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 & 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 fifth 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 P.A.C.E. 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 great year at Holy Cross Catholic School. My door will always be open, so please feel free to stop by and say “Hi”!
"Make each day your masterpiece."
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.
- 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
- Our school Bible verse: "We are the Light of the World" ~Matthew 5:14
- 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: To Kill a Mockingbird Part II
- Read Ch. 28-31.
- Vocabulary for Ch. 26-31 due on Wed., Feb. 21.
- Quiz on Vocab Ch. 12-19 on Wed., Feb. 21.
"Find something to read to grow your brain" resources
Trimester 2 Elective: Public Speaking
Current Writing Piece: Writing Your Own Speech
- Rough Draft for your speech is due on Thursday, Feb. 22. Please submit your speech on Google Classroom.
Below is a list of what we are covering in each class.
K: Navigating Websites Independently
1st: Introduction to Coding
2nd: Storytelling Using Word
3rd: Inventors PowerPoint Project
4th: Genius Hour Projects
7th: Tech Safety & Video Production
Computer Class Links
The websites below are used in our classroom. They are approved to be both educational and fun!
- 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
- Code.org--Introduction to coding website for all ages
- Khan Academy Computer Programming (recommended for middle school students)
- ABCya--A website full of both educational games and games just for fun
- BBC DanceMat Typing--Interactive website to learn how to type
- Computer Lab Favorites--Learning-related games for grades 3-5 by Scholastic. Contains Reading, Math, Science, Social Studies, and Spanish
- Digital Passport--A website that helps us become responsible digital citzens
- PBSKids-Fun games and videos with the PBS shows/characters
- Starfall--Reading and Math programs for early elementary (requires a membership for full access to all programs)
- TeachYourMonsterToRead--Interactive reading website (requires login & password)
- Typing.com--The website we use to measure our typing progress.
- 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)
- 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.
- http://enough.org/--EnoughisEnough is an organization dedicated to making the Internet safer for both children and parents
- http://www.netsmartz.org/Parents--A great website with lots of tips/advice on how to stay safe when using technology
- http://www.digitalkidsinitiative.com/--Another great website dedicated to informing parents about the ever-growing Digital Age
- http://www.connectsafely.org/pdfs/fbparents.pdf--A parent's guide to Facebook
- http://www.connectsafely.org/wp-content/uploads/snapchat_guide.pdf--A parent's guide to SnapChat
- http://www.connectsafely.org/--More information for people of all ages on how to stay safe on the Internet
Student Hall of Fame (started at the end of the 2016-17 school year)
Below are some examples of spectacular work that the students created in our classroom:
- 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
Congratulations to the 2016-17 Holy Cross Speech Team on their accomplishments in Valley Catholic's 50th Annual Speech Tournament! We sent twenty-two 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 five students be recognized in the top 4 of their respective categories. These students were:
8th Grade Humorous
8th Grade Serious
8th Grade Original Composition
Gabriel Briare-1st (also winning a $500 scholarship to the Archdiocesan high school of his choice!)
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 Calendar
Please check below for any major assignments, quizzes, tests, projects, etc. for Middle School.