Monday, September 24, 2012

SDAIE strategy

One strategy that I have observed is a 4 square graphic organizer.  There are different ways to do this organizer specially for a Spanish class.  Students must fill the square and is a good way to learn vocabulary.

Quadrant 1:
vocab word
Example - cuadro

Quadrant 2:
Picture of a painting or square

Quadrant 3:
English translation
ex: painting, square

Quadrant 4:
ex: El cuadro de sarah es muy grande

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Literacy Project

  1. How often do you read on your own?
  2. What do you like to read?
  3. What do you hate to read?
  4. At times, do you have problems reading the textbook? Why?
  5. Was reading enforced often when you were growing up? Explain?
  6. If you like to read, what strategies do you use?
  7. If you don't like to read, what do you like to do instead?


My assignment was to get to know my student's literacy habits strengths and struggles.  The questions above were the questions I asked them and I got some interesting results  and in away I already knew what they were going to answer.  In a class of 20 students, about 5 of them actually like to read on their own.  Everybody else either hated reading or only read for homework assignments.  What was interesting was how much my students and I have in common.  We seem to read stuff that we enjoy from horror to reading Facebook and twitter.  What was interesting was that most of them were force to read by their parents.  In my case, I wasn't and as I get older, I wish my parents had push me to read more.  I understand that we got to push our children to be better, but I believe that it needs to be done carefully.  In the case of my students, if they were forced then yes, most of them will hate reading because it may bring back bad memories.  I will definitely will push my son but I will push him  in a proper way so that he doesn't grow up hating it.  

Most of my students would rather play video games, dance, draw, hang out with friends, ride bikes, play sports, board games, and play instruments.  Most of all of this is good and is a good way to find yourself and at times, blow off some steam.  Like like I said earlier, forcing kids to read needs to be properly manage.  One of my student said this "I like to read but when I don't I would draw people(portraits) and dance."  I hope that my son grows to be more like this student and not like me because her parents did it the right way.  We as parents need to see our kids abilities and help them and not force it down down on them.  Some will be good at sports while others will excel in academics or both, drawing, or reading.  Something will grab their attention and we got to be their to guide them.

This allowed me to see what my students struggled with and is something else we share in common.  We hate reading textbooks mostly because they are boring.  I know some material you can't make them fun, but as a teacher I somehow have learn to make the material go from boring to fun.  I have a big challenge ahead of me and I just hope I do a good job.                

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Literacy Autobiography

To be honest, I remember a good chunk of my school education.  It's not that I have a great memory, but I encountered several unique circumstances.  Early on, I remember waking up around 5 a.m. with my parents to get ready for school.  The reason is because I lived in Mexico during those years and my family was what we call "low income."  We would wake up early to make the walk down the mountain just so that I would be on-time for school at 7 a.m.  After that, we moved in with my grandmother and she lived 15 minutes away from my school so waking up at 5 a.m. no longer existed.  I did ok in my studies mainly because of my parents pushing me to have a better future.  You see, my mom dropped out of school in 7th grade and my dad dropped out when he was in 3rd grade.  In Mexico, you have to pay for all your uniforms, books and school supplies so if you can’t afford all these things, you don't go to school.  Thus, my parents would work 2 to 3 jobs just so that my sisters and I would have an education and not suffer the way they did.  Since my parents pushed me hard and sacrificed so much, from  K through most of 6th grade, I was a B student.
The next unique circumstance was moving to the U.S. or as we would say "gringolandia” which translates to "white people land."  I left Mexico two months shy of finishing 6th grade and that's when thing changed for me when it came to my education.  Other students began to pick on me and I didn't understand why.  I become very angry and little by little stopped caring about my education.  Since my parents barely knew English, reading was really not enforced and so I began to hate reading mainly because I didn't understand the language.  Slowly, I picked up the language and began to understand why students would pick on me.  I did what was best for me at the time.  I joined a gang.  Not only did they protect me, but I felt like I was part of a family that understood what I was going through.  Through some of middle-school and high-school I did ok with my education.  I was still in the gang and did the bare minimum to pass my classes.  I had one teacher that cared a lot about me.  He explained how important education was and pushed me to do better.  The last two years of high school I was able to get better grades and was able to graduate.
            College had another unique twist.  I always thought that I would never graduate because I wasn’t good enough.  I got married to my wife, Sarah, who pushed me to graduate.  In her family, having an education was important so the first thing she did when we got married was made me to quit my job and finish college.  I must admit that having her support was what got me through school.  Through her support, I not only managed to be on the dean's list but I became the first one in my entire family to graduate college.  I become the stepping stone for my family and that is something that I am most proud of.                
            For me, it is easy to remember the history of my education given that I had unique circumstances.  I will admit that, it was hard remembering the difficulties in my early childhood.  Those things are very dear to my heart and I get emotional because I saw how much my parents struggled to provide a better life than the one they had.  I was confused on how to start so I read a few written autobiographies that were posted to guide me through it.  Once I saw how other people did it, then I was able to start writing my own. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Even though I saw many injustices at my school site, one stood out the most.  This is a picture of one of the boys bathroom.  In the building that I am in, there are two.  One on each level.  Well it turns out that both bathrooms are permanently close.  There are total of 6 boys bathrooms in the whole school and only 2 are open.  I asked why they were close and I was told that when the school first opened, they had a lot of fights in the boys bathrooms so in order to control it, they closed all boys bathrooms except 2.  Now all boys have to go to the middle of the school to go to the bathroom.  My building in in the back end of the school so  if any guy or boy want to go to the bathroom they have to go from the back to the middle of the school.  I don't think this is right, I mean even for me if I have to go to the restroom I have to go to the staff bathroom when I could just use the one that is right outside of my building.  I get it, the school is trying to prevent bad behavior from the students, but closing the bathroom permanently, REALLY, that's the best idea they can come up with?