Sunday, October 15, 2006

Conferences coming up

With the imminent approach of parent teacher conferences, I am interested in some reflections from my students over the past 9 weeks (this means we are halfway through the semester-yahoo). What do you think? Has class meet your expectations? What is challenging you? What is exciting you about class? Also, I would encourage you to reflect back over the projects we have accomplished this semester and evaluate those as well. Take a look at what other classes have done:
English Nine podcasts:
www.smithenglish9.blogspot.com
This I Believe podcasts
English Nine Honors SAT vocab assignment:
www.annesmith9h.blogspot.com
Wonder Woman Gone Country
English Literature scribe:
www.smithewl.blogspot.com
Daily Scribing

Also, think of this, I will be sitting in the gym for three and one half hours each night for two nights over the parent teacher conference time, what do you want your parents to know?

66 comments:

BenH said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
AnnaD said...

When parents come in for conferences, I would encourage them to ask about the use of projects, group work and the time spent with laptops. Basically, I would suggest that parents ask all of the typical conference questions.

Zachf said...

The amount of work given in this class has gave me a great perspective of what I can expect in high school. Being in an Honors class I notice my classmates and I are pushed harder than kids in other classes, and I like that to an extent. In the beginning of school I noticed this class is also not a usual class, it was unpredictable. Now, I know what's expected of me every week, I wouldn't mind have some more variety in class. Overall, I want my parents to know I put the most work into this class than any other one because my expectations are higher. My grade may not be as high as I want it but I'm proud of the effort I put into my work.

EmilyL said...

I think that this first quarter has been a learning experience for me. I personally was not ready for one-night papers and the Macbeth tests.
After nine weeks though, I have properly adjusted to the expectations of high school. I have learned to worry more about whether I am completing the assignments and my personal understanding then whether I got an A.
As for my favorite part, I think I stand alone in this, but I really enjoy vocab. I like learning new words and ways to use them.
For parents: Parents should ask not only about assignments but also growth there child made during the year.

Mphair said...

Just in general, "normal" parent-teacher quesions. Such as: any continual problems? Does he/she need any help in any areas? Do YOU (the teacher) need any help?

DeirdreC said...

I just love everything about this class. I love the teacher (aka Mrs. Smith!!!) and the people in my class. I also like the books that we read and how Mrs., Smith was able to pick books that she could somehow relate to all of us. I love using the laptops because I can time up notes and have to read in the book all at the same time. I also like how our finial project is to do Photostory and how we have to show pictures and relate them to the short stories and the books that we have read. For conferences, I think you should just ask the parents if they think that using laptops and doing all the cool things in your class is helping them and if they are having fun or not. I also think you should ask the parents if they like the idea of the laptops and all the technology.

BenH said...

I think the semester has been going well in general. I also agree that general conference questions would be good. But parents should learn about what their kids have done before they go into conferences. I have really enjoyed the laptops, too. They have really made it easier for me to learn.

JoeS said...

When Mr. and Mrs. Smith come in (my parents) I want you to be very honest about my behavior and everything we have done or what i have lacked to do. Tell them the idea behind the class and what positive and negtive affects may come out of the class.

JoanneH said...

My favorite part of the semester has been the fishbowls. I love them! Whenever we have a Fishbowl day, I can't wait for fifth hour.

karib said...

I just love the whole class in general. It's out of the ordinary so I pay attention better and it just flies by. I just want parents in general to know how much we've accomplished and how hard we worked. I'm also a much faster typer but I don't think that is what you were asking for.

kayla257 said...

I agree with Anna, I know that I would like my parents to know about the overall point of the class as well as what we do on a regular basis. I think it would also be nice if the teacher of the class would encourage them to ask any questions or concerns they might have over the class and work.

maria k said...

I think that this class is awesome because it isn't full of small pointless things we won't really ever need. Instead, we're going really deep, looking past the text and discovering the message the author was trying to leave us. I've never really taken such an interactive class where the STUDENTS take charge, and I think it's a much more effective way of learning. Fishbowls take it to the extreme and I enjoy it because a lot of the ideas are things I would never think of on my own. I totally agree with joanneh there.

