Monday, May 26, 2014

Try something new!

At the beginning of 2014 ago I read a post by Tom Whitby and a subsequent post by Pernille Ripp about setting New Year's Resolutions. Finding something relevant and attainable, finding one thing to focus on rather than several things that might spread you too thin.

Its too far in the year to make a New Year's Resolution (or is it?), but how about making a goal for the next school year? Perhaps a goal to try something new and exciting with your class? Something that can engage them and provide meaningful learning?

Here is a short list of ideas that should be fairly easy to implement. Why not pick one of these and give it a whirl?

Use Edmodo - in our school district Edmodo is available to all classrooms. Enroll your class in Edmodo and use it as a blogging platform for students to collaborate on projects. It can be used in a variety of ways, including assignments, writing, and collaborating. Students can even use it to further their learning outside of school.

Start blogging - students love to write and comment. Give them the opportunity! There are many popular and easy to use platforms for blogging, such as  Pick one, create a classroom blog or sign up all your students. Let them write what they are passionate about or give it more structure and assign them thoughtful questions.

Share your reading life - I was inspired to post my personal reading on my office door this year. The result? I had so many book recommendations by students that my to-read list for the summer is over 80 books long! Let your students know what you are currently reading and see where those conversations go.

Global Read Aloud - what if you combined the above idea and connected your students with other classrooms around the world? The Global Read Aloud picks a book to be read aloud to students across the world during a 6 week period and then asks students to connect using technology to discuss the book.

Mystery Skype - it's no secret that I'm a big fan of Mystery Skypes. Give them a try! You won't be sorry!

Evaluate your educational philosophy - it has been a few years since I've been in the classroom, but as I've observed teachers in action, read about different philosophies on blogs, and worked with amazing teachers, I've started to rethink my views on teaching and learning. Make a goal to rethink what you do in the classroom, or how you teach. Reach out to other educators and discuss what really helps students to become lifelong learners.

Try one of these out or share what new thing you are going to try next year.

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