|the big house library||
happy chinese new year! :)
xin nian kuai le! :)
read all about chinese lunar new year on our china trip blog!
Yesterday, I presented to Casa's ELAC (or English Learner Advisory Council).
Administrators, teachers, parents, and students came together in the library to review the school's resources available for families online.
Parents logged on to the new computers in the computer lab and toured CasaGrandeHighSchool.org and BigHouseLibrary.com.
The best part, though, was when I taught parents how to use Google Translate! :)
Casa has made it a goal to do more, better outreach to the families of our English learners. And the library is proud to now be a part of that effort.
Thank you to my 5th period TAs who made this awesome YouTube welcome video for our Spanish-speaking families.
Thank you to our beloved ELD (English Language Development) program coordinator Ms. Judi DeChesere, our outstanding ELD/SDAIE teachers, our dedicated bilingual assistants, and our school administrators for inviting me to be a part of ELAC.
Thank you to Jose Luis for translating for me. My Spanish leaves much to be desired!
Thank you to the handful of Casa students who hung out to help me troubleshoot computer problems.
And thank you to the many wonderful parents who spent their evening with me in the library. I am so happy to know you and I look forward to working together more. :)
"What is with the whole school turning, like, technologically advanced?" one Casa student asked recently. "Even Todd. We have homework for Todd online," she said. "I don't get it. I'm very confused."
This student was referring to economics teacher Todd Siders, who brought his Green Careers Pathway economics class to the library's new computer lab to discover the real and hidden costs of their ecological footprints.
In an online version of a traditional stations assignment, Todd's students calculated the costs of the various aspects of their lives -- driving, shopping, eating, drinking, smoking, etc. -- they listened to podcasted instructions, added their comments to a collaborative online message board, and reflected on their learnings via an embedded Google form. Here's a link to that assignment. It was very cool. :)
More and more Casa teachers are bringing their classes to the library and the computer lab lately. It's common for us to have 2 classes per period using the computers at the same time. It's also common for Casa students to have a couple of classes a day that use computers.
Casa teachers get that technology is a tool that their students need to be able to incorporate effectively into their curriculum, because it increases student engagement, which increases student achievement, which better prepares them for the college classrooms and and jobs can expect to encounter in 2010.
This is one reason why Mrs. Kelin Backman brings her English and Event Planning classes to the library to use our computers to do their work on Google Documents. Mrs. Backman would love to see Casa get class sets of the new Apple iPads. "They're awesome!" she said, "and there are so many applications for them in my classes."
It was one of Todd's and Mrs. Backman's students who made the bold comments at the beginning of this blog post. And after having back-to-back classes in the computer lab, I can understand why she wondered what was going on, why Casa was becoming so techy.
I was recording Mrs. Backman's commentary on the new Apple iPad video for a podcast. I recorded this student's comments as well completely by accident, and I'm so glad I did! To me, what she's saying is a sign (a very good sign, I think) of how far we've come and of where I hope we're heading. :)
According to a new Pew study, teens today aren't blogging or tweeting so much so much as they are flocking to Facebook.
Could be because social neworking sites seem sexier than blogs. Could be because they're more immediate and, well, social.
Either way, I'm curious to see if Casa students agree that it's a Facebook world we live in now or if MySpace is still the place for them.
The Big House Library is proud to support student groups on campus when asked to publicize their meetings and promote their events. This guest post is one such honor.
The Girl Talk group, advised by our very own Rebels English teacher Ms. Athena Kautsch. Any questions or concerns about the students' use of "the B word" should be directed to her. :)
And now, here's Girl Talk! :)
Hey girls&guys, this is Ginamarie with Girl Talk, Casa Grande's feminist club.
We have a lot going on this semester-including guest speakers, workshops, fundraisers, and events- and would love to see new faces at meetings.
Part of what we're all about can be seen on our blog:
We also have a Facebook page, check us out!
We meet Wednesdays at lunch in M-2.