Tuesday, September 4, 2012
The Students are Coming!
Tomorrow starts the first day with students, and as a way to ease them (all of us) back into the schedule, we have 1/2 days with 20 minute periods. The next few days will be hectic as well with class meetings and the inevitable shaking out the kinks of student schedules. Despite the distractions, I'm starting off the year with a list of things I want to do balanced with things I'm told to do.
So, to start the year off, I begin with the Blank White Page.
As a way to BUILD the classroom climate, students will be given as their syllabus/class expectations a blank white piece of paper. I have my syllabus and class expectations from previous years, and I'm sure they know what the usual things will be on the list, so I refuse to belabor it and talk to the students. Instead, I want them to have a voice and to tell ME what they expect from this class and me, the teacher. Obviously, the comments of "no homework," "Easy A" will be addressed. We are all in this together, so why not establish class expectations together? With 7 other periods reading off their class expectations and giving the usual lectures, I hope this will intrigue them and help them to be invested in the class.
The Blank White Class Expectation page will then lead into the BWP inquiry project. More on this later....
Other items on my To-Do list include (in no particular order):
1. Creating a flipped-mastery unit for the mandatory SAT vocab words the entire district is using. Don't get me started on authentic vocabulary acquisition, but I hope this Word of the Day bit will be as painless as possible. I have the list of words, but just need to create the activities & quizzes.
2. Creating a flipped-mastery unit for the mandatory grammar skills. Grammar will also be integrated into daily lessons and activities, but I'd like to make grammar as painless as possible, too. I'm waiting on the list of skills that the 9th grade is supposed to cover.
3. Adapting some of my paper permission slips (BYOD, PAWS program) to an online format using Google forms. This won't take me long to do once I get the students on Edmodo.
I'm excited for this year with really going paperless, integrating BYOD, and delving more into the flipped classroom model. On my short list of classroom tools, we'll be using Edmodo (of course!), Google docs/forms/sites, TodaysMeet.com, Quizlet, and Socrative.
More to come soon!