Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Ecobot Challenge Judges - April 17 @ Reliant Center 9 to 5

Ecobot Challenge Volunteer Service Hours:

I received this email from the organizer of the Ecobot Challenge this week (below).  If anyone is interested, please see me immediately.

  • We were delighted by the participation of your high school students who acted in the role of Judges at the March 6 “Practice Day” in Humble ISD. We  made it clear to Alison how helpful it would be to have them serve in exactly that capacity on April 17 at Reliant Center from 9 am to 5 pm (we will take care of giving them the appropriate size T-shirt and we’ll feed ‘em too and provide special recognition for them and for Humble ISD).

  • We need to have an exact count of Judges. So we need to know – how many of these students will participate, their names, what are their T-shirt sizes?

  • We need to know if they can attend the Wednesday, April 14 Judge Training with the adult Judges? [6:15 pm – 8:30 pm – they would have to be driven here.]
    To the extent that some cannot, we’ll have to spend time with them Saturday morning, April 17 at 8:15 am to get them refreshed but it would be super helpful for us and extremely helpful to them to have them on 4-14.
    Link to news stories on the Ecobot Challenge:
    Ecobot Challenge Main Website
    The competition in March @ AHS
    Example of the Ecobot Challenge at another middle school (w/video)

  • Voucher # for SAT for Juniors

    If you are a Texas junior and have NOT received a voucher for the free SAT, they can call 866-756-7346 and they will give them a VOUCHER number so that they can register for the free SAT test.

    Agenda: Week of March 29th - March 31st

    Quote of the Week:  "The men the American public admire the most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who tell them the truth." - M.L. Mencken

    Monday - Invisible Children Assembly
    Tuesday - Tutoring
    Wednesday - Thank You video for Ms. Diaz for inviting us to Invisible Children

    Have a great Easter Weekend!

    Thursday, March 25, 2010

    U OF H,,

    Great time yesterday

    sent from my droid mobile email

    Wednesday, March 24, 2010

    Great college road trip

    Having a great time @ the U of Houston

    sent from my droid mobile email

    Monday, March 22, 2010

    Service Opportunity - Science Circus Night @ Fall Creek Ele. 6-8pm on March 30th

    Science Circus Night.
    Next Tuesday, March 30th at Fall Creek Elementary from 6:00-8:00 pm.

    They are needing students to help with serving as lab assistants at our experiment stations, they don't have to teach, just monitor and help if families are confused, face painters, popcorn and cookie servers, and other miscellaneous tasks. It's a fun night for those that choose to volunteer.

    Please email or see Mr. Duez if you are interested to register.

    Agenda for the Week of March 22nd - March 26, 2010

    Quote of the Day:  "Luck is when preparation meets opportunity."  - Seneca

    * Work with primary sources (NY Times article), discuss in Socratic Seminar and deliver concise address to class to summarize speech.

    Agenda -
    1.  Goal of the Week.  Also meet with RTN group to discuss interview progress.  They are due at the end of this six week's period. 
    2.  View the TED Talk inspirational address:
    John Wooden - On True Success

    3.  Get handouts for the week.  Read the main article from the NYTimes about valedictorians 2009.
    We are preparing for a Socratic Seminar on Friday.  This article is the beginning of that and it it will lead into a number of valedictorian speeches that we'll share and read in groups on Friday.


    Wednesday - Mr. Duez will be out with Juniors on their field trip to the University of Houston.
    Pass out the valedictorian speeches and have students read them and annotate them.  We will discuss them in groups on Friday.
    Main Article that everyone will read:  "In Uncertain Times Valedictorians Look Ahead."
    Speech 1: Muhammad Safa
    Speech 2: Adam Sealfon
    Speech 3: Adrienne Edwards
    Speech 4: Christian Monsalve
    Speech 5: Janae Williams
    Speech 6: Jordano Sanchez
    Speech 7: Kristina Arakelyan

    Also, if time permits, show the DVD AVID Summer Institute Speeches.

    Socratic Seminar using the speeches from the NY Times article.

