Tuesday, August 21, 2012
My New Year's Resolutions
And here we are. Another summer gone. Another school year starting. And let me tell you a little secret...
I'm really, really excited to start school. Not necessarily the professional things we are doing before kids come, but the real school. You know...when the kids come.
As I did last year, I thought I would write down my resolutions for the new year. Last year I referred back to these many times throughout the year. It kept me on track. Reminded me to keep reading my professional books. Kept me focusing on my quotes. I felt better about my teaching and my life because of writing them down.
When I look at my resolutions, I don't feel like I did as well as I could have using technology in my classroom. I wanted to integrate it into units more than I did, so I am keeping that resolution:
1. Teach Web 2.0 tools to my students and ask them to use them to display their learning.
I have learned several new tools this summer and have been writing down ideas for them. I want to keep this list posted somewhere handy and get this technology into my students hands--starting day 1!
2. Implement new writing ideas learned from Penny Kittle and Kelly Gallagher.
I read books by both of them this summer--Write Beside Them by Kittle and Write This Way by Gallagher. The ideas in these books fit well together and I need to be conscious in using the ideas. They both emphasize using personal stories and topics that students are familiar with to increase their confidence in their writing ability.
I didn't do such a great job connecting with my freshmen at the beginning of last year. I feel terrible about that. It took us a long time to become a community.This year, I am going to spend the first five days connecting with them--learning names, learning about their passions and what drives their lives. Freshmen, especially, need to make those adult connections. We'll complete activities together that will help us learn about each other and how we work. We'll do some writing and sharing. We'll talk about books we like and don't like. But mostly, we'll talk and get to know each other.
And I'm going to show them this video by John Green. If you haven't seen it, take a look. It's worth the watch: