So it’s now the Sunday before the third week of school and I have spent the morning reflecting on my teaching thus far. To be honest, I’m very pleased with the last two weeks! I have committed to my goal of being as paperless as possible and I think to date I have only made 20 copies of an article and that’s the extent of my photocopier use! (The copies I did make then went into a file folder to be used next year as the text itself is not available online.)
In my quest to be as paperless as possible, (minus the daily paper work that makes its way into my mailbox from the school) I have begun using Google Docs for my lesson planning. So far, (knock on wood) it has been awesome! I have been able to access my lesson plans both at home and at school and when I was away for an appointment this week, I published my lesson plan for that day then emailed it to my colleague who posted the lesson plan on the IWB for my students to read. The students completed the tasks and the day went well. It is great to know that I can use my online presence with my students without actually being present in the classroom.
In terms of my lesson organization, I am a PB Works Certified Educator and I am putting that new knowledge to the test! I have designed a wiki msjweir.pbworks.com where I have been posting my daily lessons for the students. It has been great to have the ability to post the class directions as well as fun images to represent the day. I am very interested in using differentiated instruction in the classroom and I believe that many of my students are visual learners so I have been making an effort to use both text and visual cues to help my students understand the material. Many of my students have also commented that they find it really convenient that they can access our classwork from home. I am also using the wiki as a collaborative workspace for my students and I think they find it really engaging to be able to add their own ideas to our class material.
As the third week is about to begin, I’m already setting new goals for myself. This week, I would like to incorporate some online activities such as Glogster and a digital storytelling site like Photo Peach with my grade nines and have my grade elevens sign up for Diigo accounts so that as they are researching, they can be annotating and critically analyzing what they find on the net. My only stumbling block is the lack of computer time at the school, but I am confident that I can overcome that issue to allow my students to access their full creative potential!