Sunday, December 20, 2009


Christmas break started Friday 12/18. Our gift to the family was what is becoming a tradition, a trip to the "Del" in Coronado. The event is a live performance by the Lamb's Player's Theater cast in a turn-of-the-century five-course dinner setting at the Grand Ball room.


Our follow-up was Sunday at our home group Christmas dinner at the best Chinese restaurant in San Diego: Hunan in Rancho Bernardo... Yumm...

It has been a very nice week-end to start the Holiday. Tomorrow is the sad task of attending the funeral of a beloved teacher. May she rest in peace.

What follows...student grading - the typical teacher tasks during the break plus neglected "honey-do" tasks.

If you are reading this blog may you have a blessed and wonderful Christmas.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009


A little over one week and we are at our Christmas break - time indeed goes by fast! Tonight we had a blast taking pictures! Merry Christmas from the west-coast gang:

Sunday, November 15, 2009


From a few drop-ins at the beginning of the semester to a pretty crowed lunch classroom the kids keep coming. Here is a snap back in September. They love having the technology open to them... so far all the students have been very well behaved and awesome. Laughter, music, videos, movies, etc - a nice mix in a safe environment.
Crazy to "give up" my lunch - well... maybe.

In looking at my pics I came accross this beauty... nothing to do with lunch - maybe.

Friday, November 06, 2009

November already?

Wow... first unit wrapped up, so is mapping, oceanography, and energy in the earth systems onward to rocks and minerals!

Nothing more precious than the Hope diamond... ahhh except our students!

Photo courtesy of Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Friday, September 25, 2009


Wow - time just goes by so fast!

Next week is Week # 6 and the six-week grading period looms very close. It has been an incredible journey as we move forward wrapping up our intro unit in science. Well well worth pursuing the agenda of building foundations before running - I am hoping that the literacy component + math components will help smooth all the student's performance in the upcoming units. Time will tell.

Overall excellent connections with the students - they are great kids...

The shadow lab - Mr. B's creation - great touch to the unit - thank you Jack for your work!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009


Moving along!
A pregnant female Pachygrapsus crasipes
Great observations!

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Wow what a week - time goes by so fast! Students are awesome.. from introductions to assessments to lectures to homework to spcorpions...don't ask. In any case - great week.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Time has slipped by and the summer is but a dream... I am starting my fourth year of teaching and looking forward to a good year. BTSA is completed as well as all my SIOP training. This summer I also read Freeman and Freeman's book: Academic Language for English Language Learners and Struggling Readers (a decent and practical book) plus completed the in-services on advanced SDAIE and A Framework for Understanding Poverty - two VUSD sponsored events - excellent resources. Thanks to the team that put this together.

I have picked the theme from Oracle's Thinkquest regarding teamwork: think, connect, create, and share.

Monday, August 17, 2009


We "ran-away" to nearby Carlsbad and discovered a nearby paradise! :) Here is one sequence of the view from our room - stitched using Windows Live Photo Gallery - very easy to use...nice job Microsoft.

High School sweethearts to now...what a journey!

Saturday, August 15, 2009


I completed this week the best in-service I have received to date... Thanks to all the folks that made this event possible and my peers in class - you are an awesome group!

Saturday, August 08, 2009


Glacier Bay
Ella - Pool
Rock Fish / Pink Salmon / King Salmon Fishing

Family - Sitka Alaska
Library gathering spot

The Philipino Crew Show

The Dancing Rotendam Dinning Room Staff

Thursday, July 30, 2009


We will traveling tomorrow and touring Alaska once again... we are looking forward to good fellowship with the family, excellent food, great views, and just a time of relaxation. :)

Sunday, July 26, 2009


At the start of summer (~early May) a small patch was planted: zucchini, chilies, tomatoes and even corn. Bumper crop!

Confession time: our gardener planted it for his family on our land - we share the blessings! Thank you Socorro!

Today we enjoyed BBQ (Lamb Chops) + fresh corn + fresh tomatoes... wow!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Well I was finally able to find enough time to backup my laptop and actually install my new hard drive on my PC... it was an easy hardware install. The software went smooth as well - so I have a brand new install - let me tell you it was badly needed. I can not believe the speed of this baby now!

We will see what happens when I load the application software... :(

Having said that however, just having the space is a great reason to cheer! Yeah!

Sunday, July 19, 2009


My niece is traveling Burkina Faso... she is sharing great insights into the nation. Where is Burkina Faso you say? Well here is a map:

And here is a snap of the beautiful people of Africa:
And in Indonesia - Steffan in action!

Also hearing from people in China, Russia, Bolivia feels very good...someone is doing GOOD work - it humbles you. Thank God for good family.


Summer heat brings out our reptiles... here is one this evening after a very hot day today:
Look at his belly...humm, but his tail is missing...double humm....

Monday, July 13, 2009

iQUEST WEEK 7-13 to 7-17

Dr. Katherine Hayden invited me help teach a one week camp for 7th graders who were starting 8th grade in the Fall. The camp is part of the iQUEST program sponsored by the NSF and CSUSM. Our job was to: "...the kids should get an experience that will make them enthusiastic about science..." We achieved our goal! The kids were absolutely fabulous. The team was awesome - thanks Traves and Kim and our support CS students: Antonio and guys rock!

Find more information at iQUEST.

MONDAY - Well we are off and running - the kids are absolutely great! Today's agenda was: Introduction, Moodle, Survey, Observation Crab Lab, Reflection... etc. Working with Traves and Kim was a pleasure - nice chemistry all around.

TUESDAY - it went very well . Physics took its turn to wow the kids with observations, hands-on and thinking through their observations. They took apart a disposable camera - discharged the capacitor (big Wow for the kids) and looked at the lens shapes and functions. Lastly, they measured temperatures in various venues using the new Spark equipment. Busy day...but rewarding.

WEDNESDAY - This day was held primarily outdoors - GPS all over the place. We got some of our cache items moogled! The students had a blast.

THURSDAY - Busy day with the eye virtual and hand's on eye dissection. Oooooo! Plus professional presentations and video conference + robotics!

FRIDAY - Measurements, boat building, and wrap-up... what an experience...we will all miss the kids.

Friday, July 10, 2009


Boy - we hit the ground running on Tuesday - teacher meetings at the cafe...followed by Wednesday meeting with Kathy and then Allyson and the admin team - all of it coming together. Met Wednesday with Sonny Portacio and brainstormed the GPS exercise... found our first cache with the new equipment by the Elephant Bar :)
Thursday Traves and I took the way points in school for Sonny's exercise.. in addition to tending to seemingly 100s of emails, money to Africa (no scam by the way) LOL... it is Friday morning trying to catch up. This w/e we will be crabbing with the other teachers... promises to be fun. I am not sure the hourly rate for this project but I think we are working for nickels an hour...

The etrex LEGEND H Garmin unit:

Picture of one of our way point locations:

More to come this w/e...

Monday, July 06, 2009


I have to give it to Southwest Airlines - convenient, inexpensive, friendly, and on-time. Behind great organizations are always great leaders...Herb Kelleher - now retired. If you don't know the story of SW here is a highly recommended book: Nuts! Southwest Airlines' Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success. They also have a robust blog - catch them at:

Flying home I noticed something interesting... can you notice from the pictures?

Controversial? Maybe...but is it reality? Look around you... and remember the alphabet soup: ELL, ESL, LEP, BICS, CALP, LTELs...