Thursday, April 28, 2016

New Curriculum

Publishers of new curriculum from the
California Department of Education website
Next year, Palermo School (and so many others) will be adopting new Reading/Language Arts and English Language Development curriculum. I had the privilege of spending a whole day this week looking at the options and trying some things out. There were four publishers that have met all the necessary requirements for California's adoption process for our middle school. We looked at Collections, StudySync, SpringBoard, and Amplify (not pictured here). It seemed to me that there was only one possible choice. 

StudySync was the curriculum that grabbed the attention of all of the teachers and held it. I went in looking for a dynamic curriculum that would be exciting and relevant for students with a strong digital component. I wanted reading and writing and multimedia options to engage kids. I wanted units that interconnect literature, informational text, poetry, and drama--short passages and long reads. It is important for me that students be able to collaborate with one another and have many opportunities to demonstrate what they have learned. StudySync offers all of that and more.

Here's this from the StudySync webpage:

Teachers Can Support All Levels of Learners:
Simply and Effectively

Teacher Tools for Differentiation and Assessment
StudySync’s management tools put the teacher in control, allowing differentiated instruction based on students’ needs. Teachers can customize, assign, track, and review each student’s work, anywhere, anytime.

Easy Tracking of Students' Performance
Adaptive assessment tools allow teachers to easily track student progress and improvement. By having access to a complete body of a student’s work, teachers are able to give formative feedback and track growth of a student’s thinking over time.
Powerful Academic Supports
StudySync offers a supportive educational experience for a diverse student body. Teachers can access Tier 1 content for universal application for all students across disciplines, as well as Tier 2 and Tier 3 supports.
  • Audio Readings of All Texts, many with Audio Text Highlight
  • Closed Captioning of Video Lessons
  • Background-building Introductions and Video Previews to All Units and Texts
  • Annotation Tools to Aid in Reading and Writing Development
  • Concept, Academic, and Idiomatic Vocabulary and Grammar Support

The final decision has not yet been made, but there is really only one possibility, as far I as am concerned.

The following video made by Catlin Tucker is clear evidence to me that StudySync is a great option for us.
Reason #1- "Blasts" are one cool way to make learning fun!
Reason #2- Catlin Tucker is an awesome educator that I already follow on Twitter @Catlin_Tucker
Reason #3- Check out this information about eating crickets!! That's a weird coincidence, don't you think?

I am really rooting for StudySync to be adopted by our school for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade next year. 

What do you think?


Famous Person
Can you guess my famous person? Here are some clues. My famous person was born on February 12, 1934 in Monroe, Louisiana. He is also 82 right now. The college he went to was in San Francisco from (1953-1956). He got drafted in the first round and was 2nd pick in the NBA 1956 draft. Also the team that drafted him was the Boston Celtics. Next, he played from 1956-1969. The position he played was a center and his number was 6. As a player he won 11 championships, 5 MVP awards, 12 time NBA All Star, and 3 time NBA first team. After his playing career he became a coach and coached the Boston Celtics, Seattle SuperSonics, and the Sacramento Kings.
Takashi T.   

Question of the Week

I asked Hayley about her little baby cousin Kira! She replied, “She loves the trampoline and she likes dogs and she loves her mom! Her favorite color is pink.” On Kira’s free time she plays with Hayley and her trampoline. Kira also likes to wear her hair palm tree style. Kira likes fishies! Kira takes so many naps! Hayley loves Kira because she is chubby and she is super cute! Kira is only a year old and she has red hair and brown eyes. Kira always wants Hayley to pick her up all the time, but if someone else wants to pick her up, she will run. Go ask Hayley about Kira because she has many stories to tell about her!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016


It is about this time of year that I realize how much I care about my students. I have spent so much time with them, learning about their likes and dislikes, their strengths and weaknesses. I have dreams in which they are walking down city streets waving at me or helping me buy a new car. They have a way of making it into conversations at my dinner table. The truth is, I love my students! Each and every one. It sure is exciting to feel appreciated by them, too. Zoom in to see how Miss White encouraged my students to "show me the love."



I am going to "show some love" back at the Superstars in my classroom. A few kiddos really stood out for me this time around. Some kids are really maturing at this time of year and showing growth in responsibility. I am proud of them. 


A group of students consistently help me after school to get jobs done. They file papers, clean off desks, complete odd jobs, run errands, and many other things. Pictured here are some of the helpers who were here today.


Famous Person

My famous person was born on January 20th in the year of 1985. He is an American country rock artist from Jefferson, Georgia. Four of his songs have gone number 1. He is 31 years old. He also wrote Jason Aldean’s singles “My Kinda Party” and “Dirt Road Anthem.” Some of his songs are Bottoms up, Kick it in the Sticks, Small town throwdown, Country must be country must be country wide, and You do not know her like I do. He is married to  Amber Cochran. They got married on June 28, 2015.  

Question of the Week

Since I learned that the teachers here at Palermo School don’t give much homework, I’ve asked Natisha how she feels about homework when she does get it. She said, “When I get homework I’m bummed because I could be doing other things.” I asked her how often she gets homework. She explained, “Whenever I do get homework, I usually finish it in class.” Next I asked her how much homework she would usually get if the teachers gave her homework in every single class. She estimated, “A page in every class probably, except for math and science. We have a number of problems to do.”

Two Truths and a Lie

1. When I was 2 my father left me. He threw all my memories away. The reason why he left me was for another girl and 4 kids. After that I have never heard or seen him. I have never liked him since.
2. When I was 5 years old my mom took me out for ice cream and I dropped it on the pavement. I was sad that I dropped my ice cream but I carried on and went to the park.
3. When I was 11, I went to the hospital for my face, mainly my forehead. My little sister Calli threw a tinkerbell music box at me. I threw it on her bed and she threw it back. I was bleeding all over my bed and had to get stitches. I have a scar from it.

