This blog was set up back in August and I had this vision that I would blog each week about my teaching life. My first attempt was about the first week of school, the start-up activities, and how I set up my classroom this year. By the way, I started with their desks turned around in groups so they cannot go in their desks. I wanted to approach my classroom with the "table group" method. That lasted 1 day and the groups eventually became rows because my students were really having a hard time focusing.
Then a few weeks later I tried to post again. I started talking about how busy the beginning of the school year was and how I was coping. Then I read a few more blogs and thought to myself that my posts are just not good enough.
Now it's the end of October. I will attempt to hit the publish button after this. I've met my students and my parents. We've had student-led conferences and I just handed in my progress reports. It has been a busy 2 months. My programming still needs work. I haven't quite introduced the Daily 5 but I do have a nice daily 3 during Literacy. Math involves a bit more worksheets than I like, but soon I hope to get into more collaborative problem solving questions.
I've hooked up my parents to Remind101. What a great tool to communicate my messages to their phones or emails. Just go to remind101.com or download the app. It's free and very easy to use. A parent has already commented on how she likes the messages popping up on her phone on days she forgets to check the agenda.
My husband spoiled me with my own personal SMART board and projector to use in the classroom. My goal is to have it as a center in math and literacy so I can teach smaller groups. But I find my students are not used to touching the board and need more time to just "play" with it.
This year I am using kidblog.org for my blogging purposes in the classroom. The vision is seeing all my students having their own blogs and they are blogging during Daily 5 and at home.
My love for technology has made me a tech. geek wannabe. I find myself really good at trying new programs and apps, but not good enough to be an expert.
Last week, I attended the ECOO conference in Niagara Falls. It was my kinda place with my kinda people. All of us with multiple devices in hand, tweeting out as we listened to the keynote speakers. All tweets can be read with #ecoo13. A few key messages kept popping into conversations throughout the 2 days I was there. First, it's not about the technology! The teacher is still very valuable to students. In the end, the students will remember the relationship with their teacher, not the technology they used. I remember my Grade 3 teacher fondly, her warm smile and generous heart. "It is emotion that cements learning!" as Kevin Honeycutt expressed in his closing keynote message. Second, we need to ADAPT. Every child is entering school with a greater knowledge of technology than us, adults. They are natural tech. geeks, where we are learned tech. geeks. We are teaching the web generation. We need to teach them to be critical thinkers and good researchers. They need opportunities to be creative and be inventors because we are preparing these students to a fast-paced changing society and to jobs that haven't even existed.
So with a renewed sense of awe in teaching, I am going to attempt my first project-based learning in grade 4. We are going to focus in on Canada's province and territories. I'll let you know how it goes. I think the hardest part for me is letting go of the reigns and letting it be messy.
I am also going to incorporate a few more 3 part lessons with focus on consolidation where I use technology to help share students' work.
Wish me luck!!
Follow me @treelau on Twitter. I am always looking to build my PLN.