Here are four questions to ask yourself to help guide your thoughts as you reflect? I encourage you to grab a blank page and write down your thoughts!
Check out some of the resources below to change things up and learn while you are teaching in May!
Finals are coming, what does the latest brain research say about how we learn and retain information. Content knowledge is the first step in being able to take what we know and go deeper and create something new or move to DOK levels 3 and 4. Here are 6 specific strategies you can use with content. It's pretty darn interesting. How might you use this and other resources to help your students with metacognition and the process of learning?
Struggling with students addiction to their cell phones? Grab a great lesson idea to embark on with your students from Ms. Tomlinson's post "Millennials in the Workplace". (Ms. Tomlinson is one of our English 1 teachers that blogs!)
Challenge yourself to give students choices in the products they create to show mastery! Create a video, have fun adding sound effects and too, learn alongside your students. There are free great video editors available. Many of these editors have pro versions but their free versions work well and produce great products with no watermarks. A summary of some Free Video Editors by Christopher Barnatt from Explaining Computers can be viewed here. The BBC recently made available over 16,000 sound effect clips that are BBC copyright, but they may be used for personal, educational or research purposes, as detailed in the license. These sound effects can be used in student videos. Listen to a few! http://bbcsfx.acropolis.org.uk/.
Formative assessment is a game changer! Make a conscious effort to add additional checks throughout your class period. Digital tools can help you a do this quickly and efficiently. Take time in May to try some new ones out. Kathy Dyer wrote “The Ultimate List - 65 Digital Tools and Apps to Support Formative Assessment Practices”. There are some tried and true tools listed and also some new ones to try out too. I have found that with must digital tools there are some that work very efficiently for my personal style, while others only slow me down. Dig in and see if you can become comfortable with a new tool.
Haven't tried Google Classroom yet?
Jump in and try it! Aside from the great workflow that Google Classroom establishes, the ability to comment both to your whole class and 1:1 with students can be powerful. What do you learn from this type of feedback? How does your relationship change with students? Comments invite conversations. And follow Alice Keeler you'll learn more about all the Google Apps and how they integrate with Google Classroom.
Grab a partner or your whole team and take on something new. Think about what you might learn that could make learning in your classroom better now and help you grow as you prepare for next August. I find myself sometimes putting an idea on my list for next year, when in reality I don’t have to wait.
Personally, I have wanted to work on reaching teachers that I work alongside and connecting new ideas, people, tools. It’s something that was on my list as a goal to add for next year. I am taking my own advice and working to create “Learning Connections; A Virtual Learning Lounge” a collaborative learning space for our faculty to learn in. I'll share as soon as it is finished. I need to collaborate and get some input from others!
That #LastBell will be ringing before we know it, how will you challenge yourself to grow in May? Encouraging everyone to finish strong!