Melanie Peiskee

Instructional Facilitator--LJH

Eight Years Experience at COCISD

In the eight years I have been with this district I have taught: Freshmen 101, English I, English II, Pre-AP English II, English IV, RtI Reading, Technical Writing, 8th grade ELA, and Journalism. I have also been the ESL coordinator for three years at both C-O HS and LJH.

I have served on the Superintendent's Advisory Committee and the COCISD Instructional Technology Committee which will be attending a three day conference in San Antonio this summer.

I also have had the wonderful opportunity to help usher LJH into the Google World. I have been using Google Docs since they were created. It has been an absolute joy teaching my colleagues how to simplify their lives with Google Docs, Forms, Spreadsheets and many others. I feel like everyone at LJH knows they can come to me when they need help with anything technology related. It is so much fun working with a different audience.

SHSU Mentor Teacher

For three years at the high school, I had the opportunity to be a mentor teacher to five Sam Houston methods students. One of these students was Colleen Cox, who has been the English III teacher at the high school for two years. While allowing them to observe me teach, I also guided them in preparing lesson plans, building a report with students, and gave feedback when they began to teach themselves. They also improved from their first lesson to their third. I received wonderful feedback from them individually, as well as from their supervisors. Mentoring these students was more than just the advice and opportunity, we also had paperwork and evaluations that had to go through Sam Houston. most of the students I mentored, with the exception of one who decided to go into Journalism, have gone on to be teachers themselves. I found it to be an absolute honor to help students from my alma mater to be successful in my profession.

Co-Teaching and RtI

The first year I moved to teaching RtI Reading, I had the opportunity to co-teach with Cathy Bain. I had no idea what co-teaching was supposed to be, but we had a room of seventeen rowdy senior athletes that were falling behind and couldn't catch up. Between the two of us, we worked out a system. She knew the kids better than I did, and was more than willing to impart her knowledge to me. My respect for her demanded that she be as much a part of the education in that room as I was. We truly worked to our strengths and by December of that year half of them had passed their exit level TAKS test! By May every single one of those kids were walking across that stage. Cathy has since told me over and over that she felt like working with me in that class was one of the only times she felt like she was truly co-teaching. I never looked at her as a person to make copies or run errands, she was my equal and was needed. We learned so much from one another that year, and I still count on her to remind me of things we did right, so I can repeat them when I begin to feel challenged by my current classes.

My Greatest Achievements: Long term relationships with my students.

I feel as though their successes in life, are in a small part my own.

The Move to Lincoln Junior High

In 2011, I transferred from the high school to the junior high with one main goal in mind, to improve communication between the ELA departments. The year or two before we had been working as a district to vertically align our curriculum, and I was struck by how hard it was. When I moved to the junior high, I left the high school on terrific terms. I still had a strong relationship with the new English I teacher, as well as the department head, and I had been a mentor to the English III teacher. Within these working relationships, and with my own knowledge of learning gaps we typically saw in our incoming freshmen, I endeavored to better prepare my eighth graders for high school. I think that if you were to ask the department head, Laura Kile, she would attest to the mutual benefit of my transfer to the junior high campus. I feel my role here is very important to both campuses, and likewise the district, in maintaining the flow of information and collaboration.

A Recent Breakthrough!

May 10, 2013

One of my students that is scheduled to retake both his math and reading STAAR tests, and is serving his second term in DAEP, had a breakthrough. When I handed the student the first reading set for the week, he did as he tends to do, and went straight to the questions and simply circled answers and turned it in. I graded the set and handed them back to the class. Their next assignment was to, in writing, explain why they picked the answer that they chose for all the questions they missed. He was very upset that I did not tell him that he was going to have to do all that before. I was surprised, but he did sit with another student and explain everyone of the wrong answers. The next set was a major test grade. This time he made the second highest grade in the class. When I asked him what made the difference, he simply told me it was too much work writing all the stuff for the ones he missed, so he just tried to get them right the first time!

Using Google Apps in Class

I have really enjoyed combining the different apps that Google offers into multifaceted projects for my students, particularly in my journalism classes. Most recently, my students have been creating a travel journal. They are planning a summer vacation for themselves and another classmate. They are using Google Draw to make a collage of their trip, Google Calendar to schedule it, and Google Docs to record a travelers log for each day they are gone. They are even creating a road-trip playlist. All of these things they are 'sharing' with myself and one other classmate. They are using Google Drive to contain all the information until it is all complied in one neat package to be turned in as a project grade. The students are figuring it out as they go and loving every minute of it.

Outside the English Classroom

I have also sponsored: Yearbook, One Act Play, National Honor Society and the Senior Class of 2009, including planning the 2008 prom. I have also been part of plays in the Hunstville community in years 2008-2011.

Yearbook--I helped produce the yearbooks for 2009, 2010 and 2011. My staff was around twelve juniors and seniors every year, and we also gave up a portion of our summer vacations to see that the yearbook was finished in a timely manner.

Theatre--I helped drama teacher, Carl Apollo, with One Act Play in the years 2008 and 2009. I was his assistant director and in charge of teaching the students about stage make-up and costumes. I also preformed in community plays sponsored by University Heights Baptist Church in Huntsville in the years 2008-2010, and was a stage manager in 2011.

National Honor Society--I was one of the advisers for National Honor Society in the years 2007-2010. I went with NHS to camp Forest Glenn in 2008 and 2009.

Please Contact Me!

I want you to feel free to ask me anything. Here are many ways to get in touch and get to know me better.