Thursday, September 23, 2010


Tok middle school students are learning a new language that not everyone is familiar with - it's called Logo, and it's a programming language that is used to write all sorts of computer programs. They are learning this language by using a program called Scratch.

Scratch is a programming language that makes it easy for students to create their own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art -- and share their creations on the web.

Students downloaded the Scratch program from the MIT website to their laptops at school. They are learning how to put the programming "bricks" together and will eventually learn to make these cool projects. Last year's 8th graders made great interactive games to go with their geography projects. You can find them on some of this year's 9th grade blogs on the right of this page.

As students create and share Scratch projects, they learn important mathematical and computational ideas, while also learning to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively. Students problem solve together to learn more about programming!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Welcome back - Fall 2010!

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic summer and got outside a little, had a good time with friends and family, and did something new.

I had a great summer that included all of the above. I was on the Tanana River a lot with my family, I took some trips with friends, and I did something new - I went to France with some students from Tok School!

I'm excited to see everyone again this year, and to meet our new 6th graders. Of course we are ready to roll out your 1:1 laptops first thing this year.

Because of funding, there have been some changes to our 1:1 program. Each of you will still have your own laptop, but they will not go home. For students who do not have computers at home, we are working on a program so that we can get some laptops into people's homes. If your family already has a computer at home with internet access, you will still have no problem accessing your work from school when you are at home - even though it's on a different computer! Even if it's not a Mac! However, when you are at school, you will not share your computer with other students - you will be the only user on your assigned laptop.

School Supplies:
In middle school our requirements are few - here they are;
1. paper and writing utensils - we cannot provide these, and you cannot expect your friend or seatmate to provide these for you all year!

2. ear buds - buy a few cheap pairs from the store, or just use the ones you have with your ipod - whatever. You will need them in class.

3. Optional - a jump drive (also known as a thumb drive, jump drive, gig stick, or geek stick). 1G is plenty for your needs. A 1 gig stick is around $8 to $10. They are a quick way to transport pictures or other work that you want to transfer to other computers if you have not put those things on the web.

Looking forward to seeing everyone on Tuesday, August 24th!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The New Middle School Success Night Page


Friday, May 7, 2010

Coming up - Success Night - May 19th!

Middle school students - be aware that Tok School Success Night is coming up on Wednesday, May 19th. The middle school students will be having some presentations of your work that we will show for parents who want to see some of your work.

6th Grade - we will be showing your Shaker Scrapblogs!

7th Grade - we will be showing your Webspiration Civil War timelines!

8th Grade - we will be showing your Scratch interactives!

Scratch is a Logo programming language that is set in a visual medium. 8th Graders have been learning how to use Scratch to write their own video games and interactives for their World Geography class projects - exciting stuff!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Sunday, January 3, 2010

NEW START for 2010!

Welcome back everyone! I hope everyone had a relaxing break and is refreshed and ready to learn for 2010! I'd like to take this opportunity to remind all of my students of several things:

1. Everyone is starting semester 2 with an A! Isn't that great? You can keep it or you can lose it - that part is entirely up to you!

2. Late work - Ms. Weisz was fairly nice about late work last semester, but ultimately it was pushed too far. Too many students waited too long to turn in assignments. This semester I'm sticking with my original policy so here it is; Assignments are due at the beginning of class. If your assignment is turned in later than that - be it one minute or one week - I will deduct 20% off your grade. Assignments may be turned in up to 7 days past the original due date for 20% off. I will NOT NOT NOT accept any assignments that are later than 7 days past the due date. Period. End of Story.

3. Incomplete work - Do not turn in assignments that have questions unanswered, and do not write "I don't know" or "IDK" as a response to questions. I will not score these assignments. I will hand them back to you and ask you to complete them, and then you will receive a late grade when it is turned in again. I usually give A LOT of time in class for you to complete assignments and get help from me if you need it. If you do take an assignment home and happen to be struggling with a particular question, you can email me, call me, contact me on Google chat, or come see me FIRST THING in the morning so that I can help you or at least know that you were having some trouble and I won't dock you on late points.

4. I am more than confident that each and every one of my students knows how to get through our class sites to find assignments, the calendar, their email, PowerSchool, and anything else they may need to take responsibility for their learning at school. I expect you all to make good use of these great tools you have to do exactly that.

Here's to a great new year and a great second semester!