I would want to tell my parents that all this work isn't just the norm busy work. It actually is helping me learn and remember instead of short term memorize.

kelleys said...

Challenging is a word I would use to describe this class but every one needs a challenge in life its what makes it interesting. But high school is all about challenge an harder projects so its better now to face challenging thing than later. I think Smith English 9 is a class to experiment with new technology like using laptops as the main idea.

connord said...

I want my parents to know that it wont be that difficult to bring up my grade and that what we are doing is working and fun. I think that i have gotten much much better at discussing and thinking things deeper when i read them. I now ask questions and have deep ideas when I read and i didn't used to. This class has met my expectations and exceded them. I didnt think i would have to work this hard although I have my grade because of spacing things like the writing conference. Using the laptops to blog and the fishbowl is very exciting for me.

endsleye said...

The exciting think about this class is working with the laptops. It is so different from the normal classroom that it is so exciting to come to class.I think that the parents at conferences to really learn all about this class and to really take all of this in. This is NOT education as the usual.

Sarah C said...

I think that the best thing I have enjoyed about this classroom so far is the Fishbowl (laptops and dicussion). It helps keep the conversation going not just in the cirlce, but outside of it as well. I know for me it is a great oppotunity because I find I can express my ideas more clearly on the blog than aloud. I think something the parents need to know is that we are enjoying the laptops, and using them to expand our learning, be free from normal textbooks and notetaking education.

kimmy c said...

What I would like my parents to know about all the fun vocab. projects we do, as well as my progress in the class, and outlines about how the class goes. Also i believe my parents would love to hear about a fishbowl, so showing them the blog posts and describing how the process.

christa s said...

In this first part of the semester, I have been challenged mostly with finding out how to ask good questions. At first, I would put a sticky note on every page and asked questions about things that didn't really interest me. Then Ms. Smith told us to annotate the things that meant something to us. I think that know I am asking better questions, and although I still have a lot of sticky notes, they are about important things that I've read.
I think my parents should be made aware of how we are challenging the system with our learning and how we are all positively affected by it. I think we have all advanced our thinking to some degree because of how we are learning.

chelseah said...

Half way through the semester and I have survived high school so far!! I have enjoyed English honors for the most part, even though at times it has been very difficult. At the beginning of the semester, when we were reading Macbeth, I was having a difficult time keeping up. I do think that Macbeth was hard to start the year out with, but it was also a good preparation for the rest of the year. I think that the class has definitely met my expectations, but I am not really sure what my expectations were in the first place. I do enjoy the class, though, especially with the laptops!! They have really helped me, and I really enjoy not having "education as usual". The class is challenging, but I like a good challenge, because it prepares you for future references.

kjerstinl said...

This first half of the semester has been so much fun! I love english class, and I always can't wait to come in to class. One thing is that I love the environment of our class. It's so comfortable and fun, its so easy to be yourself! Also, there are so many fun activities that we do. For instance, the vocabulary activities, although they are kind of hard, they are so much fun to work on. I'm surprised how much each of the activities have helped me learn too. Also, I've learned to annotate in books, think of connections, and remember important facts about each book for a quiz.

When talking to parents, I would like them to know about how comfortable our environment is and how much we have grown from our learning experiences. I want them to see some of our vocabulary projects and see how they helpl our grades when it comes to vocab quizzes. Also, see what amazing things that we have done on the laptops! Other than that, jus tthe normal stuff about how much we've improved since the beginning of the year to how we are now.

paigen said...

This class has been such a new experience for me but I really like it. I am so much more computer savvy because we use laptops! I really like vocab too. It is nice to know so many new words.
This class has definetely met my expectations. It makes me feel so important that the super intendent would come to our class and listen to us. I am really impressed with this class and I am so glad I got into it.

elyse h said...

So far this semester we've accomplished alot. Using laptops this semester could not have been better. We can do so much more with projects that we are assigned, and it's faster. We can go above and beyond on any assignment we are give, and it's not what we've been doing in every other English class. Learning on laptops has benefited me more than anything, and i would like my parents to know that. (also that they should buy me a new laptop for home because i have this class on laptops. haha)

AleeA said...

