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dmmetler last won the day on February 7 2014

dmmetler had the most liked content!

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About dmmetler

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    Chasing snakes!
  • Birthday 06/16/1972

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  • Biography
    Mom of a highly asynchronous kid ;)
  • Location
    Memphis TN
  • Occupation
    Music teacher

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  1. Have you tried HomeAway? I don't know how much they differ for VBRO, but I know a lot of houses are listed on both.
  2. One thing I've had to point out to DD is that weighted grades DO exist and to show her weighting formulas. She was really worried about the number of scholarships based on GPA and feared getting a B with a passion, until I had her go through and calculate her GPA unweighted, weighting only DE at 5.0, and weighting how her equivalent classes would be weighted at our local PS (which weights DE and AP at 6.0 and honors at 5.0-and every high school class DD has done exceeds the syllabus for the honors classes offered through our local high school-which says more about them than about her)-and showed her that, yeah, she can afford a B or two-especially in a college class-and still qualify for the big scholarships at public schools, because the ones that want a 4.0 or higher also specify weighted GPA, and the ones that specify unweighted usually want more like a 3.75 or even a 3.5. It's fine for her to take hard classes and risk a slip.
  3. My favorite statement about whole language comes from my mentor teacher in grad school, which is that Whole Language only works well when kids actually have a whole language. That is to say, for kids who have been read to from birth, have a very large vocabulary already, and have already internalized letter/sound correspondence and basic phonetic patterns. They will learn to read fine using any method you want to use-including just continuing to do what you've been doing with no formal instruction. (And, in fact, this is the case for most kids who learn to read spontaneously before age 5). Unfortunately, few 5-8 yr olds actually have a whole language, as opposed to parts of a language-so let's give them the parts they are missing to build a whole language. I am very happy, now, that I got assigned to her and to the school I was placed in, because it meant that after several years of being seeped in whole language propaganda, I ended up learning to teach using Spalding, mostly with kids who did not speak English at home and had not been read to in English before starting school.
  4. You can watch recordings and do the assignments/materials at a different time. We usually have a few who do that each semester, especially if time zones don't work out well.
  5. I am reading Acceptance and am, frankly, finding myself getting downright panic stricken about DD's chances. Because the whole theme of the book seems to be that having a strong personal story and a guidance counselor with the right connections can open doors even at the most competitive of schools-and well, DD has a resume full of snakes, pokemon, and snaky pokemon. She has great grades and test scores, but apparently that matters less than that personal connection. And I don't have connections with guidance offices except for one friend in the local state U I went to undergrad school with and meet for coffee every now and then (and DD has already decided she doesn't want to go there). She hasn't had hardships or a compelling family narrative. We aren't able to be full pay much of anywhere, but aren't poor, either. She isn't the first generation to attend college-or the third, on DH's side. She is a legacy at one particular school, in that her great grandfather's name is on a building, but again, it isn't even on her list of places to attend. She had to give up her varsity-level sport this fall due to medical issues, and may or may not be able to go back. Her two greatest areas of interest, and most likely undergrad majors fall in the "Two majors that put you at a disadvantage" becasue they are so common among kids who really are undecided-biology and psychology, since cognitive science/behavioral neuroscience/ethology/animal behavior are often not undergrad level majors. She has a few clubs and activities, but they are mostly small groups of homeschooled kids who come together for a specific interest. She doesn't plan to talk about her advocacy efforts in college essays, because she feels they were unsuccessful. Honestly, she doesn't really want to write, or talk, about herself at all. And we have a choice between a guidance counselor who really doesn't know her, or going independent her senior year and having mom write everything. I almost feel like I've stepped onto a football field holding a basketball, with no clue how to play the game. EEP!!!
  6. This is the one for this fall. The one for Spring is focused more on specifics, but they can be taken in any order The Spring schedule should be out fairly soon, and the course description for Herpetology II will be up then. Here are the stated prerequisites: Before taking this course, students should be able to: Read at a solid 5th-grade level or above. Write a few sentences independently. Students should be willing to: Actively participate (via the microphone) in the class discussion. Encourage class discussion by adding their questions/ideas in the chat window during the webinar. Respond with positive and encouraging comments on their classmates’ posts in the classroom forums. Required books & materials: Weekly readings will be online, no textbook required. In general, most of the materials are on a 5-9th grade reading level, with some higher, and there will be at least one source on each primary topic accessible to students on an upper elementary level-either a reading passage, a video, or similar content, as well as a few that go more in depth at a higher level (up to and including journal articles). Anything that may be troubling, like feeding videos, is flagged. The age has run a full range-we have had students who are 6-8 years old, and students who are 16 years old (including one who was taking the class because he was scared of snakes and wanted to be less so). The average seems to be about 11-13.
  7. dmmetler