    Sunday, March 21, 2010

    Top of the Class Socratic Seminar

    Today we will be doing a socratic seminar that revolves around valedictorian speeches of 2009 New York City students.  There are 7 of them so we will have 7 small groups.  Each group will read the main article from the New York Times.  Then each group will be assigned a different valedictorian speech.

    Your job as a group is to discuss the article and speech and to find at least two very important things that you learned.  You will bring that back to the class at the end of the period and we'll discuss as a whole group.

    TOP SCHOLARS From left, Jenae Williams, Jordano Sanchez, Adam Sealfon, Kristina Arakelyan, Christian Monsalve, Adrienne Edwards and Muhammad Safa on Grand Avenue in Brooklyn.

    The main article:  "In Uncertain Times, Valedictorians Look Ahead."  by By LIZETTE ALVAREZ
    Published: June 26, 2009

    Speech 2: 

    Speech 3:

    Speech 4:

    Speech 5:

    Speech 6:

    Speech 7:

    Friday, March 12, 2010

    SAT Training Camp with the Rockets!

    Here is a link to all the information:
    I wanted to relay this information to you, sounds like a GREAT opportunity:

    Students that Attend Receive:
    o Twenty (20) students will win the chance to take the Princeton Review SAT Training Course
    for only $50. This course is valued at $600. Students must submit essay to be
    considered. Deadline for submitting essay is Tuesday, March 23rd. Details Attached.
    o First 300 Students to Register & Attend will Receive Two (2) tickets to Rockets vs. Wizards
    game on March 30, 2010.
    o All students will receive Rockets/Comcast Memorbilia

    The Houston Rockets, Comcast and the Princeton Review will again host the annual SAT Training
    Camp for high school students and their parents. This FREE college preparatory workshop will be
    held at Toyota Center on Sunday, March 28, 2010 from 12:00pm-4:00pm.

    SAT Training Camp will present a full menu of information to help guide parents and students
    through the college application process. Sessions will include financial aid and admissions
    workshops, Princeton Review test taking seminar, as well as one-on-one discussions with
    representatives from local colleges and universities.

    Finally, students and parents will hear from Rockets players and education experts about “what it
    takes” to succeed in college. Panelists will also answer personal questions.
    The “SAT Training Camp” is FREE, but space is limited. Please distribute the attached
    application to your students in grades 9-12. Registration forms are also available on-line at Click on Community/SAT Training Camp. Deadline to register is Tuesday,
    March 23, 2010.

    Wednesday, March 10, 2010

    Permission Slip for U of H Field Trip for Juniors/Seniors

    Here is the link to download the permission slip:
    University of Houston - March 24th - 2010 Field Trip Permission Slip

    More info on U of H:
    Their Main Website

    From their site:

    Every year, students come from all over the world to pursue graduate and undergraduate programs at the University of Houston. What do they find when they get here?
    Our students find more than 100 undergraduate majors and minors and nearly 200 graduate degree programs, including some that rank among the nation's best. They find the opportunity to conduct world-class research with award-winning faculty, like Ioannis A. Kakadiaris, who is working toward early detection of heart attack risk, and Kishore Mohanty, developer of a technology that brings “dead” oil wells back to life.
    And they find a picturesque 667-acre campus in Houston, Texas, the energy capital of the world. In this international city, UH students find limitless opportunities to practice job skills, build professional networks, launch your career and have a lot of fun.
    UH graduates can be found in leadership positions from Capitol Hill to community nonprofits. Our alumni have done it all from walking in space to leading major corporations to winning Olympic gold.
    Discover more of what you will find at UH.

    AVID T-Shirts

    Any feedback on these AVID shirts?
    email me at:
    or leave a comment here at this blog.


    It is meant to resemble the rock video games Rockband and Guitar Hero and the fonts are similar to in game fonts.  What we are trying to capture is the college field trip aspect of the program.  

    Tuesday, March 9, 2010

    Agenda: Week of March 8th through 10th, 2010

    Quote of the Day:  “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.”  - Thomas Edison (1847–1931)

    Goal of the Week while working with your Road Trip Nation groups to schedule interviews.
    Finish the Invisible Children documentary and discuss.
    Also "Motivational Monday" - OK Go music video genius.


