Daily Recap: The pond and so much more.

The pump and the filter are all installed for the pond and it has about a foot of water in it. The fence will go in Wednesday and be done by the end of the day. Yeah! then we can fill. We can work on the landscaping on Friday afternoon with non-juniors.    I hope we can get weed block down and mulch by then so we can get the plants actually planted. We had to water the plants twice today because it was so windy.

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I was thinking about this and we have so much to learn about how to take care of the pond. It will be one of the major projects that will be ongoing next year. I will be making the pond a part in some way of each unit of study.

Which brings me to the curriculum next year for transition to Next Generation Science Standards. I have started an outline of the units. I see some of the crossovers and connections to the old standards but there is some parts of the standards which do not include what was a big part of the standards such as human body systems. This is only touched on in with the Structure and Function section. With less emphasis on rote memorization, I am really wanting to know what the standards aligned statewide tests are really going to be like. If they stick to the way the performance expectations are spelled out and the parameters set out in them negating the need of students to “memorize and regurgitate  multitude of facts and details” how can the students be assessed well on their content knowledge? Will they only be assessed based on performance? How will this be aligned with AP and other specific discipline classes such as anatomy and physiology or should there be an alignment for such specific classes like these? Were these standards designed with only the performance tasks in mind for standardized tests and really should they be referenced only as applicable for courses such as biology which really should be no different in content than a general biology class at the college level?

Today we made considerable progress on the pond despite the rain. It is 90% done. We bought 67 plants and that was just the right amount. Some were not natives just drought tolerant. We will probably plant Thursday and Friday. After the fence gets put in. I decided that even if it is small I want to have a dedication ceremony, the week of graduation, but which day I don’t know. Monday or Tuesday would be good the 4th or the fifth. 

Daily Recap: The Pond and other stuff

I am moving into a two bedroom apartment in a community for 55+ in less than a month. Originally I was going to get the 1 bedroom but it was way too small. I think I would have died from feeling cramped in there. I is not costing me much more for the two bedroom than it would have if I had to get a storage unit for my things which is what would have had to happen.

The community is very nice and quiet as far as I can tell. It is 6 minutes away from work! Of course I am moving during summer break, but still, I can go and check on the pond daily and make sure it is working well this summer. Plus keep the plants alive.

We are doing our third weekend of work on the Pond tomorrow. I think we will get it all done except for filling it and planting the plants but we can start placing them where they go for the curbing guy to work around.

We went to the school cemetery today to clean up. It needs more work but we did one full hour of work. I will be close enough that maybe I will come and do some work once a month or so, just myself. It is a very peaceful place to go.

I hadn’t posted in days because of many things happening this week. We had the Clean Campus Competition Judging. We had to make arrangements for the fence for the pond. We had meetings about giving the SBAC for the Juniors. I am trying to get caught up with grading. We also did a lab this week for biology. We had an awards assembly today. I was pleasantly surprised about the academic achievement of some of my students.

Daily Recap: The pond on campus

Like I said names are changed to protect the hard working person but I can’t believe Ana is saying to me and herself, shame on her for not applying for this mini gran as of yet. Believe you me I know what it is like to squeeze in on more thing to do in a very busy schedule.

Saturday we will work on the pond another day and hopefully we will have the day after Powwow or the next weekend to get it all done. There is not much time left. I forgot to tell Ana about the contest appointment which may be on the 22nd of April. The contact person wanted to come sooner, which could have worked except we will not be done with the pond. I will change the picture on this post later after tomorrow to show the progress.

This is another thing, I didn’t get any application by email like last year for the Powwow. Who knows if we will even have a booth. I will check on this on Monday.

Daily Update Number 02: Like a diary but not really.

The picture is of Dinky Creek, one we took a few years ago.

Despite the fact that I have not posted in about a week I still get a few views here and there on this site for various old posts. I never experienced that on the other blog sites I had been on a year or so ago.
Life has gotten really crazy for me in the last few days and once I get a few things resolved I may share some of the worst of the relationship issues that have occurred in my life in separate blogs.
On the professional side of things, yesterday was event filled. I got a grant a few months ago to build a pond on campus and now finally, almost at the end of the school year, we have most of the logistics of building it planned and handled. We have the work day planned as well. I was freaking out because one person told me that the rock that had been delivered was giant boulders. I have a wonderful coworker who is part of the program mentioned below who is a great partner in this project and she assured me the rocks were of the appropriate size. Of course, there could be jokes made where we ask, How big were those rocks? I found out I received another mini-grant which will pay for the plants around the pond.
One of the programs on campus which has been very beneficial to the students is not going to be continued next year. There could be hope for next spring, but the employees as part of this program can’t wait that long without a job. They will be moving on to somewhere else.
The viewing of microorganisms under to microscopes in biology went well today considering I used only the mud and water and algae from our fountain which is really not a pond. There is the cool site called a Virtual Pond Dip and we reviewed some of these in 1st hour before the microscope inquiry lab today. We did see hydra, rotifers, and stentors.
There is even more that happened yesterday regarding my volunteer work which I am not really at liberty to share, but it all worked out for the good. It was just stressful along with the personal stuff going on…well this explains why I am up at 4:30 a.m. writing on my blog because I can’t sleep. I did sleep some, but the last three nights I wake up after about 4 hours and usually don’t go back to sleep for more than cat naps after that. Uggghhh!

Daily Recap Musings

I asked my students to write to the idea of life lessons they garnered from reading The Maze Runner. Never give up was the theme of their answers. I haven’t given up on doing lab work with my students and today they did behave better than they did the previous lab, yet I wonder what benefits they get from doing the work themselves compared to just demonstrations.  I end up buying all the consumables in order to do labs, although the liver was so expensive at 44 cents—not!  The lab turned out very good except in first period when we ran out of time to finish up tubes 4 and 5. I may have to demo those two tubes tomorrow for first just to make sure they can see the difference in the reactions due to concentration.

The students are really not going to like me when I tell them that they need to do more extensive writing on the report on this lab. This lab was from HHMI and it was great because it show easily without much effort the reaction of catalase in liver with H2O2 and then in the various tubes we use heat and pH and concentration of substrate to enzyme to see how this makes a difference for observed outcomes.

I was exhausted at the end of the day with prepping for each of the lab periods taking up most of my planning (and this was with help from TA’s I got from another teacher) and part of lunch. Plus my TA in 6th helped me get everything ready for 7th hour today.

I worked on our department action plan today. We are planning forward for the next three years with our hopes and wish lists. It will sure be nice if I can get into that research in optics fellowship this summer to help with lab equipment. I finished my application yesterday. It took me a while to write the essays for the application.

Seems like things are going well for starting the pond on campus. I am glad I have a partner in this operation.  When more than one person on campus is involved it seems that people step up and take notice and pitch in.

I finished listening to The Lovely Bones yesterday.  I just read a quick synopsis of the movie and it mentions that the character Suzie weights her need for vengeance and the hope her family will heal from her murder as she watches them from heaven.  Frankly, in the book I don’t see her desiring vengeance at all and she just watches over her family because that is what she wants to do in heaven. She doesn’t seem to have an agenda for her family at all nor does she really give too much thought to getting back at her murderer.

Well I am done with my musing over today.  Interestingly, I had started today’s thought thinking I would write more of my own Life Lessons to add to that other blog I started of that title.

Here is the only one I can come up with for now.

Never give up, try to do each thing you do better than the last time you did it.

Whoa, I think I need to reword this one but I will let it stand for now as the main idea is there. It just doesn’t have the right syntax, nor the right feel to it. I won’t give up on rewriting it. (smiley face)