Friday, December 7, 2007

Reflections Period 3

What changes have you seen this semester in regards to your education? What role did technology play in that change? What role did the constructivist philosophy play in that change? (constructivist-students becoming producers of information, students in charge of their own learning)

Make sure to include specific examples and expand on each other's ideas.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

This I Believe Essays

For the second year in a row, I have had my students write, revise, and rewrite their "This I Believe" essays based off National Public Radio's segment. These students had to not only write their essay for our class publication, but were required to publish it for the world by submitting their essays to NPR as well with parent permission. Like last year, I found their essays to be pretty good, but to hear them read their essay aloud makes an incredible difference. They truly express their voice and passion for a variety of subjects such as t-shirts, friends, community service, and even family vacations. Please take some time to listen and give some constructive criticism to my ninth graders. Their written work is hyperlinked as well below.

Adam A.
Alena V.
Angelica O.
Anna K.
Annie S.
Averee L.
Berek M.
Brandon H.
Carter W.
Dennis K.
Ethan L.
Jackie N.
Joey W.
Josh T-S.
Kelly S.
Lauren E.
Lauren P.
Mandi G.
Sam H.
Sean B.
Sean D.
Xavia H.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Modern Biology Teacher

Take some time and reflect on at least one take-a-way you had from Mr. Wallace's conversation about what it is like to teach Biology in a classroom in the 21st Century. Reflect on his thoughts about creationism, intelligent design, and evolution.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Odyssey Book Twelve Questions

Record your questions and make sure to come back to answer somebody else's.

Odyssey Book Ten Questions

Here is the place to record your questions as well as answer your classmates'. Good luck!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Google Earth Personal Learning Journey

I posted on Learning and Laptops about my students creating their own personal learning journeys from their travels and places they have lived. I was trying to get them to realize before we read the Odyssey, that the places you have spent time have influenced you similarly to the effect it had on Odysseus in his travels.

We spent about 4-5 days in class learning about Google Earth from Mike Porter (he is a saint no matter what Karl says about him). The kids completed the project in stages working first with the writing portion answering the questions of where did they go? what did they do there? what did you learn? what mattered from your visit? how does it still affect you today?

Once the writing portion was complete, Mike assisted the kids with creating the place marks of their journey. We even challenged the kids to add pictures from their online photo albums as well as encouraged the use of video and audio. We didn't have any takers there, but it gives us room to grow! I was really excited about this project and glad I took the time to do it with the kids.

I am so thankful that Mike came over to help with the technical side of things; also, it was really fun to see him as the teacher. I can only imagine how interesting, creative, and funny it would have been to sat in his classroom as a student. I will make sure to have the kids comment on the process, but even though not everyone completed the assignment, I really am thankful for those who ventured out to try something new. Check out their examples:

Adam A.
Angelica O.
Anna K.
Averee L.
Alena V.

Carter W.

Dennis K.
Ethan L.
Jackie N.
Joey W.
Josh TS.
Kelly S.
Lauren E.
Lauren P.
Mandi G.
Sam H.
Sean B.
Sean D.
Xavia H.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Odyssey Book Nine Questions

Here is the place where you can continue to ask and answer questions about Book Nine of The Odyssey. Remember to ask specific questions as well as check back often to hopefully have your questions answered.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Meaning of the title

What do you think is the meaning of the title, " The Most Dangerous Game?"

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

PLN Week 1- post 2

I read a recent post from Karl Fisch's The Fischbowl regarding testing and the value we place on testing.

I have always felt as though I was one of those teachers who did not place a lot of value in test scores because there are so many factors that contribute to students doing well or doing poorly on them. For example, some of the contributing factors that pop into my mind are that we over test kids (in one year alone kids take PSAT, CSAP, MAP testing as well as all the other classroom tests), maybe they didn't eat breakfast that day, maybe they had a bad experience with a friend or parent before the test, the test doesn't measure learning but rather regurgitation, etc. I really could go on forever about testing; HOWEVER, and I mean a big HOWEVER, I do feel that I am slightly hypocritical about test scores when it comes to my own child.

When looking for a school for Emma and Jackson to attend, we of course looked at what school would be best for as kids and learners. We wanted a school that would meet all their needs? And, sadly, what school had the best test scores. I know it is not something I value or want to say I support, but I have to admit I looked up the school's scores on CSAP. Do I think CSAP accurately measures learning for every child? I don't think it does. I know growing up, I was not a good test taker. I talked myself out of correct answers on tests time and again.

So why do I place value on them? I guess part of it, is that I don't have time to go and sit down in classrooms at the elementary school level to see if it is the best possible learning environment for my child so I must rely on other resources to aide my decision. I know I should make time, but I trust that these tests as well as other factors (i.e. talking with other parents, administrators, teachers) will help me make the right decisions for my kids.

So, what does this mean for the world? I feel as though we are moving in a direction that puts more and more emphasis on testing and accountability regardless of what that means to the kids. I do think the tests can be valuable for the students if time is given for teachers to talk about the tests, and that the kids are not over tested. I fear however, we are heading in this direction-over testing! On a personal note, I recently learned that my kindergartners, Emma and Jackson, are actually going to be tested during the beginning and end of the school years. I thought to myself, they are only starting school and they are already measuring and assessing them.

So, what can be done? I am not sure. Is that we as a society need to start placing less emphasis on test results? That we need to trust that teachers are doing their jobs and students are doing their jobs. I worry sometimes that blame is placed heavily on teachers and administrators for not doing their job when we don't consider that the students are the ones actually sitting down and taking the test. Teachers and administrators can provide all the instruction and guidance in the world, but it is up to the student to apply their knowledge and understanding.

I guess I don't have answers to testing, to measuring kids and schools via testing, but what I do know is that it is time to start having these conversations about overtesting, purposes behind all the tests we administer, and where to go from here.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

What Matters: seand

Family- My family matters to me because I can go to them for help whenever I need it and I know that they would help me. My parents have cared for me my whole life and supported me in everything I do so they matter to me a lot. My uncle and aunt are also a huge part of my life. I know that if I ever needed anything they would do whatever it took to get it for me.
Friends- My friends matter to me because they help me to laugh and have fun when I am in a bad mood. Friends are different than family because they are the same age and they understand how you think.
Florida- The next couple of things that matter to me are Florida and my boat there. Some of my favorite memories are of my family and friends in Florida. My parents and I spend a lot of time there and it is a very special place to me. Florida matters to me because I can get away from all of the stress that I have in school and sports and just relax. My boat matters to me because when I’m on it it’s like a whole different world. Time doesn’t matter and you don’t have to worry about anything, it’s just you and the ocean.
Faith- I was brought up in a Christian family and I think that my faith in God has done a lot for me in the fourteen years that I have been alive. My faith matters to me because when everything is going wrong and when I feel like nobody understands I can talk to God and have trust that everything will soon be better.
Sports- Sports matter to me because they keep my body in shape and they give me something to do when I am bored or upset. I have also met a lot of my friends through sports so I think it is very important to be involved in physical activities and stay active.

