Mr. R.J. Tagorda
“To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love, For it is in giving that we receive. . .”
~ from The Prayer of Saint Francis
Hello, y'all! My name is Ramon “RJ” Tagorda, and I am the Tech Teacher/Director at Holy Cross Catholic School. In addition to teaching PreK-8 Technology classes, I will also be teaching an 8th Grade Language Arts, 8th Grade Religion, and a Seminar Course, designed to prepare our 8th graders to be successful for their last year at Holy Cross, for high school, and beyond. I am currently in my sixth year at Holy Cross, and I feel blessed to be a part of such an engaging, active, and friendly community!
I am a graduate of Tulane University and completed my Masters of Arts in Teaching with the PACE program at the University of Portland. I grew up in New Orleans and have been involved in teaching/coaching/mentoring students in Catholic schools for 10+ years. I may be far from home, but I love the Portland area and the beautiful, "weird" culture of the City of Roses (especially the food!).
My classroom--or more accurately, "our classroom" since it belongs to both myself and my students--is both challenging and engaging, built upon a positive learning environment created by the teacher, the students, and the school community as a whole. In our classroom, the students come first, and all I ask is that they come into class with a positive attitude and an open mind prepared to learn.
I am looking forward to another blessing-filled year at Holy Cross Catholic School. My door will always be open, so please feel free to stop by and say “Hi”!
Contact Mr. T
I will respond to your e-mail within 24 hours. If I do not do so, please feel free to send me a follow-up e-mail, making sure that I received the previous one.
"Great is our Lord, vast in power, with wisdom beyond measure."
- In our classroom before the start of class, I invite my students to silently pray a meditative prayer. I encourage all of my students to pray daily, and I certainly encourage you to do the same. Here is a useful website that guides reflections on the daily gospel: The Word Among Us.
- Also, if you are a podcast listener, I normally listen to the "Sunday, Sunday, Sunday Podcast," produced by LifeTeen.com. It's a short podcast that reflects on the Gospel reading for the week. This podcast is suitable for both young teens and adults. Sunday, Sunday, Sunday Podcast
- Growth Mindset: The belief that basic abilities can be developed through hard work and dedication
- In our classroom, I attempt to foster a growth mindset within all my students. I believe that the idea of "struggling" is not a bad thing. In fact, struggle should be embraced because one grows through overcoming obstacles in life. I don't ever want my students to label themselves as "gifted" or "low," but instead, to recognize their particular areas of strength, or growth, and to work hard to develop their abilities, regardless of where they began in life.
- I encourage parents/guardians to foster a growth mindset within their child(ren) at home. There are many articles on the web about incorporating a growth mindset in one's life. Here's a start for parents/guardians who want to introduce growth mindset in their household: What Every (Great) Parent Should Know About the Mindset of Success
Growth Mindset Links
8th Grade Language Arts
Current Unit: The Elements of Literature & Literary Devices
This Week's Focus (Week of Oct. 15)
We are finishing up our Elements of Literature unit this week. Be prepared for an end-of-the-unit test. Not only will you have to define key terms but you also will have to apply them to an unread short story. Don't worry...if you've been putting in the effort so far, I know you can do it!
Elements of Literature test on Friday! Make sure to look over the Study Guide and work on as many practice problems until you feel comfortable with the material.
- Dictionary.com-->Also be sure to check out their thesaurus section as well!
- 8th Grade Recommend Book List
8th Grade Religion
Current Unit: In God's Image and Logical Arguments
Religion Goals This Year
To become: 1) Mini-Theologians (know the faith) AND 2) Big-Time Saints (live the faith)
School Bible Verse
"Great is our Lord, vast in power, with wisdom beyond measure." -Psalm 147:5
The end-of-chapter assessment has been moved to Tuesday, Oct. 23. Please make sure you use your extra time wisely.
What Are We Doing in Tech Class???
K-1: Computer Basics
2: How to Type
3-4: Coding Basics
7: My Top 3 (Google Apps for Education review, how to use Google Docs, Slides, and GMail)
I recommend students from grades 3-8 to practice their typing as often as possible. Here are some resources to help you can use to practice:
Coding is a useful skill for 21st century learners, and it's quite enjoyable as well! In grades 2-5, we will learn "coding-like activities." In grades 6-8, we will use what we learned to use actual coding language (emphasis on HTML and Java). Here are some websites to practice:
Code.org (for all grades)
Scratch Coding (for all grades, requires an account)
Khan Academy Coding (for advanced coders, Grades 6-8)
The websites below are used in our classroom. They are approved to be both educational and fun!
ALL Grades General Websites
- Ask a Tech Teacher Links--A website complete with links created by a tech teacher with multiple years of experience. Highly Recommended!
- ChessKid--A very informative website that teaches kids how to play chess and how to improve their chess playing abilities. The website also allows students from around the nation to play games against one another.
- DOGO News--Current Events for students of grade levels 4+
- Khan Academy--Popular website with educational videos that cover a variety of subjects
- ABCya--A website full of both educational games and games just for fun
- Digital Passport--A website that helps us become responsible digital citizens
- Starfall--Reading and Math programs for early elementary (requires a membership for full access to all programs)
- TeachYourMonsterToRead--Interactive reading website (requires login & password)
- CNN Student News--What's going on in the world today? (*disclaimer: some news stories may be better suited for older middle school students*)
- Nitro Type--Test your typing Skills against other students
- Typing Test--How fast can you type? (Also contains typing lessons)
- A Parent's Guide to Snapchat--A parent's guide to SnapChat
- Computer Safety for Kids--A useful website containing numerous Internet Safety resources. Informational for kids and parents of all ages.
- Common Sense Media--An excellent website for parents and students. It contains various resources for staying safe using any form of media. This is the website I am using to teach my Internet Safety Units.
- Connect Safely--More information for people of all ages on how to stay safe on the Internet
- Digital Kids Initiative--Another great website dedicated to informing parents about the ever-growing Digital Age
- Enough is Enough--An organization dedicated to making the Internet safer for both children and parents
- NetSmartz--A great website with lots of tips/advice on how to stay safe when using technology
Student Tech Hall of Fame (started at the end of the 2016-17 school year)
Below are some examples of spectacular work that the students created using technology:
- Changing the Face of Racial Inequality a website by Asukulu Songolo
- My Life Outside of Pixels a website by Max Baker
- My Life as Emma a website by Emma Smith
Extracurricular Activities (2017-18 Results)
Congratulations to the 2017-18 Holy Cross Speech Team on their accomplishments in Valley Catholic's 51st Annual Speech Tournament! We sent fifteen members to compete in various forms of public speaking, including Elocution, Extemporaneous, and Impromptu. While all the students represented the school very well (several were only a couple of points from a top-4 placement), we were blessed to have two students be recognized in the top 4 of their respective categories. These students were:
6th Grade Serious
Nathan Monroe-Ramberg: 4th Overall
6th Grade Humorous
Henry Louie: 1st Overall
In an effort to try something new, I've created an Instagram to document what goes on in our classroom...I am hoping this doesn't fail miserably. I'll post important notes from time to time and pictures of all the learning that occurs in our classroom. Click here for a link to our Instagram page.
Middle School Events Calendar
Please check below for any major assignments, quizzes, tests, projects, etc. for Middle School.