    We're struggling with this as well-I think it is normal for teens to embrace something with the zeal of a religious convert, and become downright evangelical about it-and then be hurt that others do not immediately see the light. And I think it is also natural for them to reject something that they have been raised to believe, or at least go through a period of questioning it, like starting to notice hypocracy in the church they have been raised in, and to embrace that with evangelical zeal. It's tough, especially when the adults have already gone through that stage and decided on their particular area of compromises and where they are comfortable ethically-which probably isn't nearly as extreme.
  8. That's scary-I've been on Ranitidine as a chronic medication for over 2 years due to hives secondary to Hashimoto's.
  9. I'll warn you-whenever I've said something like that, a cat/kitten has found us. Like about a year ago, when DD came back from playing Pokemon with her scooter in one hand and a kitten in the other.
  10. We're really getting excited at this point, now that so much is set and we're working with specifics. And this semester's herp class is going well, so she is confident in what she is doing.
  11. My parents are on faculty at JMU, and I grew up there. JMU is a huge school, both in numbers and size. Part of that is the way the campus has grown-basically, every time the city builds a new building farther out, the university takes over the old one, so it has ended up spreading out. Many services are mirrored on both sides of campus for that reason. It's always been a sports focused school to some degree, and it definitely has the "bleeds purple and gold" feel now. The football stadium is in the center of campus. It has also always had a substantial Greek culture. One thing that frustrated me on the tour is how much focus there was on sports, and that there was no mention of the marching band (one of the top in the country). Having said that, it is also a substantial undergraduate research school. JMU is one of the few schools that regularly bring multiple undergraduate researchers to major conferences in both my parents' discipline and in DD's. They are one of the few schools that actually have funded research for more than a handful of undergraduates. They host multiple REUs each year. Part of that is just plain serendipity-back in the late 1970's, when JMU moved from being Madison College, they hired a lot of young faculty, usually those doing post-docs or right out of their PhD's, many with families. And because Harrisonburg was a good place to raise a family, instead of these early career folks spending a few years at JMU and moving on to research Us, they brought their research with them, wrote grants, and built their labs and research programs from scratch-using undergrads because at the time, there WERE no grad students except maybe in Education and business. When those folks made it to the level to be hiring junior faculty, they picked those who also wanted to be at a teaching/research college with a focus on undergrad research. There is a substantial portion of students on campus who are there for that reason, and could care less about the football team and parties. There is definitely a niche and community there for a high stat kid. JMU is also a major music school, and gets a lot of kids who want that, either as a major or minor, and again, the fine arts college has a different feel and a kid who is involved there could basically ignore the sports/party stuff unless they decide to be part of the Marching Royal Dukes-and MRD is it's own community that just happens to perform on the football field (and unironically considers the football team their warm up act). My brother went to Mary Washington, back when it was 90% women, and loved it there. It's a great school for a humanities focused kid.
  12. On AP MT, one reason why it isn't common is that music schools often don't accept it. They have their own theory placement exams and use those for music majors. For non-majors, AP MT substitutes a hard class for an easy elective, and kids who take AP MT usually are those who do music in college for fun anyway, so while it may get credit, it usually isn't worth it. The course CONTENT is definitely useful to a musician or aspiring music major, but if you can't find the exam, I wouldn't stress too much because the chance is high that the exam actually won't benefit your DC. FWIW, here the most accepting schools have been fairly upscale private ones. I've never managed to get to a human with the authority to make a decision in the public schools, but in the private schools, it's usually just a matter of looking up the upper school guidance counselor and calling or e-mailing. The one DD takes her test at doesn't even require pre-payment. They just include her in their test order, and we show up the day of the test with a check.
  13. I don't know what they are called, but when DD was 5-6, one of DH's co-workers loaned us a set of beautiful Hindu stories with the text in both Hindustani and English. She loved them, and they were great.
  14. My school had a lot of Mennonite kids, because they did not have an elementary school at the time. I suspect that helped, as did the fact that it gave the teachers a free prep period without the school having to provide coverage. We really didn't have any kids who didn't participate, and the hosting school was more than willing to give space to other groups (I rather wished I could have gone with Aaron-the Protestant class was pretty boring, and Hebrew looked a lot more interesting). I don't know if the other schools did it to quite the same degree. My neighborhood was almost all faculty families from the university and Mennonite college/Seminary, so even the less religious families usually saw value in their kids reading the Bible as a text and helping the less fortunate.
  15. We had Weekly Religious Education in Elementwry school. The whole grade (except for the kids who's parents didn't want them to participate, who stayed at school) walked down to the little Mennonite Church on the corner. Protestant kids went to a couple of classrooms and memorized Bible verses and sorted food items and clothing for missions, the Catholic kids went to catechism in a different room, and the one Jewish kid in my class went to the pastor's office and studied Hebrew with someone from the Synagogue. In Jr/Sr high there were religious clubs and groups like FCA, which met after school, at lunch, or during homeroom. Pretty much you could have any club as long as you had a faculty sponsor and a half dozen kids who wanted to do it. A lot of schools here have Kids Beach Clubs, which are kind of like once a week VBS. The kids who sign up either walk to a nearby church after school or the church runs a van to the school, and they do VBS type activities, and have tutoring and homework rooms. Usually parents are encouraged to come and stay for dinner and Weds night church/AWANA/Royal Ambassadors. Middle and high schools tend to have Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Campus Life, and similar groups.
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