“…I need to express myself!”

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Today, as the last 9th grader in 4th/5th block finished presenting his i movie,  a student from the back yelled “Ms. Sanders can I PLEASEEEE (for added dramatic effect) show my i movie again, a lot of people were gone yesterday and I need to express myself!” I was so taken back from his passion to want to show his project again and the way he chose to make his case (that he NEEDED to EXPRESS HIMSELF) that all I could reply with was, what did you just say?? Now, normally when I say this in class they know that someone has said something negative like “I can’t do this” or “this is boring” because they know that can’t is not an optional word in 104 and that being bored is relative…because I have repeated that phrase over and over daily… I am trying a little positive reverse psychology with this statement…I’ll let you how it goes…anddd OK back to the need for expression story…I quickly recovered from my “what did you just say” statement and replied with,” well if you have to express yourself then I guess we need to watch it again!” Now, did this get us slightly off of our time schedule yes, but was it worth it…without a doubt. This story is relevant for several reasons in my life and class right now for which I will now list. #1 Anytime any student wants to re-present anything this has got to be a good sign and even though my porcelain Buddha flew off my desk this week and broke this one moment made the whole week seem to shine. It was obvious the student was proud of his work and wanted to bask in the glory of his hard work, so hooray students being proud of what they are doing! #2 This particular student also went from being disruptive and uninterested to engaged and focused in a matter of a day. Once he realized he had full autonomy over his project he quickly learned how to navigate through building his movie, and would continually help other students who were stuck on photo transitions, or changing their music, etc. The pride I felt when he came to my desk after the first showing of his movie and said “I did good didn’t I Ms. Sanders” not in the form of a question, but in the form of a statement because he knew he worked hard and it turned out well was enough for me to be a believer in the idea that as long as students are engaged and understand what they are doing they will be successful. His eagerness to express himself yet again only further solidifies this truth. Do I think that technology, music and photography helped?? Most definitely, they are the generation of all things bright, loud, and fast so it is no wonder that this project has become such a success but I still believe as long as a classroom is constantly working and knows WHY they are working and HOW it is going to help them in their lives, the need to express themselves will still be felt. What are our students, children, and future if they aren’t a beautiful bunch of expressions? 


…And since we are on this expression kick, the rest of this post will be devoted to the proud  Mexican population at our school. Today, September 16, 2010, is the 200th anniversary  of Mexico’s independence from Spain or “Biecentenario Mexico.” So happy El Grito de Independencia de Mexico and enjoy the awesome expression of these THS students today, imagine if we all had this pride for our school and nation! 

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Our Quote of the Week: “Be a Possibilitarian. No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are, raise your sights and see possibilites- always see them, for they are always there.” – Norman Vincent Peale
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Most things 3rd period, all things room 104.

 The potential in this room is fierce! Third period is rapping up their work on Frontier 

i movies tomorrow and will begin presenting on Friday! I am happy to report that the vast majority is now soaring through i movie, and some are even showing me how to do a couple things! I cannot wait to post some of them so you can share in their knowledge, style, and creativity so be looking for that sometime next week! Also, several other class period’s i-movie work will be posted next week as all classes except sixth period will be completing their work in i movie this week. (sixth period is slowly turning into the little engine that could) and is turning the corner for the good. They received gotchas today for working diligently, conquering email attachments and completing i-movie research and I know they are capable of great things and are anxious to integrate i touches into the classroom (hopefully soon!?! :o) 

Our quote of the week is:

“Overcome the notion that you must be regular. It robs you of the chance to be EXTRAORDINARY.”

-Uta Hagen

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We are embracing life, state standards, i-movie, creativity, all things positive, and rising to the occasion in 104!!!

An Indian Education- Photo Analysis Opinionated, Educated Essay





Today, 11th graders took their Chapter 5 test. Part 2 of the test consisted of an opinionated, educated essay based off the slam poem An Indian Education written and performed by then 11th grader April Chavez. Students were asked to explain what the overall message of the poem was, how it related to our content, and lastly how it made them feel. How would you have done? If you’re feeling funky, go ahead and write your own opinionated, educated essay after watching!  :o) Enjoy! 


For more information about Brave New Voices, click the link to the right! 


Notable opinionated educated essay responses: 


Avery-


“I think that Chavez feels the Indians were robbed of their culture. I think what she means by “Kill the Indian, save the man!” is that the Americans wanted to eradicate the Indian culture, but to make it look like they were trying to save the Indians, they sent them to schools. That way, they could eliminate the Indian culture without actually killing the people. I believe the poem is a confrontation of Americanization, because she displays strong emotion against what the Americans did to the Indians.”


Lenaya- 


” I think she feels this way because she realized that her people were assimilated and were forced to attend Indian Boarding Schools that really didn’t educate the Native Americans. She resented the fact that her people were considered low-lives or people who didn’t belong, people who were thought to destroy the upcoming America. When in reality they were there first, they were innocent people being forced by “sophisticated terrorists” to become Americanized. I think the purpose of the poem is to open up people’s eyes to the mistreatment of her ancestors. Also, I think the poem was a confrontation of Americanization, why? Because it was cruel and unfair to force the Indian people to change their way of life and April explained it very well.”


Liz- 
“I think she is angry that the Indian culture has to put up with hatred. I think the “man” she is talking about is the Indians without their culture. For example, I have Mexican and Puerto Rican roots so if I were to “kill” the Latina in me I would just be an American woman leaving my culture behind me. The overall message of her poem in my opinion is that she is trying to tell people that she is proud of being and Indian and that because they have to put up with fear, hatred, and sadness that only motivates her even more. Her poem was a confrontation of Americanization because she doesn’t like the fact that some Indians today are still afraid to express themselves in their Native ways, afraid to speak their own language.”