PLN- Week 1

Lately, I have been reading a lot of education blogs trying to wrap my head around the changes I am trying to create in my classroom as well as anything new and exciting out there in the blog-o-sphere. I happened to read one of Will Richardson's posts in which he linked to an article from the New York Times. The article focuses on IBM and their policy of not tallying the days thier employess take off for vacation. Instead, they give their employees the freedom to take vacation when necessary. Although this sounds like a great idea (heck, I would love the chance), what IBM found was thatmore employees were "working" on their vacation than just taking the time to relax and rejuvinate. What they meant by working was that they were completing projects for deadlines, checking email and voicemail, etc...

This really resonates with me because I feel like I do the same thing. So many times in my life, I work through vacations, holidays, days off, when I should be taking a break. Do I come in more relaxed? Not really. Often times, I am more frustrated because I don't know how to take time off. I feel the need to get the things done so that eventually I will have time to relax. It always seems as though there is one more thing to do or to cross off my list. Currently, I am on my third full-page list, crossing off item by item trying to prepare for school and for life (Sounds like a motto I have heard somewhere).

If the people at IBM are doing this, and are described as "a group of workaholics" is that what I have become? I think I did a great job this summer of taking time off and relaxing, but I question as to whether I can keep it up?

With the greater reliance on technology, I wonder if this is the future for my students? Will this be their future one where the line between work and play become inseperable?

P.S. I just liked this quote and its commentary on giving independence to workers; I think it really applies to what we are trying to do with changing the face of education:

“It’s like when you went to college and you didn’t have high school teachers
nagging you anymore,” said Mark L. Hanny, I.B.M.’s vice president of independent
software vendor alliances. “Employees like that we put more accountability on


What expectations do people have of you? Do you have of yourself? What happens when you don't live up to the expectations set up for yourself or that others set for you?

Monday, September 3, 2007

What Matters To Me - BerekM

What is meaningful to me?My family means the most to me. My dad for showing me how to do things, teaching me how to get along in life, supporting my lacrosse, and enjoying watching me play which means a lot to me. My mom for always being there for me and helping me with anything. She too comes and watchs me play lacrosse. She supports me and buys me all the sticks and gloves and everything I need. She is nice and smart just like my dad. When I get hurt she knows how to make it go away and heal because she’s a professor in sports medicine. It’s like having a personal trainer at my house. My sister is only four but I’m sure when we get older we will get closer than we already are, even though she is annoying.My friends in NY mean a lot to me still. They call me everyday forgetting I started school and get mad at me when I don’t call them back. We used to have so much fun. We walked to town, played lacrosse, long boarded, swam and jumped off stuff. Ill never forget them. My closer friends meant a lot to me too. I could tell them anything and they did the same to me. I helped them and in return they helped me. My best friend was like my brother and his family was like my second family. I called his mom “mom”. When I go back in the summer and winter I will stay at his house along with my other best friend. His family was like my family too. I knew him for 14 years and he meant a lot to me and I was really sad to leave him and everyone else. Right now I don’t know a lot of people but I’m sure that in a little while I will meet some cool people and they will eventually mean something to me.Lacrosse means so much to me. I live for lax. When I get home I play for at least 2 hours then after hw I go back out until dark. I don’t know why I love it so much but I’m happy I do. I want to do good in school because even if your amazing at lacrosse but you have bad grades your not going to go to a D1 college. Coming from Long Island, New York lacrosse was played all around me and that meant a lot to me. I also found out that one of my goals came true that meant a lot to me and that was making Varsity as a freshman at my old high school. But since I moved I didn’t get the chance to play I was upset and the coach was upset. But lacrosse out here in CO will probably mean a lot to me as the years go on and the team becomes a family just like my old team.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

What Matters


What matters? What matters to me? A lot of things matter to me. My family matters, sports matter, school matters, friends matter, and just life in general matters. My family, my family matters for many reasons. Not only do they help you through everything and rough times but they’re there for you all the time. The family reunions, the family road trips, and going over to someone’s house for the holidays. Messing around with your siblings is always a fun thing to do too. So, your family matters.

Sports, sports and physical activity have always mattered to me. From playing soccer to baseball to lacrosse to hockey they have all been fun and exciting in every way. I think sports are all good exercise and create fun, and healthy competition and a great bond with teammates that you can’t get anywhere else.

School, even though you don’t like it, matters. Where would the world be today without education? Probably still in the Stone Age. A lot of kids (including me) don’t like school but it’s necessary to get educated well and obtain a good job. You may dread going but at the end of the day it’s not all the hard plus a lot of your good friends come from school and you can always make it fun with them.

Another thing that matters a lot is friends and companions. They’re there to always listen and discuss things you need to talk about. You can do fun activities with them and just someone to hang out with when your bored. You help each other through life and will always be great friends.

A final thing that matters is just life in general. You should be happy you’re alive and not throw life away or waste. Through out your life you’ll have ups and downs; fun times and bad times but to enjoy it, learn from your mistakes and bad times and turn them around into fun and great times.

So, clearly you can see family, sports, school, friends, and life all matter a lot to me.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

What Matters?