At the beginning of the school year, I was having a hard time adjusting to the new school and expectations, for high school is a whole different world than middle school! It took me a while to get used to more challenging readings like Macbeth and LOF, which made us think for ourselves verses the middle school technique of the teachers telling us what to think. Now, especially because of the laptops, I am always looking forward to coming to English and having some fun! Now, nothing is really challenging me, there are things that make me think, but nothing that leaves me hanging and wondering what is going on. For my parents, I just want them to know that I am really glad that I stuck with this class, because I am really enjoying it now and know that it is helping prepare me for my future! I am understanding things and being able to ask really in depth questions and seeing the symbolic meaning behind things. I’m even starting to connect things in my life with some of the things that have happened in the books we have read so far. The work load is sometimes a drag combined with the rest of our homework, but it has gotten better and easier!

saram said...

Its half way through the semester and this class has been nothing less than amazing! It has been completely over my expectations since day one. The challenges I've had have mainly been related to having so much freedom. Last year we had very specific guidelines that we had to follow. Everyone's project or assignment looked very similar and they were very boring. Now we have all these choices and freedom. It was very overwhelming at first and it very hard to get used to. Now that we have all gotten used to it, it's not as much of a shock. The most exciting thing about this class is definitely the laptops and being taught in a completely new way. I love all of our vocabulary projects. They are a ton of fun and I love to see what new activity Smith comes up with each week. My favorite was probably Wonder Woman gone country or the bumper stickers. I want my parents to know that this is not education as usual and why it's different from other English classes. I also want them to know how different the class would be without the laptops and why they are so significant to our class.

ADRIANA G said...

This class has met and exceeded my expectations. I have had a lot of fun doing the different assignments on the computer. This year has really challenged me and allowed me to do a lot of creative things.

HannahJ said...

These past 9 weeks have been great in Smith's english class. The projects we have done with the SAT Vocab have been fun and have helped me a ton with learning the new words. I have noticed that I've been doing relatively better on the SAT quizzes and I can recognize the words and actually use them. The class has definitely met my expectations because i never expected to use laptops in any of my classes, but it's definitely made life easier.

tanal said...

When our parents come in for conferences i think we should share with them all of the things we are able to do on the laptops so far and how much they have taught us so far this year. Also you should tell them about the activities and projects that we have done with our vocab and how well we have done on our vocab and how much it is heloing us learn. I

I think that this class has met all of my expectations and that this class has been great for me. i have had an outstanding time. This class has been both challenging and fun.

_annaw_ said...

I think this class is really cool-I love having a laptop to use, and any information I need at my fingertips. It was slightly annoying in the beginning when you didn't know what to do, but it is so fun every day in class.

adamb said...

This class is the best class work load wise becauseif you bomb an assignment you can make it up with other assignments. I am lookin forward to conferences.

jess b said...

i think that this is semester has been pretty good. We have had a very challenging semester but I think that it will be good in the long run. It's definately difficult to keep up with all the work. i think that this class is great for us and allows us to take our education to a new level.

EmilyH said...

Well, i'm gonna have to say the amount of work assigned is moderate to heavy. i definitely think parents should ask about how laptops are changing our learning experience and what this class is doing to change the style of learing

briang said...

For parent teacher confrences, I would just like my parents to know that I have really enjoyed this class thus far. The homework load, like what has been said earlier, has really showed me what high school is like. I do have the most home work in this class, but I complete it and I've been doing fine. Id like my parents to talk about the meaning of lap tops in this calss, and I would like them to ask questions about homework. I would also just like them to ask how I'm doing individually, and maybe about what other students and parents think about the class.

alexm said...

The first nine weeks for me, at least, have not been the most fun. I'm beginnning to feel that with the laptops, the work levels have increased dramatically in comparison to my Honors English classes in 6,7 and 9th grades. I feel that while the blogs aren't really hard to do, they become hard to complete on time for me. I always do them, but I'm usually a day or two late because they are sometimes assigned right as we're walking out the door, so I forget. This is my fault. The projects that we do in class that I work really hard on aren't graded. The bumper stickers, the pick-up lines and the other activities could really help my grade, but they can't if they aren't graded. I guess thats about it. I wish we could do xtra credit.

shaunam said...

