Concept Maps in the Classroom

This year I’m trying a new method of introducing, and keeping students familiar with, our course terms and themes. With over 100 terms/themes combined, I thought all summer long about what was the best way to tackle this undertaking.

And then it hit me: concept maps. According to, “a concept map is a type of graphic organizer used to help students organize and represent knowledge of a subject. Concept maps begin with a main idea (or concept) and then branch out to show how that main idea can be broken down into specific topics.”

Running with this idea, I printed all of the first semester terms/themes onto card stock and then jumbled the order in which they occur in US history. Next, I asked students to work in groups to attempt to place these terms/themes into chronological order. By attempting to create their own concept web, students gained a first look at what they’ll be learning over the next few months, and I, as their teacher, gained insight as to who was already familiar with certain terms and who was not (formative assessment).Students will continue to Continue reading “Concept Maps in the Classroom”

It’s Been About A Year

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been a little over a year since I created this website in anticipation of being a teacher in the States. I have yet to post about some of the fantastic second semester finals that were submitted to me at the end of the 2016/17 school year, and I promise I’ll get to it, but for now, permit me to marvel at the number of people who have visited this humble little spot of mine on the web. Here’s a screen shot from my admin stats page.And here is a breakdown of the number of visitors per country (I cut the screen shot off where the visitors were less than 10 per country).Thanks to all the people – students, parents, faculty, and staff – who have supported me over the course of this first year at Desert Christian High School in Tucson, AZ. God is great!

San Xavier Mission

Stages Photography

dsc_2326cThe kids an I went on a short trip just down the road to San Xavier, a mission church built in 1797. We took a tour (by donation only) with a docent who told us all about the church, from the founding saints to the methods of construction.
According to their website, San Xavier is a National Historic dsc_2348cLandmark, founded as a Catholic mission by Father Eusebio Kino in 1692. It is the oldest intact European structure in Arizona, the church’s interior is filled with marvelous original statuary and mural paintings. It is a place where visitors can truly step back in time and enter an authentic 18th Century space.The church retains its original purpose of ministering to the religious needs of its parishioners.
If you are interested in taking a tour, the details can be found here.

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