Thursday, April 14, 2016


Persuasive presentations were this week. They were fun!

Cricket Flour Cupcakes

Cricket Potstickers and Cricket Bars

Kids made up products containing crickets or cricket flour because, as it turns out, they are actually healthy and delicious! They were graded with a rubric that they got to practice with ahead of time. It was clear that some students put a lot of effort into their projects. Ask your child how they scored. 
Whole crickets!
Chocolate Cricket Flour Cookies

Cricket Flour Cookies. REALLY!

For the next couple of weeks, students will be writing persuasive essays. First they will write about cricket flour; 
next they will choose a topic of their own. 
Be prepared to be persuaded by them in the near future.


Famous Person

My famous person was born on May,2,1972. He is an actor and a wrestler {that was a big hint} He was born in Hayward, CA. His initials are DJ. He was in the movies The Rundown, The Game Plan, Get Smart,The Other Guys, Faster, The Fast and the Furious {another big hint}.His father was known as “The rocky johnson” and his grandfather on his mother’s side was a football player playing for the Miami hurricane football team in the year 1991. Later in his career he met and married Dany Johnson {garcia} and had a daughter. In 2008 the couple got divorced.
- Fredy

Question of the Week

I asked my sister Katlyn, “What is your favorite thing about high school?” Her response was that she loves most of the teachers. Her favorite teacher is Mr. Napp. he runs the FFA program and Parly Pro. Parly Pro is a debate team. She is the chairman most of the time which means she gets to boss people around and she is very good at that. The FFA program is the best class she has ever taken. This year she decided that after taking math for two years she had enough credits to do something else. She is now talking floral culture and usually brings home a different bouquet of flowers every other day.
- Olivia S.S.

Two Truths and a Lie

  1. When I was born I was super ill and my grandma had to pay $10,000 so I could live. They would not let me out of the doctor’s, so my dad went and put grow lights over me. He grew me like a plant until I was three. I had three sisters. I am the youngest but the tallest out of them.
  2. When I was five I got to go to Disneyland. My aunt worked there, so we got a discount. I got to go on the California rollercoaster. My sister thought she was driving me, my mom, dad and two sisters, but at the end of the ride she found out that she was not really driving.  We went to see the fireworks and tinkerbell. After that we back to my aunt's house.
  3. Last New Year’s, my cousin passed away in the house. I found out and I was super sad. My dad came and got me and we got in a car crash on highway 20. I broke my arm.


Thursday, April 7, 2016

Student Choice about Choice

The students had some say before spring break in how we can make our classroom a better place. We recognized that some students are disrupting and making instruction hard for the rest of us. 

-What can we do differently? 
-We have to work as a team to be successful. 

Every child had the opportunity to share their opinions. They wrote their ideas on sticky notes, and we organized them by category.

The suggestions fell into the following groupings: Assign Seats/Partners, Rearrange Seating, More Rewards, Get Rid of Some or All Alternative Seating, More Consequences

I was surprised to find many students wanted assigned seating!! Also, there was a series of complaints about some of the alternative seating being too noisy or too distracting. There were definitely some requests that certain students should not get the choice of who they will sit with. Finally, there are students who couldn't take the activity seriously.

About a dozen students stayed after school that day to rearrange and get rid of furniture. I assigned seats.

We've been in the new arrangement for about two weeks. Here is some feedback from students about the changes:
Things students like

More things students like 
Some kids are happy with the changes.

Some kids would rather sit with their friends.

Guest Bloggers

Famous Person

He was born September 7, 1963 in Compton California. He recorded song in his parent’s garage. He is called the godfather of gangsta rap. He was a big part of  N.W.A. He sang the song “Boyz in the Hood.” He created the group N.W.A in 1986 with Oshea “Ice Cube” Jackson. He died from aids on March 26, 1995. More than 3,000 people went to Eazy-E’s funeral. He was buried inside of a golden casket. He had a flannel shirt, jeans and a Compton hat on. He payed $50,000 dollars for each of his nine kids.

Question of the Week

In honor of National Sibling Day which is April 10 this year, I asked Marcy how many brothers and sisters she has. She said, “I have two brothers and one sister.” I asked what their names are and she said, “I have one sister named Jacky and two brothers named Ricky and Benny.” Marcy's favorite  sister, Jacky, is going to the army in Korea. She has spent 3 months in Columbia so far. She just came for Easter break and is leaving today at 10:00 p.m She will be gone for a year. She said, “We are going to leave at 8 tonight and drive her to the airport in Sacramento. It's gonna be a 3-hour drive. We won't be home until 1 or 2 in the morning.”

Two Truths and a Lie

  1. When I was 4 years old I fell of a fence post and I started to roll down a hill. It happened at my uncle’s going away party when he was leaving for the Navy. All I remember was that I rolled down the hill and my dad was running after me yelling my name. When my dad finally got me I fell asleep on my mom’s lap and when I woke up I went swimming with my aunt. I don’t remember anything from the time I rolled and the time I woke up only this.
  2. Ever since the 4th grade me and my sister, Cindy, have been pretending that she was my aunt. Cindy is actually my half sister from my dad. I don’t remember much, but all I know is that when my mom and dad split up, Cindy chose to live with my mom. She changed her last name to my mom’s last name. Cindy is very awesome and everyday we go walk around the backyard and sometimes our little cousin joins us.
  3. I prefer not to talk about my dad. That’s why when people ask I become super shy and awkward. My dad left me and my mom when I was about three or four and last year in May or June he got remarried. The reason I prefer not to talk about him is because he got remarried without telling me or my mom, and all I know about his new wife is that she is allergic to dogs. Me and my mom only found out through my uncle George’s Facebook and some family that has Facebook.