Just under 4 weeks until production and the scene I’m in charge of is… 1950s rock and roll dancing.
I’m one of those clumsy sorts who is forever falling over and dropping things. For that reason my dancing strictly to the gym to limit the chances of doing damage to myself and others.
Yet here I am in charge of scene of teaching 20+ kids how to dance.
I think so.
Fortunately one of the kids in the group happens to enjoy rock and roll dancing as a hobby. I am also lucky that one of the teachers at school is an accomplished rock and roll dancer so between the dancer and the other students I’ve managed to pick up enough steps to choreograph 90 seconds worth of dance.
When you can’t dance 90 seconds seems like an eternity when faced with helping 20+ kids on stage. While I have been firmly outside my comfort zone some kids have been in their element. One of the joys of production is seeing the kids who might not be sporty, good at maths or literacy shine. One of my students remarked ‘they were born for this.’
Sir Ken Robinson often talks about how every education system on the system has the same hierarchy of subjects: numeracy and literacy at the top of the pecking order, followed by science and humanities with art and in particular dance firmly at the bottom of the pecking order. The current obsession with childhood obesity has given PE/fitness a bit of a boost however dance is often forgotten about.
In fact as children migrate through school, dance is something that we tick off once every year or so through production barely even touching even one of the four arts strands in the New Zealand curriculum: Understanding the Arts in Context, Developing Practical Knowledge in the Arts, Developing Ideas in the Arts, and Communicating and Interpreting in the Arts.
A few moths ago I stumbled upon a Ted Talk premised on the idea of replacing powerpoint with dance. The idea behind the talk was that not only can dance help explain scientific concepts it can actually help scientists with their work.
Yet I can’t help wonder why we can’t value dance for its own sake. Our preschoolers and junior primary children know that it’s lots of fun to dance but gradually that joy it is educated out of them. We tell them to sit down and stop moving and get on with the serious business of learning.
A few years ago I remember walking down Nanjing Road in Shanghai and stopped to see a huge open air class of ballroom dancers out in the morning. I couldn’t help but wonder would New Zealand be a more happy and healthy if there was dancing in the streets?
I’ll freely admit that when using google docs for the formal writing assessment my primary purpose was actually to make my job a teacher a whole lot easier.
I loathe marking paper tests with the fire of a thousand suns. No matter how hard I try, I end up swimming in a sea of paper and I am overly paranoid about losing the tests. Then there’s the wasted time spent entering data into some of the world’s most user-unfriendly computer systems which I then enter into a spreadsheet so I have the information I want organised in the way I need (which is really another rant for another day).
There were some benefits for the kids from moving away from the traditional paper and pencil tests. Handwriting legibility isn’t an issue which means kids can read their work. When the students make mistakes, there is no messy crossing out and the writing still flows when they go back and correct their errors. Some kids like that they can move ideas around or go back and write an idea later.
What I was unprepared for is by using google docs for a simple writing assessment was that my students would use technology to start redefining assessment.
Even at a rudimentary level a word processor comes with a spell-check. Kids won’t be able to control themselves and will use the spell check to cheat. But here’s the thing, I used a spell check a few seconds ago because I didn’t know how to spell rudimentary. I had a guess that got me close (rudametary) but that red dotted line turned up to let me know I needed to go back and check my work.
Am I cheating or using the tools available to me?
e-asttle, New Zealand’s standardised writing assessment tool, forbids the use of dictionary and word cards on account that spelling and vocabulary are two elements of the assessment. While I agree that accurate spelling is important so that others can understand what we write, if we want to assess unassisted spelling then why not have a separate spelling test?
Moreover after two writing class-wide writing assessments, my observation is that kids with low levels of spelling are the same ones who have frequent spelling errors even when they have the option of using a spell-check. My opinion is that students with low spelling levels often don’t know have enough spelling strategies to get them ‘near enough’ for the spell check to work effectively or they select the wrong word when prompted. I’d argue that learning how to effectively use a spell-check is more important than memorising the i before e except after c rule because those spelling rules we teach have a whole raft of exceptions.
As I marked the students writing, I was surprised to see pictures and links to videos appearing in the students writing samples without any prompting from me. I worry that many teachers would see using a finding images and videos as off-task behaviour. I was concerned too but more because one of the students had used a copyrighted image in the work without any accreditation. In fact I was impressed that students had taken onboard the idea that we should use images and videos to enhance the power of their words. In every case the image or video used added another layer of communication to the students words. Yet there is no element for using visual images appropriately in the writing rubric as it currently stands.