With the imminent approach of parent teacher conferences, I am interested in some reflections from my students over the past 9 weeks (this means we are halfway through the semester-yahoo). What do you think? Has class meet your expectations? What is challenging you? What is exciting you about class? Also, I would encourage you to reflect back over the projects we have accomplished this semester and evaluate those as well. Take a look at what other classes have done:

This class has definately met my expectations. I has pushed me, but not too far. I am learning alot and I really enjoy this class. I espeacially like the fishbowl discussions and the live blogging. I like all of the projects since they all help me understand what we are working on more.

joshb said...

sjSo far this semester, I have improved my vocabulary and I am getting better at tests. I struggled at the beginning of the year, but now I am pulling up my grades. I would like to work on getting better grades on blogs and getting them done.

Phillips said...

Class has definitely met my expectations and it has gone far beyond. I didn't know that I would be having a laptop class at the begining of the year. I thought it was going to be just another boring English class. However, I would like to uses the laptops more than just with bacsic look at the text online things.

KathrynT said...

I really enjoy using the laptops and think that they are a big help in class. Fishbowl disscussions are fun. I really have never like Socratic Seminars before, but with the laptops in fishbowl, i really do enjoy it. You don't just talk to get your two points, you talk for the point of the discussion. I found Mscbeth hard to follow along in class, but it did teach me a lot about how to take notes. The work load is decent-- i never take out LA binder out of my backpack. But the load is not unbearable. I really do enjoy the class and have been learning a lot.

Lyndsey Davis said...

I think that this class has been a little challenging. There has been alot of homework and a lot expectations of us from you. I think it is a good class that has helped me alalyze my reading and my writting skills. I think you should tell the parents what your expectations of us and what kind of homework you are assigning us. I think you should also ask the parents if they think you are giving us to much homework.

Matt D said...

I want my parents to know that I am quite happy with this class. I love the laptops, and I think that they have enhanced everyone's learning. My grades are coming up (slowly.) I'd say that this has been the most engaging class I have ever taken.

toreinm said...

I wany my parents to learn about the books we've been reading and the projects we've been doing so they can halp me and know wha is going on. I don't think that talking about grades is something that needs to be discussed because my parents check my grades almost every day and they also can check it when ever they want and its a waste of both of your time.

toreinm said...

I wany my parents to learn about the books we've been reading and the projects we've been doing so they can halp me and know wha is going on. I don't think that talking about grades is something that needs to be discussed because my parents check my grades almost every day and they also can check it when ever they want and its a waste of both of your time.

Sarah W said...
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John M said...

I think this class has been really fun, especially because of the laptops, because i would much rather learn on the computer where everything is fast-paced instead of a textbook clase where we get lectured all day. A challenge for me is that we read A LOT, but i know it will do me good and I guess i can take on the challenge! I think it is also cool that we knew our final at the beginning of the year and that we focus on one thing the whole symester. My favorite thing so far is doing the "This I Believe" podcasts!

Sarah W said...

This class has been more than I expected. I love how we work on computers, but at the same time it has challenged me because I am not so much of a technical person. I like coming to this calss becuase Mrs. Smith makes it so fun. I don't know what i would want my parents to know except the truth.

zoey said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
JohnS said...

At parent teacher conferences, I think that you should comment on all the new and creative things we're doing in the class and try to stay away from all the negative things.

TyC said...

I am in Smith's 5th period honors class, and it has turned out to be way better than I thought it was going to be. Using laptops for our class has been so amazing. I don't know if the English would have been fun if we did not have laptops. I also like what Zach said about my classmates, and they are all very smart people. Smith is an amazing teacher, and I look forward to the rest of the year!

zoey said...