My family
My family is one of the most important aspects of my life and is one of the things that matter to me the most. I have the most funniest, supporting and pushiest family ever. My family consist of five people My mom, step dad, older sister and my younger brother.
First there is my sister Justine, she is my best friend and the person who is always going to make me laugh when I need it. She is a lot of the times a pain in the butt, a is always picking on me. Then again she is very short for her age, so my whole family and I always use that against her. She is also the trouble maker of the family and is very crazy and willing to do anything. My sister would jump off a thirty story building if she thought is would be fun.
Second there is my younger brother Jacob, the baby of the family. He is a whole other story, he is the buggiest person to me in the world. He gets all the attention from my mom because he is the youngest and the only boy. The thing that bugs me the most though is that he knows he is the baby and takes advantage of it. Therefore I'm always in trouble for nagging or getting mad at him. At the end of the day i know that i love him even though he dose crawl under my skin.
Thirdly there is my step dad Shawn. I have know him for all most 8 years, him and my mom got married after what seemed a thousand years of dating. It cool having him around even though he isn't my real dad he is a big help and motivator for me. He is also very full of life, personality and cockiness. Then again that is why we all like him, kind of.
Last but certainly not the least my mom. She is the most caring mom ever, it may come out as if she didn't but you can tell that it is care. She is very strict with everyone, but mostly me. Always yelling, telling me to so something, pushing me to do better, thats her all right. She expects me to do good and to succeed in life and not end up like her. Wanting better for me doesn't always come out that way, but I know that is what she is trying to across to me.

My mind
My mind education and staying true to myself I another thing that matters to me. Getting an education and becoming the first one of my family members to go to collage is very important to me. Good grades, determination and the right decisions will get me there, so saying focus and not letting little things that don't matter get in my way is also important. Staying true to my self and not letting anyone or anything get in the way of my goals and dreams is also something that matters to me. For example saying who i am and not changing for anyone to like me or to hire me or anything else. To always be myself is something that is important to me.

Being Healthy
Being healthy and happy is another thing that matters to me. what I mean by being healthy is physically and mentally. Eating, drinking and exercising is important to me because if you are physically healthy i think you are mentally healthy. When you body is drained of toxins then your mind and thoughts are much clearer.

Friends: My friends matter to me because their always there for me no matter what it is. With out my friends i would most likely die because they are that important to me and have been that big of influences on my life. No matter what happens in my life my friends are always the first ones to be there for me, and push me to excel, and get over what ever is bothering me.

Family: My family is also extremely important to me, mostly because no matter what i do their usually there to support me. Everyone in my family gives me important advice that they know to excel in life, and that they have learned from their mistakes. My family like my friends will always be there for me when I'm ever in a time of need. The most influential people in my family include, my dad, my mom, my uncles, my step dad, my cousins, and mostly my grandma. Each one of these people have been major impacts in my life. My family also includes my two dogs Buddy, and Ozzy, even though they can be stubborn at times and frustrate me, but they are two of my best friends.

School: School also matters to me a lot. Mostly because it gives everyone a chance to exceed in life and help you get a good job, so you can support your future family.

Staying active: Staying active also matters to me a lot. Mostly because i like to stay fit so i can live a full healthy life. My favorite way to stay active is skiing, i love it with a passion, i plan i racing next year, and it also keeps me in really good shape. Also motocross, most people think it's not hard and doesnt take any work, but it is the most physacly demanding sport i have ever done, i love it because it's a thrill and keeps me in great shape in the offseason for football and skiing.

My Future: Thinking of my future really matters to me, because even though i try to excel in school and i do sports i have decided no matter what i will be inlisting in the USMC ( United. States. Marine. Corps). Inlisting in the Marines matters to me because, it gives me a chance in life to exceed in anything i do, and i get to protect our country. Also it will get me in the shape of my life, and like i said earlier, staying active and fit really matters to me.
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What Matters-AvereeL

Throughout my entire life, there have always been people who have impacted me and supported me. I have grown up with a great education and closeness to God that I am so grateful for. However, when friends, family, school, or even God stress me out, I find myself wondering what life would be like without them. Without friends to fight and cause drama, would life be easier? Without school, would life be less stressful? Without family to tell me what to do and when to do it, would my life be more fun? During those times, a friend will call me, a family member will hug me or tell they love me, or God will give me something truly to special to be grateful for; its then I realize how completely lost I would be without my friends, family, education, and my faith. It's during those times when I realize what really matters.

My mom and dad have always been a big part of my life. Whether it was in fourth grade when I was second to get out at the School Spelling Bee, or in eighth grade when I sang at the talent show, my parents have always been there in the audience to cheer me on, and to comfort me when things didn't go so well. However, supporting me hasn't been the only thing they have done for me. Since I was little, my parents have taught me about work ethics and responsibility. They have taught me things that will help me later on in life when I get my first job, when I start driving, and even things that will help me when I have kids of my own. My parents have helped me through some of the hardest times in my life, even when things seemed impossible to fix.

My sisters (Amber, Ciara, and Elyse) have made a huge impact on my life. As a little girl, my sisters taught me many things that probably aren't going to help me later on in life. For instance, they taught me that if you put a four-year-old in footsie pajamas that are too small for her and duct tape the zipper closed, she can't get up the stairs to tell on you. As I got older though, their advice was a little more helpful. My sisters have helped me through stressful homework, bad grades, and even the occasional bully. They taught me how to be patient with other people and with myself. Whenever things get too stressful, Elyse is always there to get me out of the house, so I can relax for even the tiniest bit. My sisters taught me how to find the answer to difficult equations and helped me learn how to read when my parents weren't available. Since all three of my sisters are now out of the house, asking for their help isn't as easy as it used to be, but I can be sure that they are always there for me when I need them.

My friends are so supportive of everything I do. They never stop helping me, whether its to help prepare for a test, warm up for a performance, or just to give me a big bear hug when I feel like I can't take anymore. There are times when, for some reason, I feel like I can't talk to my family about something, and I realize how important to me my friends are, because they are always there to help me through it. I can never thank them enough for everything they have helped me accomplish.

My education has always been really important to me. I have worked hard to get good grades, something I will be thankful for my senior year when college is coming up. Having the education I do has given me the skills I will need later on in life, when I apply for my first job or when I have to start worrying about taxes. My education has taught me how to appreciate art and literature, and how to determine east from west and how to read books like Pride and Prejudice without being utterly confused by the vocabulary. The education I have received has given me a head start in life that I am so grateful for, because so many people don't get that chance.

My faith has been one of the most important things in my life. Being blessed with the closeness to God that I have has made life much easier. When I lost my grandfather to emphysema, I turned to God for help, because I didn't know who else to talk to. A year ago, we found out my dad had a tumor in his nasal passage. Having God in my life helped me through the weeks before his surgery. The relationship I have with God has meant so much to me over the years, and I know that when things get rough during my years here, at Arapahoe, I can always seek help from God.

