B is for Blast Off

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Apr 09 2011

B is for Benefit Dinner

On March 22, I had the pleasure of attending the Bay Area region’s first annual Benefit Dinner, which honored three families who have been integral to the Bay Area’s growth and impact.  The event itself, for which individuals and corporations purchased plates and which featured an auction and paddle raise, ultimately raised $1.3 million.  This…

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Feb 03 2011

B is for Benchmark (II)

It’s that time of year again: my classes completed benchmark testing two weeks ago, and parent-teacher conferences are this week.  Fortunately, I was able to schedule all my conferences Monday through Thursday, leaving Friday for an excursion into San Francisco with a friend from William and Mary.  While the great blizzard of 2011 hits the…

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Dec 27 2010

B is for Before You Apply

These TFA blogs demonstrate an important aspect of the organization that is rarely publicized, but very important.  Every corps member has a completely different experience than the others.  Even corps members who live together, teach in the same schools, and share students encounter totally different challenges and enjoy totally different successes.  For that matter, every…

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Dec 15 2010

B is for Become Penguin

“Once you’ve reached the point of no return, one penguin more or one penguin less each day doesn’t make much difference anymore.  You live penguin.  You think penguin.  You dream penguin.  You become penguin.” – 365 Penguins by Jean-Luc Fromental and Joelle Jolivet I am quickly becoming obsessed with 365 Penguins, a beautiful and hilarious…

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Dec 15 2010

B is for Behavior

I spent last Tuesday through Friday at a training for Project GLAD, the Guided Language Acquisition Design program that provides strategies for instruction of English Language Learners (ELL).   Since 75% of Rocketship students are ELL, I appreciated the opportunity to learn how best to serve them.  The strategies are certainly geared more toward literacy instruction,…

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Dec 07 2010

B is for Benchmark

Rocketship students take a math benchmark test five times a year to provide aligned data on their progress toward proficient and advanced status on the California Standards Test.  This data is a point of departure for my unit and lesson plans, and it keeps students accountable for their progress. …if only there were a blogging…

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Sep 22 2010

B is for Buzz

In its third year (2009-2010), Rocketship Mateo Sheedy achieved a stunning 925 (out of 1000) API score .  This ranked us #5 in the state of California for our category of elementary schools, as we far surpassed San Jose public schools and the California average.  This year, our goal is a 950, and all the…

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Sep 16 2010

B is for Bodily Fluids

One reality I did not foresee in teaching second graders is the ever-presence of bodily fluids.  Second graders leak.  My students are just beginning to lose their teeth, so their hands are forever covered with spit as they twist and pull their teeth out of their gums.  They spontaneously bleed from scabs on their arms…

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Sep 11 2010

B is for Back

I think it speaks to the absurdity of my new teaching life that I have not updated this (b is for) blog in the past six weeks.  I should ascribe to the same rule I use with my students’ homework (“No excuses!”), but I feel justified in my insufficient updates.  Coming off of 90 hour…

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Jul 24 2010

B is for Boost

Without fail, these videos boost me when I desperately need inspiration. Taylor Mali, “What Teachers Make“- Teacher and spoken word poet Taylor Mali makes a difference. Taylor Mali, “Speak with Conviction“- Teacher and spoken word poet Taylor Mali encourages us to confidently say what we believe. “Waiting for Superman” Trailer- Previews the Fall 2010 movie…

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About this Blog

Bailey Thomson, Bay Area Corps Member 2010

Bay Area
Elementary School

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