The more conversations I have with my students, the more I’m aware that our assessment practices aren’t in line with our reality in the classroom much less the real world. I’m sure there are those that would argue that all this stuff just shows the need to go back to pencil and paper assessment in order to standardise our writing assessment. But maybe the writing assessments aren’t capturing what it means to communicate effectively through text in the 21st century.
I also learned that when you set tasks over the cloud, a whole new world opens up. While I have argued in the past that teachers shouldn’t assume that students are going to be the ones leading the way there’s something awesome when kids start using the tools available to start repurposing assessment. It’s going to make assessment more authentic but far more complicated.
Over the last few days I’ve seen a few pleas for help about the value of being a connected educator.
I define a connected educator as one who uses social media to connect with other educators in their field. The platform for connections is actually relatively unimportant. blogs, twitter, pintrest, facebook, ning, google+, bulletin boards, YouTube there are a plethora of platforms which enable educators to connect with teachers across town and around the country.
To be honest I have no idea what it means not to be a connected educator. Even back in my days teaching English back in Korea 10 years ago I was part of an online community. So to talk about the value of connections to those who see no value is actually incredibly difficult.
Because I’m really passionate about being a connected educator, I’m probably not the best ambassador. I get excited and yammer on about the great things I’ve recently found online which tends to have people politely exiting the conversation.
So I’ll try something different.
On my own I’m a mediocre teacher.
I don’t disclose this as a way to gain sympathy or have people in the comments box tell me that I’m not all that bad. Because the simple fact is I’m second year teacher. I’m definitely better than I was last year and I’ll be better next year than this year. What they don’t tell you a teachers college is that teaching is an ongoing process of screwing up and learning from the screw ups. We’ve enshrined the process in the New Zealand curriculum, it’s called teaching as inquiry.
I often scratch my head and wonder how teachers who are not connected find new ideas to implement in the classroom. I suppose they continue to learn as we did in the past when to keep up with the latest trends educators needed to read journals, weekly PD sessions and conferences.
But here’s the thing. By the time those classroom ideas have been accepted by the editor or the teachers invited to conference the innovations presented have been polished up and time has erased the tough bits. I’ve rarely heard a conference presenter say ‘well for the first six months after we initiated X it sucked so we had do Y and stopped doing Z’ instead we get the finished product all ready to implement in our classroom.
Yet by missing the process of what got the speakers to where they are now, we don’t learn what to avoid, where to persevere and, dare I say it, when to pull the plug. And lets face it, trying to implement those big ideas into a classroom with actual children is hard.
Which is where being connected helps. It enables conversations to keep going long after the speaker from PD has left the building and the conference is over. The ideas often come in 140 characters. Small resources that you could use or ideas to stash away for a rainy day through to big ideas to mull over. Being connected enables me to tap into a vast global network of classroom expertise and insight which I can then remix and refashion for my own teaching context. The feedback loop is ongoing and I don’t have to be constrained to learning at a certain time and place.
In New Zealand we recognise that new teachers trying to get to grips with everything need help and support. So we have a induction process into the professional and are assigned a mentor. But the more I think about it, the more it seems unrealistic for professional induction to fall squarely on the shoulders of just one teacher and the period of support should extend for only two short years.
Being connected has enables professional learning and mentoring of teachers to be an ongoing process distributed among hundreds of people from across the planet. Following a few hundred educators on twitter will enable a constant flow of education resources and collaboration 24 hours day. I’ve often heard twitter described as little more than popularity contest to get the most followers. I agree that twitter is a popularity contest but not in popularity but rather of ideas. Good ideas get remixed and shared. Bad ideas don’t get shared.
A network of learners is more than the sum of its parts. It is the process of collaborating with people who share your area of expertise that makes both of parties better. If you teach high school science you can connect other high school science teachers. If you teach juniors, you can connect with other early years teachers. What’s really awesome is when junior teachers collaborate with senior high school teachers and both get something out of it.
Being connected has had a profound effect on what I do in the classroom and how I do it. It has opened up some incredible opportunities for my students and taken me on some amazing journeys. I have been able to help influence policy and shared what I’ve done to help others. Put simply, my connectedness has made me a better teacher.
There are thousands of connected educators from a multitude of teaching countries and contexts willing to share their expertise with you.
Your mission is to find the right people to follow.
