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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Liebster Award!

WOAH! I've been nominated and accepted the Liebster award from Susan Gifford (check out her blog! !  I'm so honored :)

Ms. Gifford has asked me 11 questions in which I will do my best to answer... here goes!

1. What is your favorite grade/subject to teach and why?  My favorite is English - I have only been teaching a few years, with limited experience in grade levels.  So far, I have to say I prefer 9th grade!  Still young enough with an imagination!  
2. What is your best teaching moment? My best teaching moment is when my students are teaching one another, relying on each other instead of me. :)
3.What is your favorite food? My favorite food would need to be buffalo chicken!
4.Why did you become a teacher? I have always wanted to be a teacher, as long as I can remember, with playing school in the basement with my siblings and playing the role of teacher using my mother's portable chalkboard.  
5.What is your favorite vacation spot? That's a super easy one - The Outer Banks, NC!
6. What do you love most about blogging? Making connections with fellow bloggers, seeing how each one of us travels and grows in our teaching career.  We may teach the same materials, but different obstacles, different ways of thinking and teaching keeps us all from being the same.  
7.How long have you been teaching? Going on three years now!
8. What is your favorite food? Whoops This has already been answered in question 3!
9. What do you do in your free time? I am obsessed with pinterest :) Also love traveling, checking out new restaurants, etc.
10.Where do you find inspiration? I find inspiration through blogs, fellow teachers and my students.
11. What is your favorite day of the week? Saturday! Day of relaxing and just hanging out with a day off the following day as well!

In addition, here are the 11 random facts about myself:
1. I moved to NC in 2011 without a job or apt lined up!
2. I am deaf and use hearing aids to hear. 
3. No I don't do sign language, though I am fluent in it.
4.I flew for the first time in 2000 to California for a wedding. Best vacation ever.
5. I am the oldest of 6 kids in my family and the only deaf one.
6. I went to college in Rhode Island and made some of the best friends anyone could ask for.
7.  I am addicted to Mt. Dew and have tried multiple times to quit drinking it with my success rate of lasting 5 months.
8. I get cold easily and relish the hot summer days.
9. I obsess over the beach. I go any chance I can!
10. I broke my arm at 2 years old.
11. I once was trapped between electric sliding doors at the local library as a pre-teen or teen because my weight was too light for the door to recognize that a person was there to open.

Happy Wednesday!



Sunday, April 13, 2014

Spring Break, EOC, and the Last Leg of the Year

WHOO! On spring break and on cloud nine!  Don't get me wrong, I love teaching, but I definitely needed this break.  With the loss of workdays due to snow days, we haven't had a work day or a day off in over a month!  In addition, there was also that week in March in which they extended the school day because we hadn't heard from the government whether they would waive the snow days.  Thankfully, they did. Sometimes, the weekend is just not enough to recharge.

This week is all about relaxing, recharging, and getting some work done for the rest of the school year.  Maybe even throw a beach trip somewhere in between!

EOCs, Final exams and all that good stuff is coming up in two months! Which means I really only have about a month and half left of teaching and prepping my students for the final exam! Oh goodness!  This last leg of the year is going to fly!

Happy Spring Break!


Ms. Bergin

Friday, April 11, 2014

The start of Feature Friday!

Whoohoo!!  Spring break is less than 6 hours away! On top of that, it's the start of Feature Friday over at The Perfetto Writing Room!  Each week, a different educator is featured and we learn more about the educator, what they teach, their style, and tips.  Click on the button below to hop over to The Perfetto Writing Room to see who is being featured this week!

The idea is to connect secondary level educators across the country and build our network of teacher-friends.  Who knows, maybe there will be someone who is featured that you would like to collaborate with!  With technology these days, the possibilities with collaboration is just endless!



Ms. Bergin

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Networking Opportunity for Secondary level teachers in USA and abroad

This is for all Secondary Educators reading this:

We all see many many blogs, facebook pages, pinterest, lesson plans geared towards elementary schools, leaving us wondering where the secondary level educators are.  We are building a network of secondary level teachers.  If you would like to be a part of the network and meet other secondary level teachers across the country, or possibly across continents, please fill out the form below.  Our goal is to easily increase connections with other secondary level educators who have fabulous tips and success lesson plans to share.  We are also here to lean on one another when we may have a bad day. If you have a Google account, please put your gmail address.  We may be building a Google Community to allow members to post and share.  