What Matters

What Matters


My family matters to me because I know they will always be there for me. My parents are always so supportive of of what ever I want to do. And if I ever need any help with anything like school I can go to my sister for help. My grandma always has time for me, like if I get locked out of the house or if I need to be picked up from school or anything, my grandma will always be there. My dad has giving me some great advice and I know I can always talk to him. And my mom is always there when I need something, plus she's a great cook, I don't know what I'd eat without her.


My friends matter to me because I can always talk to them about stuff. My friends make things I do a lot more fun than just doing them by myself. And my friends keep me active because without them I wouldn't really have much to do. Some of the best times of my life have been with my friends, and I will always remember them. Some of my friends have also helped me strengthen my religion.


Drumming matters to me because because I've always had an interest in music. I have an awesome drum instructor, and I think drumming is really fun. Your always learning and creating new things. It's also fun to hang out with my friends and play, because most of them play instruments too. It's also important to me because I have been thinking about getting a job involved with drumming. Either a drum instructor or playing drums in a band.


Skateboarding matters to me because It's fun and it keeps me healthy. I met one of my best friends Cody skateboarding. Skateboarding is a very active sport so it keeps me in good shape, it also keeps me in touch with my good friends because most of them are involved in some sort of action sport like skating or bmx. I've never really been into any other sport besides skateboarding and that is why it's so important to me because it's the only sport that I really enjoy doing.

What Matters

What Matters

What matters to me is my friends, family , school and soccer. We all take them for granted but the reality of it is that they might not be there some day.
First is my friends. There are always there for me and will always be there for me.They are the one that help me get through life . They are the best thing in the world. I was saying that they might not be there someday and my best friend Aaron moved to NC a month ago. I still have a lot of great friends and they mean allot to me. This is why my friends matter to me.
Second is my family. They are always there to support me with everything i do. I can hate them sometimes but they are the best. I have a mom and a dad and me brother Alex. They are one of the best things i could have and i am so glad i have them by my side. This is why family matters to me.
Third is school because i t will help me. This is one of the most important thing because it will help me for my career with is only years away. It is a privilege and many peope in poverty countries would be so happy to go to school so i should be glad i get this opportunity. This is why school matters so much to me.
Fourth is the awesome game of soccer. It is the best thing ever. I love to play it because if i am mad or stressed about a test or something i can just let it all out when i am playing. This is why soccer matters so much to me.
These are the four things that matter most to me. I am so glad i have them all to do and can do them .


Are you a trusting person? Whom do you trust? Has someone ever broken your trust? If so, why?

Make sure to comment and connect with one anothers' responses. Adhere to our class' blogging expectations as well.

Family: Family matters to me because they are there for me when I need them. They are different than friends because they never would leave you or betray you in any way. I have a mom, a dad, and an older brother. My mom andI are best friends, I can always go and talk to her about anything. She has my back when I need it the most and that's when I get in disagreements with my friends. My mom isn't like my other friends because i know that she can keep all my secrets, she gives advice that is better than most peoples, and most importantly she won't start rumors with what i tell her or stab me in the back. My mom is always there on my side, holding me up right. When i struggle in anything she's always there to help me get through my problems. I love her more than world. My dad and i don't have the relationship my mom and i do. Him and I usually talk about sports and school. I like talking to him about that though because he helps me stay focused on the things I really want to do and achieve in my life. My dad matters to me because without him my mind would be everywhere. I love him more than anything. Finally my brother and I are just like my mom and I. We are also best friends. I like talking to him too about things because since he is a teenager he understands what i am going through and will always be there for me.I love him and my whole family.

Friends: Friends are important to me because they are my other support system. They have my back and i have theirs. We argue over many things but than laugh a few minutes later. I have 6 true best friends and they are Carly, Annie, Sarah, Ashlyn, Victoria[tori], and Katie. These six girls mean a lot to me because they have never left my side, stabbed me in the back, and they always are there helping me. When I'm around my friends we always have a good time. We make the most and best inside jokes there are and can still remember all of them. I like hanging out with my friends more because they are the same age and can relate to me more than anyone. We struggle together sometimes but always get through it together. We all made a promise to be best friends forever. I always say that our memories may fade but our friendships will last forever.
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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

What maters to me? Many things mater to me in all shapes and sizes.
First, my family matters to me.
My family is defiantly a large one.
Family is there for you no mater what happens.
My family consists of 2 sets of parents, 3 brothers, 3 sisters, and 3 dogs. One set of parents (the Tongens) are Todd and Andrea. They recently got married this summer in Florida. The other set of parents (the Stewarts) are Sue and Phil. Who have been married since I was six. My Brothers are Cory who is a junior at Mountain Vista. Cyle who is a 4th grader at Mark Twain and yes his name is Cyle instead of Kyle. And last but not least Joey who is a 1st grader at Mark Twain.
My Sisters are Christina who is also a junior at Mountain Vista. Sydney who is an 8th grader at Mountain Ridge. And finally Tori who is also a 4th grader but at Sand Creek.
My dogs names are Steve who is a Beagle along with his brother Max. the newest addition to the family is LALA who is a 3month old Shitzoo.
Another very important thing to me is music.
I listen to music every day as much as I can.
When I sleep, when I skateboard, pretty much doing anything. I have a huge taste in music. I like everything form 80’s Rock to Old School Rap. Metal to Techno and everything in between. My favorite bands are either lamb Of God or Megadeth. Sadly however I have never been to a concert.
Lastly, friends are HUGE part of my life.
Friends are the next best thing to family. I am fortunate to have the most amazing friends any one can ask for. First of all my absolute best friend Brian. We have been best friends since infancy. I talk to him every day and he is the first person I think of inviting to anything. Another amazing friend is Kody. Yes its Kody with a k instead of a c. we have also been friends since preschool. I also have many friends that I have made recently including Lauren, Hannah, Jeremiah and so many others.
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What Matters to Me: Xavia

My Family: My family is very important to me because they are really helpful and supportive. Many of us probably have said the same things, but to me they mean a whole lot more than these few words I type on this page. First of all, I want to begin with my mom. She has always been the one who organizes our fun activities so that we can spend more time enjoying ourselves and less time woryring about other things. she loves to bake and is great at it and is still coming up with great new ideas. Whenever my siblings or I have a certain idea, she is always there to support it whether or not it is always the best decision. She likes to emphasize the idea that we need to make our own decisions and to focus on our responsibilities. Next, my dad. My dad is very special. He is a police officer and works as a crime scene detective. He is someone I look up to because he is brave, smart and has made a big influence on my life. Since he works nights and my mom works during the day, he is usually the on who takes us places during the day. Third, my sister. Her name is Christina and she is 13 years old. She is very close to me and pretty much my best friend. We always do things together even though she does get on my nerves at times. Still, I couldn't imagine life without her. Last, my brother Joshua. He just recently turned 7 this past Wednesday. He is such a cutie (sometimes) and it has been a rollercoaster ride to see him grow up. He is a very fast and smart little boy and will always be a wild child!

