Thursday, April 24, 2014

Pledge to Begin Better Next Year

Now is the time! Take the pledge to do what you can to make next school year have the best start. Here's what you can do now to help you make that awkward transition from summer to a new academic year.

  • Register for professional development that will fill your bag of tricks. Give some time during the
    summer to make your life easier later.
    • Do you need time to work on your website or blog?
      • Learn how to add a Google Calendar that will keep students/parents up-to-date.
      • Learn how to upload newsletters to a shared folder on Google Drive--easy and efficient.
      • Customize the look. Make it personal and interesting to increase traffic to your site.
      • Add a Symbaloo to your site with links to some favorite websites.
    • Do you need to learn how to use your interactive whiteboard as more than a projection screen and dry erase type board?
      • Learn how to use the Promethean or Smart software.
      • Take time to create flipcharts or notebooks that you can use at the beginning of the year (open house, first days, etc.)
      • Collaborate with your team to create interactive lessons that have students on their feet and engaged in their learning.
    • Do you want to become more efficient?
      • Try organizing documents in Google Drive.
      • Learn to keep your email inbox tidy and easy to navigate.
      • Go deeper into Google Docs so that you can create, share, and teach your students how to use them as well.
  • Go through your network files now and delete the things you'll never use again.  Do you really need all 100 photos of your students from 3 years ago?
  • Work on your Personal Learning Network (PLN) so that you have ideas at your fingertips throughout the year from respected sources. Click the link to go to Kathy Schrock's guide and learn how to create your own PLN. Learn how to use Google+ to your advantage.
  • Plan ways to flip your classroom--yes, even in the lower grades. There are some great ways to have a modified flip for students who do not have access to technology at home. If nothing else, investigate and find out what all the talk is about!
Please add your comments and ideas for using time now to create a better start for next year.