Purchase Blocker

Do you think you are being safe online?  You might want to keep a close eye on your phone bill.  This is especially true if you have children.  Watch the below video for an example of one way to help protect yourself online.

GoAnimate.com: Purchase Block by tidertechie

Like it? Create your own at GoAnimate.com. It’s free and fun!

What other ways do you know of to protect yourself online?

Instruction Manual for the Classroom?

Most parents find themselves at some point wondering, “Why don’t kids come with an instruction manual?” Isn’t the same true in the classroom.  Imagine knowing before the school year starts:  If you need something addressed immediately,  you need to call Billy’s grandfather.  Sara is having a difficult time since the passing of her grandmother, and John will harass her about it.  Jackie loves to draw so if she gets behind offer a class contract for 5 minutes of art at the end of class once her grades are up to a C.

One of the key components of high school reform is relationships.  By adding relationships through the personalization of the high school experience, not only will you decrease dropout, increase attendance, and increase successful course completion, you will also build a positive environment for student, teachers, and parents focused on success of students in real life.  

How do you personalize high school?  Create small school setting such as a Freshman Academy (school within school).  Incorporate Advisory programs where teacher keep the same kids until graduation giving them the opportunity to truly build a relationship with that group of kids.  Listen to the students and offer avenue for school involvement such as adding clubs or additional courses.  Of course the listen can go on and on.

The 2009 – 2010 school year embarks our “official” third year of High School Reform focused on Relationships – Relevance – Rigor. There is a common thread that runs through each conference, study tour, research avenues, speakers, and professional developments.  That common thread is to begin with relationships; It is the building block for all other reform.

Summer 2006 was our jump-start toward high school reform.  A group of thirteen of us traveled to the Model Schools Conference in Washington DC.  We had received a grant that suggested traveling to this conference using grant funds.  At first we were just going to send a small group and spend remaining funds elsewhere, but then we talked with another school who had attended the conference the summer prior.  We set out to take as many as possible and hoped to as much out of it as they did.

Did they give us an educational instruction manual? No, there will never be a one-size-fits-all magic potion that will transform every school.  But it did open our eyes to hundreds of successful practices around the nation and the common thread, relationships.  Of course not all high school reform “officially” falls under the 3R’s of Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships.  But after several years of researching high school reform (even prior to summer 2006), it is easy to see that most any school reform can be sorted into these three categories, and the most successful practices are built first on relationships.  These relationships are not just teacher and student.  It is for everyone involved in education:  administration, teacher, students, parents, staff, community.

How have we started to build relationships at our school?

1)  Study Tours
2)  Conferences
3)  Advisory Program (TEAM Tider)
4)  Mentor Program (Minden’s Most Wanted)
5)  Freshman Academy
6)  Positive Behavior Support (PBS)
7)  Freshman Orientation
8)  PTO 
9)  Added clubs according to student interest (Nature, Beta, JETS)
10)  Adding courses according to student interest (Mixed Martial Arts, Robotics, Graphic Design and Animation)

We are continuing to “tweak” our reform efforts, but have already had great success which is easily documented in our school data including dropout, referrals, attendance, and pass rates.  Though a lot of our focus has been building relationships, we have also targeted rigor and relevance.  For the 2009 – 2010 school year we are bridging the gap between us and our feeder schools as well as increasing rigor and relevance through project based learning.

Though there will never be a “fit-all” manual, we can build our own manual specific for our school.  What practices have had success outcomes for your school?


How many summers have you looked back on to say to yourself, “Where did it go?” only to quickly answer yourself, “Work.” ? Of course there is always some fun thrown into summer, but too many teachers’ summers are gone before they began because this is the one time of year you can actually easily attend PD, catch up on projects from the previous year, and work on new projects for the upcoming year.

I am glad to announce:  Not this summer!  I started the summer leaving town for four days to visit family, vowing only to work on Tuesday’s, and committed to finishing house projects before school projects.  I know a few of you are already chuckling and wondering, “So how’s that working for you?”

Well upon returning from our trip to the beach (visiting daughter and son-in-law), I decided only Tuesdays wasn’t too realistic with all the existing projects pending due dates.  So I quickly changed this to working the month of May and starting “Tuesday Only” in June. Today, Friday, June 5th I returned home from school after 4:00.  Ok, so that isn’t working for me yet. But surely I’ve finished some home projects.  Well not unless you count bringing home paint swatches and purchasing a chair from a consignment shop.

I guess I should be pretty frustrated at this point seeing as I’m entering my third week of summer without sticking to any of my summer plans.  But I’m not. Why?  I’m a teacher, and teachers can’t just turn work on and off because it’s summertime.  

Sure I love going in late, working from home, and not working full weeks. I love planning for next year to be the best year ever!  I love creating new activities to stretch students’ brains as far as they can possibly stretch.  And I love learning even more through my PLN and PD.  I love being a teacher because it is more than a job; it is one of society’s vital organs!


End of Semester

I just wanted to let all of you know that I am very proud of you and how far you have come since your first project:) I only wish we could continue into next semester, so you would get full advantage of using the blog, wiki, etc. and even more new projects:)

Make sure to stop by next year to see what technology classes are being offered. With the ending of the 4×4 block and going to a seven period day, there will be changes. Maybe one of those will be even more technology classes:) I will post the information on the blog during the summer, and you can always email me. Don’t forget to stop by next semester and tell me how your new classes are going!

Have fun over the break spending time with family and friends! Be careful and “think before you do”

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I can do ALL things through Christ which strengthens me.Phil 4:13

Welcome to Tider Techie:)

Tider Techie is our classroom blog.  We are located in North Louisiana at Minden High School home of the Mighty Tide!  This blog is currently under construction and should have its official “ribbon cutting” in January 2009.  Of course this is pending parish approval to unblock this class blog from SmartFilter:)  For the next couple of months, we will be working on getting parish blog approval and adding to the Tider Techie blog including rss feeds.