My Friends: My friends are great. We have so much fun together and and are always having a good time. We are always there for each other and you can almost always find us together in our little group. My friends are, Elizabeth Carlson, Mackenzie Marlowe, Aubre Romberger, Michelle McNeil, and Kendra Carmickle. Of course I have other friends, but these are the greatest of them all!

My Education: Education is very important to me because it shapes my whole future. So I am always trying to succeed in all my classes and be on the Honor Roll. I have been on the Honor Roll all six or seven times they held it and this makes me very proud.

Volleyball,Pets,and Religion: These are the thigs that are not shown in my pictures, but are still quite important to me. Volleyball is something i have done for three years and have made it to the Arapahoe team! Volleyball is something I like to do for fun and competively. My favorite position is middle blocker and is a very fun position. Volleyball is a very fun sport and I hope to do it all through highschool. I had three pets, but sadly two of them have died. I had a dog named Rocky, and a cat named Fina. I still have our white cat named Pinky after his pink ears. Religion is also important and is part of my week. As a family, we all go to church and then talk to our relatives who also attend with us.

What matters to me!!!

When I hear the words what matters to you, the first thing that pops into my head is my family. My family is amazing, they do so much for me its hard to comprehend. For example they take me on trips to places like South Dakota and Mexico. In addition, my family is there for me when I’m feeling sad or unhappy. My parents are very important to me because they work hard to make sure I have a great day. My parents consist of my mom Kathy and my dad Doug. My dad works very hard every day to make sure we have food on the table and my mom makes sure that the house is clean so we don’t live in a pigsty. Next, my brother Tyler who is twelve and my brother Blake who is nine. They are so funny they make me crack up all the time. Last but not least my pets, Folsom the dog and Bell the cat. they are always by the garage door waiting to greet me when I get home.

The next thing I think of is my friends. my friends matter to me because they are their to help me with homework or just hang out. let’s just say without friends I’d be pretty board. my friends are also there to go to lunch at chipolte during our lunch period. my friends are the ones who make life interesting. If I didn’t have friends I don’t know what I’d do.

My mountian house is also very important to me. Its a place my family can go up to on the weekends to get away from the heat of the summer or go skiing in the winter. My mountian house is also very important because it's a place my family can injoy no matter what. We can hike, bike, jeep, and play golf in the mountians. In the end my mountian house is very important to me.


What matters to me

What matters to me most are family, friends, faith, and health. My family is always there. Whether I want them to be there or not they always are. I definitely don’t know what I would do without them to make me feel better when im sick or had a bad day or just to keep me company. Friends are always the people who keep me going. When I feel like nothing is going right I always have my friends there to brighten my day or try to help me out of tricky situations. Faith impacts everything I do. If I don’t believe in it or it goes against my religion then it is out of the question. Health is a huge part or everyone’s life. It keeps me feeling good about my body and happy. People who aren’t healthy are less happy than healthy people are. These are four huge aspects of my life and without them I don’t know how I would function. I depend on them.

I have a big Italian family who is always in each other’s business and there are no secrets whether you like it or not. I am also a triplet so even at school I am with my family. Also one of my many cousins goes to my school also. I am not only a triplet but I also have a 12 year old little sister named silvana. I may sound like im complaining but I love having such a big family. I go to my sister stef for everything like clothes, guys, school, and secrets. My little sister is always trying to be me. She buys the same type of clothes, has the same type hair cut, and likes the same kind of music. She will never admit it but everyone can see it. My sister Olivia is always competing with me for better grades because she knows she will win. When we aren’t competing we are normally gossiping or giving each other advice. My parents are crazy! They act as if they aren’t the age they are. My dad runs the family business and still has time to sail and power paraglide. My mom is a photographer and continues to get better for she goes to classes and CU and still has time to take care of us. Talk about multi-tasker.

Some days my friends seem to be the only reason for living. When my family doesn’t understand they always do. When I go to school they are the only thing I look forward to. They always brighten my day. I tell my best friend kailiegh all my secrets and do everything with her. During Cross-Country when it seems I have to run endless miles and I can’t go on any longer my friends are always there to say keep going, there isn’t much more to go. They also keep me busy on the weekends. I love all my friends and could not survive without them.

Some people don’t have a religion at all and all I can think is “How do they make decisions?” Every action I take has to agree with my personal beliefs or my religion. Every Sunday I go to Saint Thomas More to hear the word of the lord. Some people make fun of me for sticking by what I believe in but if I don’t then I will be shaped into a person that I really don’t want to be. Faith impacts my every action and I have no clue how people go through life without a religion. I would die without it.

For some people it doesn’t seem important. Being healthy is what makes me keep going. It tends to get hard sometimes but all I need to say is it will keep me from getting fat as my dad told me when I joined cross-country. It also makes me feels strong. Before I did sports I felt this pent up energy inside of me that needed to be let out. Exercise is one way to get it out. Being healthy also makes you happier. You confidence levels is way higher and because exercise gets all the negative stuff out of you, replacing it with happiness. You are able to do more things also when you are healthier such as playing soccer with some friends or winning a soccer tournament. It helps me out everyday and if I wasn’t healthy my life would be so much harder than it already is.

These four parts of my life matter to me more than anything. Everyday life depends on these things. Family, friends, faith, and health all show me the true meaning of life... My reason for living. It’s not about material things like cell phones, ipods, computers, money, clothes, shoes, ect. It’s about the love from your family and friends, expanding your mind, standing by your beliefs and taking care of your body and staying healthy.

What Matters

My Family- My family is by far the biggest part of my life and it consists of my brothers Tyler and Kevin and my mom. Everyday they are there for me I've gone through so many rough times with them and every second they are behind me. We can enjoy anything together,well that makes since because we live together they have impacted my life so much i cant even describe the so many memories, good or bad we have grown to love each other.You can talk to them about anything and the amazing part is not matter how bad you mess up they will be standing by your side the whole time. My family that is not immediate the big people are my cousins James and Sierra they are some of the greatest people i have ever meet.They are so amazing i get along with them so well we just connect and always have a great time.My family matters to me so much and thats why.