When I told my parents about how most of our work is done on lap tops they thought it was so cool, I was able to tell them a lot of things about it however in conferences I think they would like to learn more about what we done on the lap tops in this class.

ashleighc said...

This is my favorite class this semester. The computers make everything so much easier, to look up a word all you have to do is type in dictionary.com and then the word. It's simple, it's fast. The discussions, when people are participating, can be very interestiong and, well, deep. This isn't learning as normal. It's not what I expected a ninth grade english class to be, it's on a much higher level.

Richard M said...

I feel as though that it is a smart idea to have our class use laptops everyday. In the real world we use technology everyday. This class has met my expectations of what a class should be. In this class there is a wide Varity of assignments that I can actually look forward to doing. The only thing that is challenging me in this class is really just keeping track of papers.
Other classes are much blander than this class because all of the other classes use old fashioned ways of teaching. This class also saves money for the school. There is no paper wasted from this class.
The projects are much easier to keep track of and they are much easier to do.

Abarker33 said...

For this class, it seemed as though it went very fast. It is a very different experience getting to use such high technology. I think that it was a very good idea testing out latops in the classroom. It seems like we havn't got to use the laptops as much as we should have. I like how for our final we got to use the photostory program i thought it was a lot of fun. I think we spent most of our time reading various storys or books. Even though i dont really enjoy reading all class period i still look forward coming to this class everyday.

Lane C. said...

I think my mom will be coming to conferences and my guess is that this will be one of the number one classes she wants to visit. What I want her to here is how I individually am doing in the class and why it's that way. I also want her to know about the books and projects we will be reading/doing.

erinl said...

I think that we should encourage parents that the laptops we use are great tools for our learning, not that any parents think they are bad, but any that don't should know that they are awesome to use. Honors class has really pushed me to work harder, becuase I have never been in a honors class, so I seriously had no idea what it would be like. I have learned to share my ideas with the class and to think more outside the box. I have really learned alot from this class and I hope that I will have it again next semester.

Aylar said...

When parent come in for conferences, I think its extremely important that they don't focas soley on the students grade. Although this is imporant it shouldn't be the sole focas of the meeting. Ask about projects and other thing that we have done in class.

Rileys said...

In this class i have learned to effectively take notes that will benefit me later in the unit and in life and have developed study skills that i never needed in middle and elementary school.
When parents come in for conferences it is my opinion that they work with the teacher's to find out what the student needs to be more succesful for the next semester.

Madisonm said...

So far this semester---I have learned a lot; having to do with english and writing, as well as learning about learning and the approach I take to learning. At the begining of the year, I felt pretty overwhelmed with everything at school in general: getting used to new teachers, new classes, a new school, and a new enviornment completely. At first, I was very skeptical of this class in the fact that most of our work was done on the computer and on the internet. I felt that it would be very difficult for me to keep up with everyting and enjoy it at the same time. However, as the year progressed, I tried to change my attitude towards this class. I tried not to focus so much on how much we were working on and I tried to have more fun with what we were doing. And I found, that even by just changing the way that I thought about this class, helped me a lot. I have come to find that the laptops are a different way to learn, but they can also be a fun way to learn. Sometimes I still wish that we were just doing all projects on paper and by hand---but there are definitely instances where I am very glad that we have been given the opportunity to work with the laptops and use the available technology.

tomr said...

Like many here, I believe this class was a wake-up call to the work that is expected on high school. Now I actually have to study for tests, something I could coast by without doing in middle school. Plus, the use of technology is very innovative, and, in general, the class is totally different from anything I've done before.

lindseyc said...

I think this class is one of the toughest classes I right now. However, this is not a bad thing. I love the fact that it is hard because it challenges us not to just be average, but to go above and beyond. This is shown in all of the projects we have done because you can see how much time and effort is put into each one and how hard the person worked on it. This is not education as usual, which is a refreshing change of pace.

Maddyg said...

These past 9 weeks have been amazing! The laptops have made so many more opportunities to understand things than I've ever had before. If I don't understand something at first, I will somehow. Through discussion, blogging, making a song out of it, or even just asking because you are easy to talk to. I also hated to take notes on a separate paper while I was reading a book, but with an online text I could put everything right there and it was so much better! And I think that our parents should know that.

lauraf said...

