Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Summer: Time for refreshing!

    For me, school ended in late May. So this must give me lots of time to relax and become well rested for the upcoming school year, right?

Yes and no.

     I am currently teaching summer school, but I am also refreshing and revamping many lessons for the next school year. Thanks to Twitter and my Personal Learning Network (PLN) I have been inspired to try new things and walk the plank of greatness, so to speak.

     It all began with Twitter. My love affair with Twitter has grown to a full on relationship. Twitter has brought me closer to the most incredible, awe-inspiring educators that have pushed me to become more that I currently am. I strive to better anyway, so how has Twitter made that push even greater? All the well rounded discussions! The sharing! The support! The collaboration! Educators on Twitter are the kinds of professionals that I wish I could work with daily! And I do! My Personal Learning Network (PLN) is truly amazing and I am thankful for them every day.

    Some of my favorite chats include #smartee-SMART Exemplary Educators and users of SMART products, #tlap-based on Teach like a Pirate by Dave Burgess, #caedchat-a chat focused on California educators, but all are welcome, #geniushour-a chat for the 80/20 classroom giving   students freedom to learn, and #gr8teacher-a chat focused on sharing insights, techniques, curriculum and more from amazing teachers.

      One way to connect are the Twitter chats. There are a multitude of chats that I participate in and now even moderate. Because of my PLN and the conversations we have had, I created a new Common Core State Standards chat! Without them, I wouldn't be where I am and know where I want to be headed.

     Another way I am refreshing myself, is by revamping many of my lessons for the upcoming school year. Because I have been so inspired by Teach Like a Pirate that I needed to be better for my students. To find my inner rebel and get my students even more engaged. Dave and the Monday #tlap chats with other "pirates" have helped push me to do more, to be more. I have notes upon notes of specific lessons to change. Beginning even my first day with students. I won't do the typical introductions this year. Nope, I will send my students on a QR Code scavenger hunt to get to know our site and my classroom. Then the next day, I will impress upon students (like Dave discusses in #tlap) how my class is designed for them to succeed. I have always done this with my students, but I plan on creating a iMovie trailer to prove my points, have past students share, show research and more.
     Then I am working on "flipping" my class the first full week. New to "flipping"? Thanks to Sophia, I am working on being Flipped Classroom Certified. It has helped me learn more about a flipped classroom, but also how to better implement this technique in my own class. Plus, it's FREE! Additionally, there are many wonderful educators on Twitter, willing to help and share their knowledge and resources. Without them, I wouldn't even be brave enough to attempt such a feet! Check out #flipclass chat on Monday nights on Twitter.

   For my own flipped unit on writing, I am going to pre-record mini-lessons on Four Square writing, and have students ready to come to class, work together, practice, and come up with their own examples. If this works the way I am envisioning, it could completely change the way I teach, and my classroom. I won't flip every lesson or unit, but many to have students practice and collaborate to gain a deeper understanding of the content. I can't wait to see what happens!


     There is so much more I want to share and talk about, but I suppose I can save it for my next blog post. However, with all this excitement for this upcoming year, the challenges, and the changes, I am taking the time to decompress. As much as I love my job, my students, and learning new ways to engage and better my craft, I know I need to take some time for me. My husband and I are in the process of expanding our family through adoption. A complete and wonderful blessing we are working towards. We have also been taking weekend trips, getting out doors by running, walking our dogs, or even bike riding and hiking. I have been reading non-education focused books (gasp!), catching up on my favorite TV shows, and chatting with friends and family.

It's all needed and a definite refresher.


No comments:

Post a Comment