My friends- They are a huge part of my life they make all my days great and we always have a good time. My best friends are Bryan Jameson Brandon Andrew we can always have a great time we, by doing skateboarding and snowboarding which we always do on daily bases. I have known them all since 6th grade and they have changed my life for the better and made it incredible. Whenever something happens they always are on my side no matter what situation. Pretty much they mean so much to me and i don't know what i could do without them they matter a lot.

My dog- My dog Khole is a very important part of my life she means the world to me. Whenever i am down she comes up to me licks me and always puts a smile on my face its so amazing how comforting she is to me. I can just chill with her and she is really fun to be around My dog matters a lot without her some things just wouldn't be the same.

Skateboarding- This is my life i do it and it is just so fun and it is so enjoyable. I love the feeling when you land a trick then you keep on progressing. Me and my friends do this all the time it is just are way of hanging out its an adventure figuring out new tricks and in the end you are so proud of your self. Skateboarding matters to me a lot i love it.

Snowboarding- This is like such a fun thing to do it matters to me a lot. I love the lines you can come up with trick after trick just having a good time with your friends. My favorite part is when you land ride away and your like what did i just do that. Then riding the chairlift up talking about how incredible that just was. This is another way me and my friends hangout and the progression in this is awesome to. I love trying to top someones trick it is so fun just going big i miss it so much in the summer. Snowboarding matters to me
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What matters to me is the most important part of my life, and will be for the rest of it too.

Friends: I have six friends that I am closer to, then anyone in the whole world, Niki, Molly, Lauren, Saxony, Ellen and Sheanne. Without them I would have no support system, nothing. I have an unbreakable bond with these girls; I see them more then I do my own family. We have endless talks, cry on eachothers shoulders and can talk to each other about anything, or everything. We have been through a lot of tough times, nasty break-ups, being stabbed in the back, boy troubles and going to different schools. We don't have the humor of "you had to be there" but more like "even if you were there you wouldn't have gotten it because your brain doesn't function in weird ways like ours". Niki and I like to go to the pool and yell with our mouths half way under the water and half way out, it makes a funny noise, Molly and me like to sing and dance around to Hannah Montana and the Jonas Brothers. Saxony and I make each other laugh endlessly, Lauren and I like to take crazy videos. Sheanne and I have very deep onversations. Ellen and I like to make eachother laugh on the bus. I trust them with my life. I would do anything for them, and I know they would do the same for me.

My family is amazing very loving. I have two dogs, Abby and Rufus

ufus. Abby likes to come in in the morning and jump on me and lick me until i get up. Rufus is my baby. I love him more then I think I have ever loved a dog, probably because i have had him since he was a puppy. I call him baby. My mom is probably my hero. She has been through so many tough times, I don't know how she did it. We hardly ever fight, and we like to go to my sister, Maggie's soccer games. Maggie is really funny. We like to go on long plane and car rides together, she calls me a nerd, and I can't say I disagree. My dad is a funny guy, we fight a lot. But when we're not fighting, we're laughing together.

Our pictures may fade, but our memories will last forever.
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What Matters

Faith- This is something that plays a humongous role in my life. God gave me all the things in my life that matter so without him I wouldn't have anything. I try to go to church as much as possible and I'm just constantly trying to surround myself with people to help move towards God.

Family- I'm not very close to many of my relatives such as aunts, uncles, grandparents and so on, but I couldn't be closer to my little family of three. My Mom(Christy), My sister(Katy), and I. My mom is my biggest role model and she has taught me so many valuable lessons in life. She's the bravest, most kindest person I am so fortunate to know and to have. Then, my sister Katy, is also a huge influence in my life. We actually get along most of the time and when we do argue we usually end up laughing about whatever dumb thing we were fighting about in the first place. She has helped me through a lot of things both good and bad and has just always been there to have a good laugh.

Friends- I have a wide variety of friends and I love that! My Friends are the ones who support me, help me, grow with me, and most importantly just have fun with me! Without my friends I have no idea where I would be today they are what helps make me, me.

Pets- All my life I have always lived with some kind of pet. Usually a cat but I have had my dog Shelby since I was about 6. My pets are very important to me because they have showed me love and compassion and taught me to be responsible. I'm going to be getting a puppy soon named Lucy/Lucy Loo very shortly so I'm very excited for that!

Sports- I have always been an athletic girl. It's just something I grew up with. I love soccer that's my favorite sport but also enjoy swimming, basketball, and almost any other sport! Sports help me relax and stay in shape.

Family- Family is the most important thing in my life. I have a mom, dad, and brother. All three of them mean the world to me and i would give up anything just to stay with them forever.
My mom is my best friend, i can always count on going to her for anything. It's fun talking to her because she gives me better advice than my friends would and i can trust her. I know that she wouldn't go tell everyone my secrets and won't start rumors about me. My mom and I do disagree with a lot of things though but it brings us closer together. It only brings us closer together because we learn more each other that way and we get to understand where we both are coming from. No matter what though i will always love my mom and not just because i have to but because i want. She means a lot to me and i love her more than the world.
My dad is different than my mom though. Because he is a man he can't really help me out with the girl drama thing. On the other hand he is good at supporting me and keeping me focused on things i really want to achieve and do in my life. He is amazing and i love him more than anything.
My brother is one of the best brothers you can ask for. We fight a lot but in the end we work things out. He also supports me in the things i do but mostly sports. Unlike my dad my brother can help me in tough situations like the silly drama. He can help me with things like that because he has seen it with his friends and knows what it feels like to be a teenager. Without him life would be 10 times harder and im about to face that hard life because in one more year he will be in college. I love him with my heart.

Friends- My friends are the other important thing in my life. They are my other support system.
I have 6 true best friends. They are Carly, Annie, Ashlyn, Sarah, Victoria[torie], and Kaite. They are my true best friends because they have always been on my side and holding me steady. They never have stabbed me in the backed or left me for others. I can count on them for catching me when i fall and most importantly hurt an
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What Matters

Family is important. Family is always there for you, no matter what happens. In my family, I have a mom, a dad, and three siblings. I have an older brother and sister and a younger sister. My brother means a lot to me and he is such a good influence. He has been through a lot and I know that his advice is important. My sisters are also important. Having a younger sister is a great experience, it is quite a ride watching her grow up and see her excel in what she does. My mom and dad have always been there and I know they always will. Though I may not appreciate everything they have given me as much as I should now, I know that as I grow older I will realize how much they have sacrificed for me to have a good future. My grandpa is so great. He is probably the funniest person I know and joking around with him is a blast. Even though he lives in a different state we still keep in touch, and that means a lot to me.

