Retirement Day

I went to work in jeans – against the rules.  I’m sorry Mr. Vidak, it was my last day, and I figured, “Why not be comfortable?  I wasn’t going anywhere.  Nobody but my friends would see me, and they wouldn’t care.”

It turned out that I was wrong.  Sonia cared.  “Don’t you think you should go home and change clothes?”

“No, why I’m comfortable?”  I answered a little irritated that she would even suggest it!!!  Keep in mind that I am out of the classroom, and my office is the very back office in what looks like a library and student events warehouse.   Ok, it is a library and student events warehouse, but we live there, too.  (and love being there, BTW)  So why would anyone even know I was wearing jeans, unless Sonia called the jeans police on me?

“But what if someone was planning to take you to a really special place for lunch?” she persisted.

“Are you planning to take me to lunch?”

“I might be.” she answered somewhat hesitantly.

“Are you?” I was really getting irritated now.

“No,” at least she was honest. “But you might want to go somewhere for dinner.  Do you have plans for dinner?”  What I didn’t know was that she was getting desperate. She had plans to get her hair done, not take me to lunch.  She was no longer my secretary, and secretaries are always the ones who plan retirement parties.  I had no secretary any more, so I wasn’t expecting anything except a piece of birthday/retirement cake at our monthly meeting.

With Paula’s help Sonia finally convinced me.  It was less time-consuming to stay in town and go shopping, so Paula helped me, and I came back decently dressed for my non-existent party.  Glenn ordered lunch and we sat at the table in the most warehousy part of the office and enjoyed a wonderful lunch.  (But I was still irritated about getting dressed up for it!!!)

The rest of the day went as I had planned it.  Writing notes for a new person that would take my place, cleaning all the personal pictures and information off my computer, and other last-minute tasks.  I was there until almost 6:00 when my husband and I were planning to meet his business partner and girlfriend for dinner.

We walked to the restaurant from his office.  As we walked in the door, I saw my friend Janet sitting next to my friend Melissa from Fresno (out-of-town).  Then I saw Glenn.  Paula had planned this all for about three weeks.So much fun!  It was all about ME!!!  “I bet you are glad you wore your new blue dress now, aren’t you?” wrote Sonia in the VERY long note on her card!!!  I almost had tears in my eyes reading her card while everyone around me was talking and laughing.Then Laura presented me with a box of just-baked snicker doodle cookies – my favorites cookies, which I promptly hid under a napkin on my lap.  I don’t share well!!!  It wouldn’t be polite to share when there wasn’t enough for everybody.My longest long-time (not oldest) friends had prepared a History Day skit for me with me as the HD entry.  I ended up winning the “All That” Award and a bag of chips.The entire evening was so wonderful, and I’ll never be mad at Sonia again for insisting that I dress up for “work”.  Oh, that’s right I don’t go to work now.What ever am I going to do?

 

Common Core/History-Social Studies Presentation

The Six Shifts in the Common Core Standards for English Language Arts impact all subject areas K-12:

  • an increase in reading non-fiction texts
  • content area literacy
  • increased text complexity
  • focus on text-based questions
  • focus on writing arguments
  • academic vocabulary

Saturday, April 14th Mary Janzen, Fresno County Office of Education, Dr. Melissa Jordine, California State University, Fresno, and Marsha Ingrao, Tulare County Office of Education, all members of San Joaquin Valley Council for the Social Studies, formed a successful tag team to present an awareness session to history and language arts teachers, literacy coaches and principals about the effect of the Common Core Standards in History-Social Science classes.

Getting acquainted with  Kagan Strategy, Stand Up, Hand Up, Pair Up

Administrators, college professors, and teachers wondered how the Common Core Standards will impact elementary, middle and high school history instruction.

Mary Janzen explains the Six Shifts.
Teachers discussed different perspectives between the strategies language arts teachers use to teach reading of information texts in the content areas, and the specialized strategies unique to social science.

Teachers examine the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution to answer, "Did the states have the right to Secede?

Dr. Jordine shared the Civil War Blueprints, a California History Project document on which professors and teachers worked collaboratively for over a year to complete.  This extensive resource  contains lessons, primary sources, and strategies to help teachers integrate the Common Core Language Arts Standards in this Civil War unit of study.  Teachers in the workshop compared the legal rights of states in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution to answer the question, “Did the South have the right to secede?”

Teachers examined a Toolkit which aligns the Analysis Skills of History-Social Science to the skills of reading, writing, listening, and speaking to assist teachers in crafting quality critical thinking questions in both reading and writing    Marsha Ingrao explains ways to use the Toolkit to implement the Common Core Standards using existing materials in both language arts and history.

Teachers paired up to strategize how to use the Toolkit effectively in the classroom.

They also read and discussed a sample 6th grade Reading Informational Text assessment for 6th grade.

“Students trace the line of argument in Winston Churchill’s “Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat” address to Parliament and evaluate his specific claims and opinions in the text, distinguishing which claims are supported by facts, reasons, and evidence, and which are not. [RI.6.8]”  Common Core Standards Appendix A p. 91.

Thursday, April 12th, Mary Janzen and Marsha Ingrao also made a short presentation to student teachers in Robin Perry’s Fresno Pacific University‘ s teacher preparation class about the Common Core Standards and the Toolkit.  Students were also invited to become members of the San Joaquin Council for the Social Studies.

 

 

 

The Common Core Standards provide  justification for elementary teachers to spend more time teaching history-social studies during the language arts’ block of time.  Teachers in middle and high school learn more reasons to collaborate to effectively implement the rigorous and relevant Common Core Standards.

To present effective instructional strategies specific to teaching history-social science analysis skills,  additional workshops will be held May 16th at Tulare County Office of Education, then in Fresno at Literacy Conference on May 22nd.  This summer, July 16-20th, Tulare County Office of Education will host a 5 day Common Core Institute featuring special presenters, as well as a complete roll out of the Toolkit, and technology training appropriate to implement the standards.