Coming into this class, I think I had either the wrong expectations, or a different idea of what it would be like. In all of my english classes before, we have basically written essay, read books, and done a little amount of research on topics. I thought this class would be similar, just at a higher level...I was wrong. This class is truly not education as usual. I have never been expected to annotate entire books, and I thought, although tedious sometimes, it helped me think more about what the book was really saying and take more away from the texts. Also, I have never been in a class that spent 6 weeks on one text like we did with Macbeth. I really liked that we did so much with it and not just blow right through it. I also thought all the projects we have done have been really interesting--some I have no idea why we do it, and others I really like how it connects with what we are learning. When the parents come for conferences, I think it would be helpful to explain how helpful the lap tops have been!! Many of them might consider them useless, but they have assisted in deeper levels of learning throughout this nine weeks!!

EmilyA said...

This class has defintely met my expectations. When I first found out that I was going to be in Honors English I thought didn't think it would be a challenge for me, as my middle school advanced classes were. Some things that have been really challenging me in this class is the Macbeth quizzes we were taking prior to Farenheit. I was struggling with them so much because i mainily didn'g get the whole Macbeth theme and sorry, it seemed as though it was in a different language. The main thing that excites me in this class is the fact we get use laptops, I have always liked them and I like them even more after using them in this class.
The project I really enjoyed was the Wonder Woman gone country song that our class made. They were something different that I would never be able to do in any other class and it was fun to sing.
At conferences I would really like for my parents to know that I am doing all of my work and trying my hardest.

hannahs said...

Class has definitely met my expectations and I look forward to English every day. I feel challenged in many ways in class. SAT Vocab has been a challenge because I find studying for the quizes difficult. Also, writing satisfactory papers has also been a challenge because the expectations are higher. I am always excited for this class because I love having laptops. I feel like a trusted and responsible adult because I have the privilege of a laptop and I feel like the limits on learning have been significantly expanded. In addition, I love coming to class everyday because of the people in my class. My classmates are friendly, love to learn and make the atmosphere in the classroom exciting and enjoyable. One of my favorite assingments we have every week is the activity we do on Wednesdays to use our vocab words. These activites, which have included bumper stickers, country songs and movie posters, have taught me that vocab is useful and a colorful vocabulary creates a more interesting world. I would like my parents to know that I work hard in English and I am enjoying every minute of it.

danh said...

I think that this is an honors class as it should be. The work load has been challenging but manageable. And the books we've read aren't like the ones I read in middle school. Let's just say that compared to them, these books are like a dandelion in a recently bombed and still radioactive area. (And they are anyway, but that's just a comparison!). And, as a cherry on a chocolate sundae, blogging is the cherry on top of my English Honors 9 class. Although Macbeth was about as enjoyable as gettting four teeth pulled within five minutes, it really helped me to understand the writing style of the glorious William Shakespeare. Pwease tewl my mommy wut a gweat cwass dis is.

kenna_d said...

I love being in laptop class, I feel like it enhances learing opportunities all of the time. This class has really met my expectations, it was everything that I wanted to get a chance to do and more. I think that we are challenged everyday to think and analyze for ourselves. This class offers so much, I love that Ms. Smith always gets us involved, like when we acted out Macbeth, instead of just reading it. I love the projects that we have done for our vocab in this class. My favorite by far was creating a song about Wonder Woman for a podcast that was later posted on our blogger webpage. As I said before, having laptops has truly enhanced the way I have been learning in, this is not education as usual.

Karl Fisch said...

I think you should share this post and these comments (well, there are probably too many, but at least share the one from their student). I think that in addition to talking about their student, you should share some of the student's work (again, if you have time), and your hopes and dreams for what their student will learn (and become) in your class.

ashleighm said...

When my parenst visit for parent- teacher conferences, I want them to know my strong points in class and how I can improve my weaknesses. I would also like for them to ponder ways that they can help me specifically in this class. This class is one of my favorites, but I want to be able to reflect it better with my grade.