Ideas for the New Year
In recent days there have been a ton of blog entries and articles about New Years Resolutions when it comes to the classroom. Each has its own good points. I couldn’t help but think that if you are like me, you need to organize your thoughts before going any further. So I decided I write about those that I think would be helpful. Well helpful to me any way.
First Blog entry I came upon was Tom Whitby. Mr. Whitby talks about how there are many ideas for resolutions for the upcoming year. But our good intentions sometimes… just don’t work. We really do intend on getting it done, but as Mr. Whitby points out accomplishing the goal is a different story. So what should we do, choose one specific accomplishment and implement it. But how do we do this.. to quote Mr. Whitby
“In order for this to work, we need to make a selection for the right idea. That may require that we connect with other both connected and unconnected educators to find what new ideas have worked for them.”
Mr. Whitby does a great job talking about this topic, I would suggest starting with his article then reading other educator articles about their ideas.
One example is Pernille Ripp’s blog entry “Pick One Thing To Try..” The author actually took the idea from the above blogger Mr. Whitby. She has some good suggestions. While reading individual blogs are helpful because they are written by teachers in the classroom, websites such as eudtopia, We Are Teachers and others also give some great classroom ideas. Another place to get ideas is twitter, the hastag #educhat has a ton of posts by teachers and others discussing various educational issues. It also has some good inspiration. For example, if you would like to implement exit activities, or as the article is titled “Bell Ringer Exercises”, this might be the article you can get some good ideas. Where did I get this link, through twitter. So you see you can get some good ideas there.
Now what have I decided to try and implement this new year… I think the one area I would like to improve is one Pernille Ripp mentioned in her blog entry. I would like to have students choose how they would learn a unit. For example, my planets chapter I have students present information on different celestial objects. This information includes their textbook, internet and other sources. I give them an outline to guide them. Instead I would like to ask students how they want to learn this topic. Some might choose to do other methods. Not sure how I would do this yet, but I think it might be good idea to try with one of our topics this semester. Another idea I liked and I did implement in the past, students read a sci-fi novel for the 4th quarter project. They did enjoy this project. Once completed students would create a presentation comparing the novel to real life science. Pretty cool.. and it worked. I even had some parents thank me for getting their child to read again.
I think the hardest part of this whole idea is choosing one. There are many ideas I would love to do in class. So what next? Choosing one.