Tuesday, February 26, 2008


As one gets to know other teachers professionally whether they are from the University setting or from peers at school – natural friendships and mutual respect develops. As I think about my personal growth in this area in my recent career – I found some interesting observations about those I respect and admire: they are passionate about teaching and making a difference in their profession. Tay Cooper is admired by his peers, administration and seeing him in action when issues arise is a learning experience for all those that observe and learn from him. A few examples in my extremely limited “hallway” contacts with Tay: he encourages me, listes to me, appreciates the work I am doing, sees value in my contributions, etc. Also, seeing him respond at large on mail to issues such as an intrusive ping against a teacher – his response reads as a complete lesson in history and civics – very impressive. What a precious asset to our school.

There are others that I have seen as well… early morning and some late evenings – thank you folks for being an example.

I found out that I also need a mentor at the University level that can bring into focus some of the issues I observe in my daily work. I need the perspective of someone with passion and experience as a teacher, administrator, University Professor and now Provost. That man for me is my friend and professor: Juan Necochea. At the drop of a hat I have an invite to visit him at The National Hispanic University in San Jose – to discuss some things that have been rattling in by brain. Juan is a drop of desert dew – all teachers need this source of refreshment.

Friday, February 15, 2008



PURPOSE: To create a reflective writing that will help track our progress through the covered science material. The purpose is to reflect on meaning and the things that are of interest to you in relation to science. The blog must be kept up weekly!


Go to Google Apps - Documents
  • Create a new document (YOU NEED TO DO THIS ONLY ONCE!) You will add your reflections to this one document every week
  • Change the title of the document to: <YOUR NAME> - BLOG
  • The document will have inside the following entries - with the LATEST ALWAYS ON TOP.
TITLE (Your own Design)
<Date> <First Paragraph.....>
<Second Paragraph...>
<Optional: Third Paragraph>

<First Paragraph.....>
<Second Paragraph...>
<Optional: Third Paragraph>

FIRST PARAGRAPH: What did I learn this past week? Reflect on the warmups, the lecture, the reading, the labs, the assginments.
SECOND PARAGRAPH: This is the important reflective paragraph: What does it mean to me? or, What does it potentially mean to me? What is the impact on my life?
THIRD PARAGRAPH: This is for extra credit - one paragraph on any science topic of interest to you - in any field of science - something you have read, something that you find interesting, an article you have read, anything on the news that week - etc. This last paragraph is optional.
Always spell check your work - do your best writing - show off! :)
Follow the normal protocol - SHARE with the teacher as "Collaborator" and Invite Collaborator. Please do not e-mail your document.


Oscar's Journal


Happy Valentine's day! This week we started the new unit - Physics. The emphasis was speed. How fast do runners, whales, and dominoes fall. I think Mr. Hirmas was trying to cover the standard. We also learned what is the standard for physics. Oh, the big idea... yeah: motion.......

What does it mean to me? well - I don't know except that as a soccer player... there is lots of motion. I found a cool site that talks about soccer and physics at: http://soccerballworld.com/Physics.htm


Well... the last two weeks we covered: the cell cycle, cell division (two types: Mitosis & Meiosis). We learned about the Mitosis phases - remembered by the phrase: "you Promised Me Ana's Telephone" the acronym Pro Me Ana Tel then becomes Prophase, Metaphase, Anaphase, Telophase - each leading to cytokenisis the actual dividing of the cell. We learned about sex - that Meiosis is sex division resulting in 4 daughter cells (Mitosis only two) but meiosis has 1/2 the chromosomes....something like that. We also covered mutations types and the disease cancer - nasty stuff.

What does it mean to me? Well honestly I am not sure. I am young so cancer and stuff probably won't affect me. But my grandpa had cancer and died - I wish I knew even more about how sick he was. This bio stuff is interesting and I feel better prepared to even talk to my doctor. Will I be a scientist based on this? I am not sure - I rather go into business - but it is good to know medicine.

Saturday, February 02, 2008


Walk into a High School classroom and observe: iPod wires dangling from the top of T-shirts – normally one thin wire and connecting pod dangling while the other lead is securely plugged into an ear. All the while some hands are busy under the table while seemingly listening to the teacher whilst occasionally glancing down giving the teacher a clue that heavy text messaging is taking place in his class. Long hair and hood’s galore draping the heads of many students, not because the air conditioning is set to too low but because they nicely hide the electronic inputs: ear pods, blue tooth ear pieces, and who knows what else. Observe the teacher calling their attention and telling them to turn off their iPods and take off anything attached to their ears – there is a massive groan in the classroom. The students moan, “...but Miss I hear you just fine. Can’t I just listen to my music too?” Or, “Please Mr. its no big deal we can do both…I also do better in class when I have my pods on!” The class is “wired” with or without physical wires. Electronic devices from the simple to the ultra sophisticated fill the classroom and they are not District property. All the signaling is occasionally punctuated with flashes from phones or digital cameras or a cute tune coming from someone’s iPhone all adding to a tumultuous digital scent. You have just observed the new phenomenon in today’s schools: our digital students. You also have just witnessed a culture clash of traditional teaching being needled by digital probes.

An awesome and poignant message regarding DIGITAL LEARNERS can be found at: