first time and check out the site. I will also give you a text about Lord of the Flies that we'll read for Friday. We are preparing for our Socratic Seminar on Friday - using Edmodo (twitter like application).

Juniors (thursday) - After tutoring we will work on the laptops to research our college of our choice to create our Animoto videos. This is the last day we'll have to do research on the computers in class. We may have another day or two in the computer lab.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Agenda: Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Quote of the Day: "Anything looked at closely becomes wonderful." - Ammond

Agenda: Tutoring Today
Mr. Duez will be grading Binders on Wed/Thu so have them ready for next time. 5 Pages of "Perfect" Cornell Notes

Tonight: "Signing Party" and parent night in AHS Cafeteria at 6pm for Sophomores.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Agenda: Friday, Oct. 2, 2009

Good luck to all our sports teams this weekend! I'll be at the Volleyball game tonight as Cristina's guest. Very honored to be there on Teacher's Night. Go Eagles!

Quote of the day: “The most valuable of all talents... that of never using two words where one will do.” -- Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826)

Juniors - In Blue LGI for Guest Speaker Lilly Chu and "Scholarship Scams."

Sophomores - We will work on Road Trip Nation.