Track E Starts August 8

A kind commenter reminds us that Track E schools start not too far from now — August 8 — and  teachers report even sooner (on Wednesday, I think).  There’s a lot of uncertainty (and excitement) surrounding the start of the new year.  What are you doing with your last days of freedom (or servitude, if you’re a parent), and what is (or might be) different this coming year?


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  • For the majority of my summer vacay, I was retooling my units to match the Understanding by Design concept. Now, I am using those units to create my daily lesson plans. I am hoping to have all of August and September covered so that during my preps I can work on the rest. I am also beginning to put together materials to help me as I embark on National Board certification.
    Monday, the first, is the teachers first day back, so I am also buying and putting together the materials I need for my classroom. I have put up a DonorsChoose grant for classification folders to help streamline my filing process. I purchased three-prong folders for each one of my students (55 at last count). I purchased and am waiting for the binder pouches filled with two pencils, an eraser, and a ruler from To this I will add a puzzle piece eraser because my students are all a part of the interlocking puzzle that is our classroom, (the plain eraser is for erasing mistakes that we all make, the pencil is to write our future,the ruler is to measure our success) a package of Smarties because we are all smart, and two Hershey kisses because they are loved. I am hoping that all of this inspires them to do well in my classroom. The pouches go into their class folder so they will always be prepared!
    Then, I have to print out all the assessments that I have the students complete the first week:
    Multiple Intelligence Test
    Reading Interest/Attitude Survey
    Timed Writing
    Timed Reading, etc, etc...
    By the way, for what it is worth, I teach in a high school.

    Wait a minute...I thought I wasn't supposed to be working during the summer. Hey...that's not right.

  • Dear Judgejury81,
    Wish you were a teacher coming back to my school. Have a great school year.

  • I believe it will be a great year! I will also be going through the National Board process this year. I can't wait! And, who knows, maybe I am coming back to your school. LOL :)

  • Dear Judgejury81,
    Wish you were a teacher at my school. Have a great school year.

  • I work at a Track E school, and our summer was only 5 1/2 weeks, so the best thing I can do for my students is to be rested up, relaxed , and motivated for a great school year. The whole point of year-round schools is to give you shorter breaks but more frequently, to avoid student and teacher burnout and keep performance at its best. Now I can go back next week ready to do my best !

  • FYI

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT Rebecca Connie to RSVP or for information: or 773-857-7300

    Beyondmedia Education's Chain of Change project will present its third annual Youth Media Summit, "Building Safe Communities," on August 12, 2011 from 9a-3:30p at Columbia College, 1104 S. Wabash Ave., Chicago. Chain of Change is a youth-led project that uses media to explore the roots of violence and violence-prevention strategies. The Summit will focus on the ways that young people can use media literacy and production to fight youth violence. The daylong event will feature youth-led workshops, panels, film screenings and discussions. Involving 10 organizations and up to 150 youth, it is free and open to all youth aged 12-25.

    The Youth Media Summit will premiere the Building Safe Communities multimedia installation, created over several months by young people from across Chicago and as far as Brazil and the Kyrgyz Republic. The installation uses the written word, sculpture, audio and video to portray young peoples' visions for a violence-free city. The Building Safe Communities installation will tour Chicago throughout the school year.

    Workshops and presentations will teach media and news literacy, digital skills, media making, and social activism. Presenters will engage youth on creative, critical, and artistic levels to show how media literacy can help them interpret and influence their world. The technical media creation skills taught will enable youth to effectively share their stories and messages with peers and adults.

    Youth-created media is uniquely positioned to document the causes of - and provide potential solutions to - youth violence. The creation of media empowers youth to move from passively consuming to actively creating the media messages that so often define them. Beyondmedia Artistic Director and teaching artist Salome Chasnoff reports, "Youth who present their work to an audience for the first time often discover both the power that media makers have and the social responsibility that goes along with it."

    One youth who participated in last year's Summit stated, "As a result of today, I will become an advocate for myself and my community. I will also work to educate myself and others."

    A program of the day's events will be available after August 1. Beyondmedia is also offering free art and non-violence workshops across Chicago, leading up to the August 12th Summit.

    Beyondmedia Education is a non-profit media arts organization whose mission is to collaborate with under-served and under-represented women, youth and communities to tell their stories, connect their stories to the world around us, and organize for social justice through the creation and distribution of media arts.

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