I love Google Apps for Education. However managing workflow can be an absolute nightmare with students sharing new docs and not naming the correctly which can make it hard to find work. Moreover keeping an eye on your data can be even more cumbersome.
But what if there was a system that easily shared documents with students, gave you an overview of the class and stored the data effectively.
Doctopus (document + octopus) essentially acts like a giant photocopier which can send files out to individual students, project groups or the whole class. There’s a nifty little chrome extension called goobric where you can enter levels and feedback onto a form which then is magically pasted back to a spreadsheet giving you a view over your whole class while students have access to the class.
I’ve used Doctopus for formative writing assessments and rolled out through the specialist teachers reports. The downside of the script is that it doesn’t like to do more than about 100 kids at a time. However in terms of managing workflow in Doctopus is the bomb.
Before you get started make sure you are using Chrome. create a Doctopus folder which contains
- A spreadsheet with the names + gmail addresses of your class (you can export from your contacts) in two separate columns. You can create a 3rd column which groups students. If you want the kids to be in the same group, assign them same letter in this column. You might not want to share to all the kids in the class in which case just write exempted in the group column.
- The document/s you wish to share
- A folder for all the student docs you’ll be creating
- A rubric in spreadsheet form (optional)
Right lets party.
The first thing you need to do is to install the Docotpus script. In the spreadsheet with your student roster click on tools then script gallery. Doctopus will be right there. Install the script. You’ll get a couple of pop ups asking you to authorise the script for your account. Go ahead and authorise.
Once the script has been installed you’ll notice an extra tab on the top of the spreadsheet with doctopus go ahead click on it and launch installation.
The first choice you’ll be asked to make is what kind of ‘share’ you want.
Project group shares one document to a group of students to work on.
Individual all the same shares the same document to each student individually. Useful for whole class tests.
Individual differentiated shares different documents to kids based on groups that they work on individually. Useful for writing groups or giving extra scaffolds for some kids and not for others.
Whole class shares the same doc for the whole class to access.
Once you’ve decided on the sharing type, you’ll get some options about sharing. You can give editing and commenting rights to other kids automatically. There’s also an option of sharing these documents with other teachers which is useful moderation purposes.
Click on ‘save settings’ and you’ll get a weird octopus come up. That means the script is doing its thing.
The next thing you’ll be asked for is what document/s you wish to share and with what group. This is where the folder comes in handy. First click on the folder then select the documents you wish to share.
After that, click save settings again.
This brings us to step 3.
First you need to select where you want all these docs you’re about to create filed. This is where the ‘student work’ subfolder comes into play. This dumps all the files in the one spot making it easy to find when you are looking for tests.
Next you have to name the file. I always put $name (which creates a named file for each student) and then the project they are working on. You can also send a little message out when you share the file to let the kids know which assignment to find.
Now your final step, sharing the document. Have a quick check all the information is correct and hit the ‘Run copy and share’ button. This will send the document out to your class. You can redo step four if you have students that might have been exempted that you now wish to have the file.
You’ll get a little doctopus dancing as the files are being shared. Just leave the computer to do its thing.
Once you are done, you’ll notice some extra cells on the spreadsheet. The hyperlink will take you to the doc that’s been shared with the student. The ‘last edit’ lets you know when the student last edited the document. You can lock down the documents in the doctopus tab by hitting the embargo for grading.
Speaking of grading.
The chrome store has a nifty little extension called goobric. This basically puts a pop-box in each document for you to mark a students work and then give some comments. The comments paste into the doc and back into the spreadsheet you’ve been working on.
First install goobric onto your chrome browser. You know you’ve been successful when you see this little eye on the right hand corner of your address bar when you are a viewing a google doc.
Now that goobric has been installed, go back to your doctopus tab and hit attach goobric.
Now you need to select the rubric you’ve put into selected earlier. Here’s an example of the e-asstle (a New Zealand writing test) that I’ve converted into spreadsheet form. You need to make sure you’ve got the criteria going down one column and the levels going across the other.
Select the spreadsheet then wait a few seconds your pop up should have the spreadsheet in the window. Hit on the ‘attach Goobric to this assignment button.’
You’ll notice now that your spreadsheet has more columns filled in with the different criteria. Those will be filled in with grade. Click back to sheet one and then you can start grading.
To mark a piece of work, simply click on the eyeball thing in the corner and you’ll get a pop up.