My friends are absolutely amazing. I can’t even express how much I love them. Whenever I am with my friends there is never a dull moment. They always make me laugh and smile. Just knowing how much they care about me makes me stronger. I can go to any one of my friends for advice. Even though most of us got split up because of high school, we still keep in touch and hang out. Even some of us no longer see each other very often, I will always have the amazing memories we have shared. The memories I have had with my friends are truly unforgettable. I can always count on them to have a good time. I will always remember my friends from my previous school, and I can’t wait to make even more in high school and share more amazing memories.

is so important. Even though school may not be my favorite thing in the world, I know that it is so important for my future. I want to get a good education so I can have a career that I love. I want to succeed and be proud of myself for accomplishing doing well in school.

what matters to me

What Matters To Me

My Family
My family is so important to me. They have been there since day number 1 and have never turned me down. Ranging from my little sis to my wonderful father my family is number one on the list of things that matters to me. They have always pushed me to do my very best and then some.
My dad has been my idol ever since when I was a toddler. People have always told me I looked like him and to me that is the biggest compliment. Not only has he taught me skills which I can use in life ranging from hunting to being the computer wiz I am now. He has taught me empathy, sincerity, and to always confront my problems face to face. Without him I would not be the person I am today.
My mom is the most wonderful human being alive. She always gives and never expects anything in return. My mom has always tried me to get to do new things and everything she got me to try I don’t regret. The one thing I can never be more thankful for is her teaching me how to read. She is such an important person to me she has taught me how to treat a lady, be polite and downright civil.
My uncle is very important to me. Even though he is not in my collage he still matters to me. He has taught me so much over the years. I remember him telling me stories of the medieval days and all the stories of hierarchies and the tales of the knight’s templar. He has introduced me to hundreds of books which have definitely increased my knowledge. He has helped inspire me to begin to write and I am so thankful for that. He always informs me of news and we always have conversations sometimes for hours.
My sister also matters to me. Though young my sister is an important person in my life. She takes care of me when I am sick and always goes out of her way to help me. She is definitely my mothers’ daughter she always tries to help other people even if it ends up hurting her self. I am happy to call her my sister.

My Pets
My dogs are such wonderful animals. They always want to sleep and never want to sleep. They get along with each other very well. They are my closest friends. They never argue with me and just want to listen and be with me. They never ask for anything except for the occasional bone.
My cat has always looked like the smartest animal in the house. He always looks like he has something on his mind. He can always warn me if someone is coming and always wants to be stroked. He is the best little cat in the world.

My Education
Education is so important to me. You can do almost anything with knowledge. It is the one lightless gift that u can always carry around. Hopefully with my knowledge I can go to a good college and then get a job I love. Knowledge is the key to any door.

My Exercise
Exercising is so important to me. It has helps me relax, opens up more doors for sports, and being fit feels so good. Without exercise I would not be the way I am today and I am thankful I have stuck with exercising over the years.

My Books
Reading has always been a very important concept to me. It opens so many doors and enlightens so many people. Books have influenced and entertained people for thousands of years. The bible is one of the most influential books in the world. I cannot be thankful enough for books they are a wonderful way to express yourself.

My Friends
My friends are definitely the best things that have ever happened to me. They always have a smile on their faces and always want to help each other out. Over the years I have made very many friends including some I will know until the day I die. There is always a special place in my heart for my friends.

dennis k what matters

To me, there are many things in life that "matter". Personally, there are three significant things in my life that matter. They are as follows: my family, my education, and my friends. A family is the greatest privilege that I posses. They are not only kind and compassionate, but they excel in everything that they do. This may be caring for me, providing a home and food, etc. Whenever I am faced with a tough decision, or don't understand something in school I can always rely on my family for help. Because of the accelerated nature of my parents, I have gained a great appreciation for academics and school in general. To me, it is of up most importance that success is met in every class whether it be by achieving sufficient grades, or pleasing teachers with intellect. I understand that my future hinges on my performance in high school, and because of this, I am incredibly motivated. My friendship with others is also am important entity in my life. They, like my family, are always there to comfort me and to have a good time. These are the three most important things in my life.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Anna K

Family: My family means the world to me! They are amazing! They are always there no matter what and they only want the best for me. My family includes my mom, my dad, and my twin brother. My mom is very understanding and supportive of what I do. She has done so much for me and I couldn’t ask for a better mother. My dad is a kind, brilliant man. It is amazing to me of how knowledgeable and kind-hearted he is. My brother is three minutes older then me and I couldn’t ask for a better brother. He has always been there with me from the first day of Kindergarten to the first day of freshman year. He is one of my best friends! I couldn’t live without him! My cats name is Kesa and she is the cutest cat ever. My mom bought Kesa for me when I was five years old and I love her so much! My family is the most important thing in my life, and without them, I wouldn’t be who I am today.

Friends: My friends are the people in my life who I can always count on. They are always there for me! We have has such amazing memories together that will stay with me for the rest of my life. My friends understand me and love to have fun! I wouldn’t know what I would do with out them. They are so special to me!

School: School is a very important asset of everyone’s lives and I take school very seriously. It is necessary for us to have a great education to have the life we want. Without school, I wouldn’t have the great friends I have today or the great education I possess. School is my life. Knowledge is power!

Friday, August 24, 2007

What Matters

Family. They mean so much to me, they are always there for me and will always be too. My mom always helps me get through lots of things including school, any problems I usually I have, and pretty much anything else. My dad has always taught me so much and I know I can always apply it to my life which gets me through hard times. My sister has become my role model, we have bonded ever since I was little. We have so much fun together and we always talk; now that she is off to college I will miss her and remember all of those memories we have had. Family is something that can never be replaced and will always be held in a spot in my heart.

Friends. I really would not know what i'd do without all of my friends. Each and every single one of them are here for me, no matter what. We have had the best times and they are very supportive of me. They comfort me when i'm sad, and celebrate with me when i'm happy. They give me a push when I need it, and help me back up when I fall. I wouldn't trade my friends for anything in the world.