    Then, Reflections on Invisible Children.  Watch the "Proof" video from the dvd to see how things are working now with the movement. We are preparing for the March 29th Invisible Children viewing and guest speaker from Uganda.
    Also, More "motivation" with OK Go and their latest music video.  Also watch the Ted Talk Dance video:  The XLD

    Philosophical Chairs.  Discussion question will be chosen in class by the students.
    We will also write a note to our "Teacher of the Year."  Each AVID student will write a quick note thanking a teacher, counselor or administrator for the work that they do for us.

    Teacher of the Year Voting

    Voting for Teacher of the Year at AHS takes place Wednesday and Thursday in Advisory. But, you can vote now if you'd like. The ballot is on the front page of the school website. Or at this link:

    This is an award that I was very fortunate to win in 2006-2007, our first year at AHS.  It was a true honor to represent our school and to be chosen by students, faculty and staff.  We have so many fantastic teachers at our school and we are very lucky to have them.  The list of 13 nominees is an amazing group.  They come from each of the four subject areas and electives.  I am very proud of the social studies nominees:  Mr. Scalia (who won last year), Mrs. Diaz, Mr. Bingham, Mrs. Dunn, Mr. Fortenberry and (of course) Mrs. Duez.  It is amazing to see 6 of the final 13 teachers from our social studies team.  Just amazing to consider.  We are a lucky and very talented group.

    Please do vote and spend a moment this week telling your favorite teacher how much they mean to you and how much they have helped you.  It means a lot and can really be a nice boost to someone's day.  Right around spring break everyone is exhausted, but it means a lot when a teacher is given a few words of encouragement from one of their students.
    Here is a power point of the great nominees:

    Thursday, March 4, 2010

    Invisible Children

    On March 29th, our AVID classes are going to be able to see the new Invisible Children video.  We will also have the honor of meeting a Ugandan person who will be visiting our school.

    On Thursday and Friday we watched the original Invisible Children documentary.

    It brings to mind a book that I love called, "A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier."  So I thought I would highlight it here:

    A Long Way Gone - Book Website

    From the website, about the book:
    "A gripping story of a child’s journey through hell and back.
    There may be as many as 300,000 child soldiers, hopped-up on drugs and wielding AK-47s, in more than fifty conflicts around the world. Ishmael Beah used to be one of them. He is one of the first to tell his story in his own words.
    In A LONG WAY GONE, Beah, now twenty-six years old, tells a riveting story. At the age of twelve, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence. By thirteen, he’d been picked up by the government army, and Beah, at heart a gentle boy, found that he was capable of truly terrible acts. Eventually released by the army and sent to a UNICEF rehabilitation center, he struggled to regain his humanity and to reenter the world of civilians, who viewed him with fear and suspicion. This is, at last, a story of redemption and hope."

    Monday, March 1, 2010

    Agenda: Week of March 1st, 2010

    Quote of the Day:  "I don't know how to put this, but I'm kind of a big deal. People know me. I'm very important and I have many leather bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany." - Ron Burgandy 

    This week's Agenda:
    Monday - 
    1. Goal of the Week
    2. Road Trip Nation - Due date for the interview to be completed:  End of this six week's period.  Book interviews now.  Spring Break might be a great time to do them.  
    3.  Discuss Mock SAT that we took on Saturday.  Kaplan will be back on Tuesday at 3pm - 4pm to give the results.  Blue LGI.
    4.  Invisible Children.  We will see the video for IC during 4th and 6th period on Monday, March 29th.  We will discuss IC and watch a video to prepare.

    Tuesday - 
    Tutoring & Binder Check!  5 pages of Cornell Notes.  You may use Friday's Guest Speaker and also 1 page from tutoring (as long as it's good Cornell).

    Wed/Thu - 
    We will be taking the English TAKS test during the day.  So tutoring will be light.  If a few students need tutoring we will create groups.  Rest of the class will discuss a topic on college - Is the Cost Worth it?

    Friday - 
    Invisible Children preview video.