Smitty's House of Learning

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United States - California - Sonora
Smitty's House of Learning
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"Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other." -Abraham Lincoln
 
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In this assignment, the teacher will show students political commercials, and the class will discuss them and evaluate their effectiveness. This is a great way to get students interested in how elections work, and I like to give them a bit of
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This is a very fun and engaging jeopardy review game that my kids have loved when reviewing for the test on Ray Bradbury's, Fahrenheit 451. I have a terrific review game for most activities on this site called the Outside-Inside Game that I
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I created this test review game because I have made the mistake before of telling students to “Go study for the test” only to find that they have no idea where to begin (and then they often don’t do it). This gives them a fun way to self-assess, and
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This is a GREAT activity for Economics teachers or anyone that wants to get students more excited about investing. My kids love it, and many of them go on to create their own real-life portfolios and ask me for advice on their stocks after
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In this assignment, students have to think critically about former U.S. Presidents to decide whether they were more authoritarian or libertarian, and more capitalist or socialist in their leanings. I use this assignment early in my American
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This is a helpful handout to use while students are editing their drafts, and I use it to get them to replace poor and over-used diction. I will ask them to alter 3-5 sentences, then raise their hand for me to check their revisions. I will float
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This PowerPoint gets students interested in the book and relates to them how a significant work of literature stays relevant. Sections include the themes, Bradbury's predictions, defining science fiction, and some introductory questions to get
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Note: Use this before doing the Stock Market Simulation I have on TPT. In this assignment, students are tasked with researching companies and finding out information about them that will influence their later buying decisions in the Stock Market
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Students have a hard time brainstorming--especially about themselves. To make writing the College Essays and personal narratives in your class easier, do this activity early in the year. This isn't necessary for your high-achievers, but they will
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TEACHING EXPERIENCE

In 5 years, I have taught 13 entirely different classes, mainly in English and Social Science. I guess you could say I have mastered the art of creating good lessons efficiently! My favorite class to teach is AP US History due to the challenge of it, and secondly my technology class which is a blend of video production, graphic design, game design, networking, and computer science. I specialized in English during my first several years on the job.

MY TEACHING STYLE

I believe that student engagement is imperative for any lesson to be successful. If possible, I want the lessons to be collaborative, and I want students to think critically and reason effectively. My best lessons all incorporate some element of the "real-world" or gamification and simulation. I love to use technology, but I don't use it for its own sake, but rather, when it adds to the lesson in a meaningful way. In every class I strive to make the students creators and thinkers, and in each of my courses, I differentiate the levels and the activities as much as possible. For example: -In English, students participate in a fake investigation, where I give them ample documentary evidence to pour over and reconcile to solve the case and figure out who committed the crime. -In Economics, we do a venture capitalism simulation wherein we recreate the "Shark Tank" television show, and we hear pitches from students looking to expand their businesses. I train them how to negotiate and valuate a company properly and the business model they have. -In Government, I wrote a mock trial, where I teach them about the differences between civil and criminal codes, the rules of evidence, and more. -In Media and Technology, my students make videos for campus projects, they build their own websites and make digital portfolios, and they teach lessons on subjects of their choosing, such as coding, soldering, network errors, installing components, and photography. In all of the above lessons and many just like them, I start with something very engaging and interesting, I "sell" them on the utility of what they are learning, and I make them work together with others to solve complex problems and create something meaningful in the end. It is hard work and I don't really sleep anymore, but my kids regularly go above and beyond what is reasonable to expect, largely because they get excited about what we are doing.

HONORS/AWARDS/SHINING TEACHER MOMENT

TCACSA "Teachers Who Make a Difference" Award Winner, 2014

MY OWN EDUCATIONAL HISTORY

BA, CSU Stanislaus (2009) In Progress, MA in Educational Technology and Curriculum Design

ADDITIONAL BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

-Former business owner -Credentialed in English, Social Science, and Business -Regularly lead Staff Development and Teacher Training involving technology and curriculum development -Created an innovative elective course that blends multimedia and computer science -Basketball coach for 10 years

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