Enter the levels and the comment and then hit submit and paste into the document. You need to make sure you’ve hit submit before going to a different page otherwise you’ll lose the comments. You can choose to email the grade to the student or perhaps you might want to wait if you are moderating work.
Once you are finished, the goobric will be pasted into the students work.
But what makes goobric awesome is that those marks and comments are also pasted back into the central spreadsheet. You can mark a piece of work multiple times and decided between an average mark or a last mark.
This lengthy post probably makes scripting seem hideously complex. But once you learn the process, you can set up a copy in a few minutes and it makes managing data, particularly for teachers of multiple classes so much easier.
I also like that teachers can easily share student work easily for moderation purposes.
Scripting probably isn’t a sexy topic for normal people. Moreover doctopus probably sits more down the modification end of the SAMR spectrum. The technology is doing the same stuff we always did on a computer but with a few functional improvements, making data and online workflow easier to manage for teachers. But hey sometimes teachers need to make life easier for themselves.
Stay tuned for what happens when the kids start using the task…
Over the last three weeks my class has been participating in learn to swim lessons put on by our local swimming pool.
As with many things like this. It is easy to gripe about disruptions to the classroom programmes in the middle of a busy term. However after the first session realised these three weeks of learning to swim is the classroom programme.
Overseas readers might not appreciate how much of an influence the water has on New Zealand life. We are an island nation and most of the population lives on the coast. Our summers are spent floating in pools, rivers and oceans.
Despite being surrounded by water, New Zealanders as a group don’t know how to swim. Our drowning rates are one of the worst in the developed world and twice that of Australia.
At the start of our lessons I was concerned by the significant number of students in the class could not swim a lap of the 25 meter pool. Over the last few weeks there has been some amazing progress made by the kids.
As the lessons progressed, what I found myself really looking forward to was the walk to the pools. The walk down is just under 10 minutes. After the swim lessons we often walk to the adjacent park for a run around as the lesson time often cut into morning teas and lunches.
Those walks were a time often to have a catch up with students. The kids that might not talk so much in class, the ones whose behaviour might challenge you. The walk gave time to reconnect with learners. Our routine got a shake up and there was time to have those chats.
Time is arguably the most precious commodity in schools. Demands of curriculum must-dos, special events, those activities that foster relationships often get quickly get pushed aside as the school year gets gets in the way.
Yet kids change so much in just a few short months.
By taking a walk, time and space was recreated to reconnect with the learners in the class.
I had goofy discussions.
I learned about Pou.
I answered some tough questions about life and death.
All in the quick walk to the pool.
As iPads and tablets are gaining popularity in schools, I often hear questions from teachers like ‘I’m getting some iPads for my Year 3/4 class what apps do you recommend?’ That question is often loaded with the expectation that somewhere out there is an app which will drag an existing classroom programme into the 21st century with just a few downloads from the app store.
Anyone know of a good reading app?
Yes I know of an outstanding reading app, it’s called a book. There are thousands of them at your local library. But surely we’ve all worked out that plonking students in a library and leaving them to it will not on its own ensure kids learn to read?
Which is why I feel so uneasy about app farming.
There are plenty of apps out there that seem educational and undoubtedly find their way onto classroom iPads without much thought. However once you take the bells and whistles away many apps don’t do much to enhance student engagement. Lots of skill and drill but is that what really engages learning? If the app keeps the kids quiet while you get on with group work, then it must be good right?
What happens when the kids tire of the gimmick?
That’s an expensive piece of hardware on the table.
For me it always comes back to purpose.
What is it your kids need to learn?
It’s such a simple question that gets lost in the quest to get technology into classrooms or the latest and greatest app on your device. In fact without knowing your kids or your classroom it’s probably impossible for me to recommend effective apps for your students.
Do your kids to show in words and writing a maths strategy? Explain everything is pretty cool.
Collaborate with others? Skype, blogger, twitter, gmail.
Create a rap to explain key ideas from a novel. Garageband is awesome.
Show fermentation at work. iTimelapse is fabulous.
I often wish there was label on each new classroom iPad warning the teacher in charge of the device that just like the book or a pencil, there are millions of ways that the tablet could be used in your classroom and it’s your job to figure out how to make it work best for your learners.
If you don’t know what the specific app does and why you need it what is the point in having it in your classroom?
Lets take the focus off the technology and bring it back onto the learning. Figure out what your classroom needs are then start looking for tools to do the job.
During the summer holidays I had the pleasure of visiting the amazing learning space of @sherratsam and his colleague Chad.
