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Kristin Chen Locker

Kristin Chen

October 18, 2019

Conference week has come and gone, and we were back to normal again this week.I only saw the students three times during conference week, and the emphasis was on making up zeroes and completing work before quarter-end. I emailed home progress reports for IEP goals at the beginning of this week, and hopefully you've had a chance to look them over. As you may recall, progress on IEP goals gets reported on every quarter.

 

At the beginning of this week, we spent time setting up their English Article of the Week reflective responses to make sure everyone had it in correct MLA format. All formal essays that they write will need to be in MLA format, so it's important to learn how to do it correctly. I also gave students class time to work on their responses, and provided feedback to most of them (if they had something for me to look at). I am always happy to provide feedback on writing assignments, and written work will increase in English this quarter - just a head's up! Students also worked on their study guides for today's history test, and we spent some time discussing the visual metaphor that they have to create for their history notebook check on Tuesday. This is a relatively complicated project for many, but it seems like most are on the right track. Finally, many students are struggling with multi-step equations, so I worked with sub-groups on this and gave them a step-by-step handout that I hope they found helpful.


October 4, 2019

We've been spending some time on learning correct comma usage, and will conclude our practice next week with a Resource assignment on punctuating dialogue. This ties in nicely with an English class assignment for next week, where the students will be writing a fictional story where they will be expected to use dialogue. We've been doing some non-fiction reading, where the students were asked to write a summary paragraph of the main idea and to use evidence from the text. We've reviewed simplifying polynomials for math, and made math notecards on polynomials and scientific notation in preparation for their test this past week. Many of the kids have needed extra time to complete their homework assignments, particularly in history, so we've also worked a decent amount on completing their "To the Revolution!" outline.

 

Conference week is next week, so teachers will only see the kids three days (please see the CWMS web site for a detailed conference week schedule). If your child has been scheduled for a conference, you should have received a postcard in the mail. These conferences are run by the gen ed teachers as they're the ones who request to conference with students, but I will also attend. Please make sure to bring your child, as the expectation is that the team will come up with a plan to help improve performance, and the student is an integral part of that plan.


September 20, 2019

We've been working on identifying the main idea, topic sentences, and supporting details in grade-level passages, as well as appropriate comma usage. Commas seem to be difficult for the students, so we'll be spending more time on this over the next couple of weeks. I spent some time re-teaching the math they're learning in Course 3, as it's quite challenging: Converting repeating decimals to fractions, and estimating square and cube roots. Additionally, we created notecards for their math quiz. We also studied for their history quiz, and went over the answers to their study guide. Finally, today we watched a fun history video previewing the American Revolution, and did a history Kahoot to reinforce the lead-up to the Revolutionary War.


September 6, 2019

What a whirlwind couple of weeks! Last week we got to do some work around goals: Reading comprehension, math review, and writing. We worked on self-advocacy skills by practicing writing an email to a teacher, asking for help correcting a zero in School Loop. I stressed the importance of using correct spelling, capitalization - and being very polite and specific when asking a teacher to correct something for you. You want to come across as professional as possible. Most students are still working on this, and we will do more practice over the next few weeks.

 

This past week, however, was primarily spent on test prep. The students had tests in science, math, and history, so we worked on study guides and making math notecards - and reviewing and completing their tests in Resource. They all know that the day to start working on their study guides is the day they receive them - but very few of them actually took any notes on their study guides. Please help encourage them to work on their study guides as soon as possible, so that they will have multiple chances to review the information on their study guides (by covering up their answers, making flashcards, etc.).


August 24, 2019

We're off to a good start! The students seem to get along well with their peers in Resource, and I've enjoyed getting to know them. We started off the year by brainstorming interview questions, and then the students paired up to interview one of their classmates. They then had to write up their interview and present their classmate to the class. This is helpful to me on several levels: I get to learn some interesting facts about each student, I get a snapshot of their writing ability, and I see how comfortable they are speaking in front of the class. Other beginning-of-the-year activities included doing a learning style inventory to see how they learn best: auditorily, visually, or kinesthetically. We also set goals for the upcoming semester, and discussed various study strategies for reaching their goals. We worked on some grammar in preparation for writing their personal essays for English, reviewed adding/subtracting/multiplying/dividing fractions for their current math unit, and finally discussed how to properly email their teachers for help. One of my goals for each student this year is to boost their self-advocacy skills and independence, and one important aspect of this is to be comfortable talking to or emailing your teachers. More on this to come!


August 9, 2019

Welcome to the 2019-2020 school year! I am your child's Resource teacher and Case Manager, and I look forward to working with your children and getting to know everyone. I work part-time, and will be on campus every day starting around 10:30 AM. Please feel free to call me at 855-7724 during school hours, or email me any time (kchen@srvusd.net - my preferred method of contact). Every other week I will post brief comments here to let you know what we worked on during Resource class, so please check back from time to time.

 

I hope to meet most of you at Back to School Night, which is scheduled for Thursday, August 22 from 6-7:30 PM!

GRADING

I do not assign homework in Resource. Grades in this class will be determined by a point system where the students can earn up to three points per day. Points will be earned in the areas of Accountability, Time Management, and Citizenship. Students are assessed daily and are able to monitor their progress. Grades will be updated on School Loop no less than every two weeks. At the end of each quarter, grades will be recorded in Infinite Campus and on the students’ transcripts.

 

The three categories that determine Resource students' grades are outlined below:

 

1. Accountability

  • Coming to class on time

  • Completing their daily planner

  • Leaving their workspace neat/all equipment and supplies put away

  • Signing out of Resource

2. Time Management

  • Beginning work promptly

  • Working entire period

  • Completing classwork to the best of their ability

3. Citizenship

  • Following class rules

  • Participating appropriately in all class activities

  • Behaving respectfully to all

  • Using electronic devices appropriately

 

Students grade themselves in these areas every day, and then I review the grading to ensure appropriateness and fairness. This teaches them to take responsibility for their own behavior and their own learning.  If students forget to sign out or grade themselves, they automatically lose half a point for Accountability. I remind them at the end of every class to log out and to grade themselves.

Kristin Chen
Kristin Chen
About me

Teaching is a mid-life career change for me. I received a Bachelor of Special Education and my special ed teaching credential from Western Governors University. I also hold a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Boston University and a Master of Business Administration from UC Berkeley. I have a son in the district at Monte Vista, and a daughter who graduated from San Ramon Valley in 2018 who is currently attending college in Boston. My son has autism, and he is the one who inspired me to change my career to work with students with special needs and their families. Kids who learn differently truly are my passion.

I was born in the Bay Area but moved to Norway with my parents when I was one year old - I have an American mother and a Norwegian father. I grew up bilingual in a suburb of Oslo until I decided to attend college in Boston. I've lived in Danville for 17 years with my husband Charlie and kids Sonja and Cameron. I love to travel to explore new places and cultures, read, cook, hike, and go to A's baseball games with my family.

This is my seventh year teaching Resource at Charlotte Wood and I truly feel that I have found a place to channel my passion - I love helping students work to their highest potential and to achieve their very best. We will focus on developing strong study habits, and increasing critical reading, writing, math, and problem-solving skills. I look forward to getting to know each and every one of my new students and their families!

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