I haven't posted in quite a while, its Wedding season here in New England and between that and the end of the year activities fast approaching I've put my blog on the back burner. I plan to update throughout the summer however as I have several projects I'll be working on to improve my classes for this fall. I'll be rambling and thinking my way through those on here in the coming weeks, but at the moment this is simply a stream of conscience post so that summer's ice cream enduced haze won't wipe out all the thoughts I had:
Project 1: Going paperless....well nearly. I'm pretty sure I routinely take out a forest or two during the school year. I'd like to get all of the notes, worksheets, and readings that students complete bound into a notebook for them. I'd also like to have the notebook available to fill in online, so that for the coming year students can pick which way they'd like to fill it in. Other than this initial hand out, I'd like the rest of the year to be paperless. We're not a 1:1 school so I would have to think carefully about how this could work, I think having students bring their own devices could help.
Project 3: Leveling my classes. Yes, one of my main reasons flipping was to make differentiation easier. Even before the flip I have always made sure to differentiate for those students on IEPs. What I hoped to achieve with the flip was to challenge my very advanced students who often get bored in their classes. I'd like to take this a step farther this year. Students currently work their way through "content folders" on Schoology. There are lectures and quizzes for each unit. I'd like to level those folders, so that everyone will get the state standards, but those students who would like more of a challenge can listen to lectures that cover deeper content than the standards. Which brings me to Project 4:
Project 4: Creating better content folders. My vision is that each week there will be an online content folder containing not just "videos" but readings, webquests, discussion threads, and quizzes that students should complete. I'd like to see them developing critical questions in response to readings and making connections to the lectures. I'd also like to see the out of class discussion threads get more use. They were being used at the beginning of the year quite well, but I would like to see them become something students want to do rather than have to do as part of their grade. I'm on the hunt for a secure educational chat room for the students, one where we could have a synchronous discussion, even set times for extra help, but that would be secure and that students could only access with me "present." I know some educators have "hang spaces" in Google+, I'll admit I haven't jumped on the "+" train yet but intend to explore it this summer.
Project 6: Relax. Spend time at the beach. Grill. Read for fun. Travel. Explore. Spend time with family and friends. Not think about work. Revel in the fact that "summer vacation" and "first day of school" are still part of my vocabulary as an adult. Remember the excitement those two phrases hold? Summer is a time to recharge the batteries and ready ourselves for another year. That's one of the best perks of the job, right?