If you ever get the chance to visit either of these educators, please do. However for those whose PD budget doesn’t quite stretch to a visit to international classroom visits, you can visit their blog Time Space education.
For me this day gave me a chance to see theories and hunches about student learning in action. Their classrooms were calm, purposeful and creative hives of learning.
One idea that really intrigued me was the use of yoga and meditation in class.
I’m a regular at my body balance class at my local gym and enjoy the calm and contented feeling I have at the end of class.
Yet as an adult I often struggle with the meditation session at the end of class. Sometimes I am able to relax entirely but I often have trouble clearing my mind. There’s just too much buzzing around in my head.
If I was having trouble how would my highly active class respond to meditation?
Was it going to end in giggles, eyeball rolling and pre-teen goofiness?
To be honest I was highly sceptical that meditation would easily translate from the worldly and sophisticated kids in an international school to a public classroom in suburban Wellington.
But I have been proved wrong.
For the most part my class has responded really well to purposeful downtime and have been requesting it before I even get a chance to unlock the door from lunch.
Our curtains are drawn and I put on some relaxing music. At the moment the students are learning to focus on their breathing and posture.
What was really surprising for me was that the children whose home lives are complex and sometimes chaotic have responded so positively to this idea of purposeful downtime. On further reflection, this makes a lot of sense for some kids school represents a safe, calm and caring space.
For this reason alone I will persevere with meditation once the novelty wears off.
As teachers we expect concentration in our classrooms but assume kids have the tools to focus.
We want our classrooms to be calm but school schedules sometimes run at break-neck speed.
We want our kids to be mindful of the effect of their actions on others. Yet time out for reflection often comes after the negative behaviour occurs.
What if in sacrificing 5-10 minutes of class time to calming students bodies and minds we gain more engagement?
Is that 10 minutes really a waste of time?
A bit late in posting this but as always, better late than never.
I’ve lost count of the number of educamps I’ve been to since @fionagrant gave me a lift up to Educamp Tai Tokerau 2 years ago. But suffice to say it’s been a few. The beauty of educamps is that each one is always different from the last and even old hats like me get something out of it.
The problem with educamp is that it has forever ruined the traditional ‘sit and get’ model of Professional Development. As a learner I have a very low tolerance for any PD I feel isn’t meeting my needs.
My takeaways from #educampakl:
I’m moving away from the technology. The more educamps I attend, the less I find myself less interested in what the technology does but more how technology is being used to transform learning. As I mentioned in the think slam something that has been bugging me of late is this idea of ‘oh hey we used to do something this way but now we do it on a computer.’ What’s your purpose? What’s the effect of this effect of this on student learning? How are you changing learning culture in your class or even your school by using this technology? I suppose this is a natural progression for me as a learner.
Innovators in schools can feel incredibly isolated. Outside the pockets of awesomeness, I suspect there’s a few educamp attendees that are likely viewed as one of the ‘crazy ones‘ in their school. Educamps are a way to connect with like-minded educators and pick the brains of others who share a similar passion. Innovators thrive on collaboration. This is why educamp participants will sometimes travel 100s of kilometers on their own coin to attend these events.
Wise school leaders support and encourage innovative teachers to do their thing.
Our faculties of education are not preparing their students to be 21st century teachers. Much as I loathe the term ’21st century learning’ it’s an ongoing issue and not one that there has been a great deal of change since I was student two years ago. The result being that our beginning teachers are falling back to how they were taught. This isn’t good enough.
Teachers need to stop assuming that our students are going to be the ones that will force our institutions to change. There’s a lot of racial and socio-economic privilege wrapped up in the idea that our students are going to be the ones that force a change in the status quo. It assumes that not only that all kids and their families are able to challenge our institutions to do better but more importantly feel they have the right to. Put simply the standard we teachers walk by, is the standard we accept.
Student-driven learning = lots of teacher scaffolds. Daily 5, 20% time/passion projects etc. Kids need scaffolds to channel their energy into the tasks at hand. Making links back to the NZC and making effective use of time is something I’m working on at the moment with my kids. I’ve been impressed with my students’ engagement but know we can do better.
Being an awesome teacher is a journey not a destination. As always I’m amazed at how many educators willingly give up a morning to come together to learn. It was fantastic to renew old connections and make new ones.
