I have a problem. Not a big problem but a problem nonetheless. It’s a small problem, actually a good one. You see, I’m almost totally paperless in my classroom. So, when the 9th grade chapter chair requested work to put on the board, I didn’t have any.
When I first decided to become paperless I didn’t think about this ‘problem’. I was just thinking about how inconvenient making copies was. I didn’t think about not having anything on hand to put on the board.
I printed out one of their power point presentation in color and put them on the board. Problem solved!
I am pleasantly surprised with my students! I’m seeing leaders emerge with strengths they, or I, in some cases, didn’t even know they had. What am I talking about? I’m talking about my students coming alive and developing their life skills.
One of the activities I introduced to them when we came back from break was jigsawing. In one of my last post I stated how I put the onus on my students for asking for extra time and getting their missed work from when they were absent. I know they are only in the 9th & 10th grade but within the next 3-4 years they will be young adults in charge of their own lives. So, they need to have certain skills. Two skills they really need and that are very important to have are self-advocacy & self-reliance. They are beginning to do well with self-advocacy skills, so now I’m training them in self-reliance. Many times during the last semester, the work would be right in front of them but they would not take to time to try to uncover it. I thought and thought about how to help the overcome their learned helplessness but it was tough. Let me tell you that learned helplessness runs deep. They were so used to believing they couldn’t do it that they stopped trying.
Well, by lecturing them, supporting them, and helping them realize that they can do it, they have begun to advocate for themselves and to rely on themselves. It’s one of the best feeling in the world to see that light bulb go on and have someone realize they can do it. I always think of The Little Engine That Could when this happens. I should read it to them. They’re so young they probably haven’t heard of it. I’ll see. Back to the lecture at hand. I’m happy to see them blossoming. I’ll keep you updated.
What is your disability? That is a question I asked of my students. In my first period class, I have 10 students. Of those 10, only one student knew that he was diagnosed with ADHD. The other ones had no idea what their disability was. So I gave them the assignment that I sussed out over the break. Since I introduced them to jigsawing, I printed articles for the three disabilities in my class- Specific Learning Disability (SLD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and Autism.
Here’s the breakdown. Of my 26 students, 1 has Language & Speech Services (LAS), 2 don’t have the lab with me, 4 have autism, and 2 have ADHD, with 16 having SLD. I split them into groups, gave them the articles and the link for the Google sheet to answer the questions they would later transfer to their ppt. or Google slides presentation. I then explained their roles and let them tear apart the article and answer the questions. They were free to research any questions that were not answered by the article. I’ll discuss the outcome in another post. Just color me impressed!
Bye for now!
I work at a Blended Learning School. It’s a format that combines technology with traditional learning. When I took the job I was so out of my league. However I issued myself a challenge to get into that league. CHALLENGE: Learn and incorporate as much technology into the classroom as possible within the next couple of months. At the time I was hired, I hadn’t used much technology in the classroom except my classroom blog and iFilm.
However, I knew at this school I had to step up my game. So, I did! I accepted the challenge. Not only that, I saw the challenge and upped the ante a bit.
Usually, I can’t see my progress as it’s happening. However, in an earlier post, I briefly wrote about my Quickening process (click here). I also wrote about some of the programs I was using (click here). If I can think of anything else, I’ll post it. For now, here are the programs I’ve learned.
- Kahoot! online quiz program that automatically compiles correct & incorrect answers for me,
- Edmodo to post my power points, make quizzes, and display instructions,
- Haiku, used by our SpEd. department,
- Pinnacle to take roll & track grades,
- Class Dojo for behavior management,
- my school website to upload digital agendas,
- my other school website to download important documents & answer PD surveys,
- Google docs,
- Google sheets,
- Google forms,
- Google slides
- Online stopwatch for tracking time,
- Weebly website to post links and work from core classes.
Not sure, but I think that’s all. One last thing I’m very proud of is how I’m using Google sheets to make my exit slips for the month. I was using Google forms to send them daily, but discovered it was quickly filling up my Google drive and causing too much work for me. I knew I needed to find an easier and more efficient way to get the job done. I played around with Google sheets and figured out how to do it. Happy to say that I’m no longer creating daily exit slips; I’m now creating them monthly. If you’d like to know how, shoot me an email @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ve decided to put the onus on my students, as far as throwing the ball back in their court, in regard to their education. Last semester I was wearing myself out doing the bulk of the work for my students. Well, I went to a charter-wide PD and got some great ideas. One of the ideas was to have extended time on assignments on an as needed basis instead of automatically giving the students extra time.
photo credit: http://www.masterfulfacilitation.com/admin/userfiles/images/Facilitator%20toolkit.jpg
You see, the proposed change is threefold!
First, as I stated earlier, the onus is on the students. The students have matured so much in the past semester. I’m not sure if I would have tried to implement these changes at the beginning of the school year.
Secondly, the students will take more accountability knowing that they have to meet deadlines. This is actually a life lesson. Although students can take their IEPs with them to college and most colleges do honor them, the fact of the matter, is that they don’t have to. So, the sooner the students learn to stick to deadlines, the better.
Thirdly (I was thinking of this before I went to the PD), having the students take more responsibility frees me up to act as facilitator, further helping them to mature and take responsibility since they are basically in charge of their own learning.
Here is a great read about “that kid” in your child’s class who disrupts, hurts your child, and hits other children, among other things.
I discovered something about myself last night. It was always my belief that I could take a nap later in the day in order to last long into the night. Well, I discovered that I was wrong. Even though I took a long nap and woke up at 7:30 p.m., I still tapped out about 10:30. I thought I could write and complete other work, but realized that I’d reached my threshold. I was beginning to do Midnight thinking. That’s when I realized that I needed to throw in the towel.
-Signed, No Longer in Denial!
***WATCH THE VIDEO from 19:17-19:37- This is what my writing is like when I’ve reached my threshold.***