Please share the form on your blog, Fbook page, Pinterest board, with your fellow teacher friends in your school, your own personal network.  The more people we can reach, the larger our network becomes, and the more resources, tips and stories we get! Click the button below to go to the form.

Networking with Secondary Educators


Ms. Bergin

Monday, April 7, 2014

Bob, My Imaginary Student

Wahoo! It's the week before Spring Break and we are all in overload!  My last block class has an imaginary classmate named "Bob". Bob has a tendency to get students off task and when a student talks and is caught, they say "Bob, shh, you are going to get me in trouble" and resume their work.  I play along, not because I think it's funny, but because it works.  I made an announcement earlier in the semester that if Bob continues to act up and disrupt the class,  he will get others in trouble.  It is so much easier to tell students to tell Bob to focus than to deal with possible arguments of "but I wasn't talking" or "I was responding to what she/he asked me." If Bob is extremely disruptive, I ask Bob to leave the room, making a dramatic show of opening the door and ushering out "Bob".  If Bob is asked to leave the room, students know things have become too disruptive and remain on task the rest of the block.

Sometimes, I haven't heard about Bob, so I will inquire as to what happened to Bob. Students are quick to say he was suspended  and give an elaborate explanation for his suspension and promptly inform me when Bob will return.  

Bob has been absent, and surprise surprise... Bob is back in the classroom today, the week before spring break.  Already, today, three kids (at the exact same time) sitting next to one another "fell out of their chairs", blaming Bob.  I can only imagine how the rest of the week is going to go.

Here's the kicker.  I teach 9th graders.

If your class has an imaginary student, run with it.  Students hate getting in trouble over something they "didn't do" and love it when you play along.  Holding Bob accountable in actuality holds each other and themselves accountable for their actions.


Ms. Bergin

Friday, April 4, 2014

A PBL Project

For years upon years teachers assign projects at the end of a unit for students to demonstrate knowledge and understanding. The project is about the unit. That's what I do with my kids. It's the tried and true way.

Then... I decided to change it up a bit.  I decided to make the unit about the project instead of the project about the unit.  It took some serious preparation on my part.

The kids were assigned to create a children's book on Greek Myths.  The duration of the project took one month, with each student responsible for one Greek Myth to convert into a children's book.  Then all would compile it into a larger book.  All of a sudden, the students saw a reason for reading The Odyssey, for learning how to determine point of view, how to describe characters through action and dialogue.  It completely eliminated the "Why do we need to read this?" or "Why do we need to learn this?".  There was a goal, to complete the book and everything that was taught or read was to help complete the project.  Along the way, they certainly learned all they needed to.   They had a great time making the book.

They have asked me to do another project like this again.  I am going to try to come up with another project for an "end of the year" project.

I realize it is different from the traditional approach, but sometimes, it's a good thing to break away from tradition.  If anything, you will learn whether it will work for your class.

I have put the short story project on my TPT store.

Children's Book Project


Ms. Bergin

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Oh the Struggles...

Just one and a half weeks to Spring break. It cannot come soon enough! We are all dying for a break to just refresh and recharge for the final days of the year.

My class finished Romeo and Juliet today and  I am so happy.  It always seems a struggle to get through the play with the language!  We are working on projects in relations to  the play.  My kids are rewriting the ending of the play - what would ultimately have happened if all had gone according to the first plan the Friar made.

They are required to make a video either through goanimate or through toonboon and share their videos with one another. I am so excited to see the different endings they come up with!  This activity is definitely an activity that is keeping the students engaged during the last few days before break.  It seems difficult to get students to do their usual routine now that the weather is getting warmer, the end of the year is in sight, and spring break less than two weeks away. Time to spice things up!

How do YOU keep your students learning during the days leading up to spring break?

Ms. Bergin