Onwards to EducampPalmy…
I never sleep well the night before the start of a new term. There’s lots ticking over in my mind. how will the new classroom set up go (answer, a few remarks about more space and then business as usual) suddenly remembering a job on your to do list, a wake up jolt from an earthquake.
And this term a new principal.
Out of all the jobs in a school, the hardest definitely has to be the principal. Classroom teachers have the LOLz that go with spending time with the kids and not having to worry about setting budgets, buildings and managing the toughest group of learners in the school, teachers.
I joked on twitter that getting a new professional leader for a teacher feels very much like a student getting a new teacher. Students don’t get a choice of who their teacher will be and that new person in the swivel chair is now in charge of professional learning.
Which leads to an important question.
Who is this person who suddenly has the power to make your working day very different?
In this age of google you can quickly find out about a person from their digital footprint and New Zealand is so small that there’s almost always a mutual acquaintance.
A new principal brings change and with change comes uncertainty.
There’s a chance that this new person coming in is going to give up your patch of school culture, change your practice, or challenge a deeply held belief.
That in and of itself isn’t a bad thing.
As I often tell my students if we were all the same, the world would be a very boring place.
A fresh pair of eyes can sometimes do the world of good. Staying the same, doing things the same is ultimately leaving your students behind.
For someone who loathes interior design with the fire of 1,000 suns I spend way too much time thinking about classroom layout. After my initial move away from student desks, I had another classroom re-configuration at the start of the year when I was the lucky recipient of new classroom furniture.
Yet here I am back in the holidays surreptitiously stashing desks around the school. My initial classroom layout had for the most part worked well. The kids made great use of the space and the classroom could be configured and reconfigured based on our needs. Yet there were some niggles.
Some furniture wasn’t being used at all by the students, there were areas where the kids were bunching up and others they weren’t using at all. A further catalyst for change was the school library re-opening and taking with it an entire shelf load of resources. So I took this midyear break as an opportunity to do yet another classroom redesign and most importantly de-clutter the classroom.
I amazed at how much clutter I have been able to amass in my 18 months in this classroom. I didn’t even think I had packrat tendencies (when you move every 18 months or so you don’t tend to hang on to junk) but nevertheless old notices, a few resources and whole lot of empty boxes were still in my class. It must be a teacher thing as my mother (who is a teacher) has boxes and boxes of resources that she has stored away in a shipping container (not all of it is teaching resources).
How much do we hold onto in schools just in case it might be useful?
Does it serve a purpose?
Does it make your classroom environment flow better or does it add obstacles and create visual noise?
At the beginning of the year I was very fortunate to spend the day with @sherrattsam at NIST in Bangkok. His blog is a must read but this post on time and space. So I made it my goal over the holiday to create more space.
I’ve pushed most of the tables in my class against walls to create as much floor space as possible. Floor space creates a physical flow through the room. There’s no reason that the kids can’t move the tables (and I’m expecting they will) however by placing furniture on the perimeter of the room there tends to be more flexibility in space.
I’ve deliberately moved the teaching station to the back of the room away from the board. Stephen Heppell (one of my learning space gurus) talks about creating multiple points of interest around the room. By having a teaching station right by the board I was still owning the front of the room. I’ve also added in a coffee table and sofa to make the area more interesting. Hopefully this will spread out the points of interest more in the room and also give kids a positive experience in groups.
Music and smell are important and again I’ve borrowed from Time/Space.There’s an electric aromatherapy burner in the background and the dock where I put my iPhone for some relaxing music (much to the chagrin of my 1Direction fans). The aromatherapy has had mixed reviews by the students. Some love it, others roll their eyeballs but the idea of creating a calm environment appeals. The science is very much out on the efficacy of aromatherapy and I’ve been mindful to use scents that won’t upset the asthmatics. However even if the claims about the efficacy of essential oils is mixed it can take the edge of the odour of class full of adolescents post PE. The stools enable the students to use the sink as a work area if they wish.
Daily 5 board. I totally stole this idea from @heymilly. My classroom has this wonderfully velcro type material along one wall which when you add some some velcro to the backs of laminated bits of card make for an interactive display. The kids names are laminated on the right with different colours. The students park their name next to the choice with each colour representing a different session.The rest of my walls are pretty much bare for good reason.
The students aren’t here yet.
Each new term brings a chance for new beginnings and new adventures.
By creating more physical space I hope to create a learning environment that has purpose. Nothing gets added to our environment unless it adds to the room.
My mantra during this busy term will be to go slow.
To spend more time getting the why right.