My faith. My faith is very important to me because I am a Christian and I want to grow stronger in my relationship with God. He has been there for me through the toughest times, and He can be life changing. I have been on the path of God since I was very little, I want to know the Lord more and grown in Him as I get older.

School. Education matters to me a lot, even though a symbol of that is not up there in the collage. All of us really do take school for granted, because alot of people in other countries don't get a education as much as they want one. School is important to me because I really want to learn a lot and work hard through it. I would like to continue on to college someday after high school, and to succeed from then on. Education is part of life and definitely matters.

Sam H - What Matters


Family is such an important aspect to my every day life. Family matters to me so much because no matter what situation you are in your family will always be there to back you up and support you. I have one sister who is a sophmore in college and plays college soccer. She has been such an amazing role model for me and a huge supporter of everything I do. I don't even know how many times my family has been there to back me up in good and bad times. Whether it is in education, in soccer, or just dealing with friends, my family is always there to push me and help me through the thick and thin. A families love is never ending.


One thing that i know we all take for granted all the time is my education. When I am sitting in a class and I'm staring at the clock, watching the time go by, I'm always just hoping that some how the school day will end sooner than it would usually, but then I think about the kids in other countries who aren't near as fortunate as I am and who don't have a school to attend because the country doesn't have enough money to build a school. Education is so important and it matter so much, but often times I think it's more or a punishment than a privileged. We will continue using our education throughout the rest of our lives, that is why education matters.


One of my favorite things to in the world is play soccer. Currently I play club and starting in the spring I will be playing for Arapahoe. I can't even explain how much soccer matters to me. It is my life. I would rather be playing soccer than anything. Playing is such a great escape from everything. When I am mad or am just having a hard time, I love going out onto the field and playing. When I see my team everyday at practice, it's like seeing family. I have some of my best friends on my team. Soccer matters to me so much!


Faith is so incredibly important to me. I have grown up in the Lutheran church my entire life and all of my family is religious. God has given me everything in my life and my faith in Him is very important. How I would get through my daily life without my faith and trust in the Lord is beyond me. I can not even count the huge number of blessings that I have. Faith and blessings are two huge things that I definatly take for granted everyday, but they are so important to me.


My friends, where do I even begin? My friends are a huge part of my life. I see my friends almost more than I see my family. Friends are such a huge support system and without them I would be nowhere. Sometimes I think of my friends more as family. I can tell them anything and I can trust them with my deepest, darkest secrets. Friends are forever.

My Team-

What an amazing group of friends i have made on my soccer team! Those girls are my life! My team is so important to me, not only for games or practices, but for life in general. They are my family away from my family, hahaha. When I am with my team I feel like I am at home. They make me feel so special and comfortable. That amazing group of girls are not only awesome athletes, but when you look beyond that, beyond the shin guards and the grass stains, you see friends and people that you can trust. My team is so important to me in every aspect of my life!

Monday, August 13, 2007

This is NOT Education as Usual

What are qualities of good teachers? What are qualities of good students? What expectations do you have of this class? What expectations do you have of me as your teacher?

What does it mean to have a professional learning environment? What does it mean to be a producer of information versus a consumer of information?

Make sure to address all parts of the questions as well as comment on one another's reactions.

Monday, July 23, 2007

What Matters 2

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My Odeo Podcast
What Matters? All throughout the first semester, we are going to explore the issue of what matters- what matters to you, in literature, and how does it relate to the world around us. This is one of your first assignments where you are going to create a visual of what matters to you.

What Matters to Anne Smith...

Family matters to me. Growing up and Now...
Growing up...I have always felt blessed to have grown up with my family of 3 brothers (Matt, Keith and Adam) as well as a great dad and mom. Being the only girl, nothing less was expected of me than what my brothers could accomplish. My brothers pushed me (figuratively and literally) and I really am grateful to have had three such distinctive brothers watching over me.

My Dad matters to me. My dad told me growing up a few pieces of advice: one, girls don't swear; two, girl don't smoke; and three; don't be a wussy. Somehow this advice has always stuck with me and made me into the person I am today.

My Mom matters to me. My mom's piece of advice to me whenever I would walk out the door was, " Anne, remember who you are." This has stuck with me because no matter who I was going out with whether it be friends or on a date, it reminded me that the choices I make reflect my values and beliefs.

Now... Jeff, Jackson, Emma and Will. Having a family of five, there is never a dull moment. What matters to me is teaching my kids to be the best human beings they can be....listening to others, giving to others, realizing you can never give or get enough hugs, and most importantly, realizing that competition is the essence of life! (Just kidding) Whether they want to be an artist, athlete, or rock star ( I vote rock star), I just want them to lead happy and fulfilling lives. As I said before, I have always felt so blessed growing up, that I want them to experience many of the same things I did. As for Jeff, what matters to me about him is that I feel like I can do more than I have ever done and am supported in all that I want to do.

Jerry, Nancy, Jenn, Greg and Kailey matter to me because the openly accepted Emma and I into their lives and we have been better for it! Thanks for all the hugs and laughter.

Friends matter to me. This may surprise some of you, but I have never been the best with friends. However, after moving to Colorado, I feel like I know why. I have been accepted, encouraged, supported, and loved by so many people here. I can't thank enough Jeff, Maura, Katie, Kristin, Cara, Jessie, Andrea, and all my other AHS buddies! You guys really are the best! (That sounds cheesy but I can't think of another way to say it.)

Education matters to me. I have always liked school. I have had great teachers and coaches who helped me realize school is more than just studying and regurgitating information back to them. I wanted to do the same for other kids. I wanted to be a teacher that could show students all they could become. I didn't want them to think learning ends when you are done with your class, or high school or college, but that we should want to be life long learners (continual learners). I want this to matter to my students! With education comes reading; I think it is so important that you read everyday. It is one of my favorite things to do to relax.

Working out matters to me. I think taking care of your body physically helps all areas of your life. You are more mentally prepared to handle the challenges each day brings. As I said before, competition is a important part of life to me. I think there isn't anything wrong with working hard towards a goal and achieving it. I have competed in athletics for most of my life from figure skating, golf, swimming, track, cross country, soccer, and my favorite, volleyball. All of the activities not only matter just because of the competition, but because I had great coaches, and friends I met.

Faith matters to me. Although I don't have a picture up of a cross, or God or any other symbol of my faith, believing in God has always been an important part of my life. My parents raised me to be a child of God, and I have continued on that path. He has done amazing things in my life and provided for me so often. He truly is great.

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