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late night grading session

A part of my transition from classroom teacher to specials teacher I wasn’t expecting as the grading! In a lot of ways I am finding that being a specials teachers takes away a lot of the pressures of teaching. I am not expected to test their reading level monthly or track their math fact progress. This quarter I have been loving having flexibility to create my own curriculum.

I assigned each grade level I teach (2nd-7th) one big project this quarter. I spent a lot of time planning and prepping. I created examples and rubrics for each grade. The past 3 weeks have been filled with project work time in all of my classes. It sounded great until I realized that I would have all grade levels turning in their projects within the same 2 weeks! AHHHHHHH!

So it’s the end of quarter 1 and I find myself grading over 400 student projects. I refuse to give out participation and effort grades only. I believe students should receive feedback and know that the work we do matters. I like to reward hard-workers and help guide those who may need more practice on certain skills learned.

I am hoping to plan out quarter 2 better so that I don’t end up with so much time consuming grading again!

I will be spending the next week grading, grading, grading! Is it fall break yet?

Being new to my school I knew I needed an interactive and fun way to get to know my students. I was shocked to learn that my second and third grade students had not been exposed to Google Slideshows before. I knew I had to incorporate getting to know them into using Google Slideshows.

I decided to create a simple slide template and call their first project All About Me! I had my students complete a slideshow template that would allow me to learn more about them!

I taught them the following skills within Google Slides

  • Inserting a text box into each slide
  • The command (on a Mac) for making bullet points
  • Clicking and dragging pictures from a search site into their slideshow
  • Taking a “selfie” picture using the PhotoBooth app
  • Inserting pictures as a background on a slide
  • Changing the colors of fonts and backgrounds
  • Adding transitions to each slide
  • Presenting the slideshow in presentation mode.

Students spent 4 weeks making their slideshows. They had so much fun and most of them chose to extend their beyond school to their homes. At the end of our project we invited parents in to see our hard work and present their shows.

My 4th grade students published their first technology project today! I wanted to introduce them to technology class with a quick, easy, and fun project.

Each student was tasked with creating a Google Doc brainstorm sheet. Students had to come up with 15 adjectives that described themselves. After completing the brainstorm students imported their lists to an online wordle creator.

They had a blast playing with the shapes, fonts, and colors! I then taught them how to take a screen shot of their creation and email it to me!

It was so fun seeing how excited they were to produce something online! It is a nice reminder that sometimes a simple project is the best!

 

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I am staring out the school year with internet safety and digital citizenship! It is so important now that our students all have their own Chromebooks that we teach the how to be responsible internet users.

My 2nd and 3rd graders totally rocked the lessons! We brain stormed words to describe what digital citizens do and how they act. They then decorated their digital citizen! So much fun!

This morning I had the joy of meeting one of my 7th grade classes! As I was planning for this class I challenged myself to present information for them in a fun and new way. I originally thought I would have them sit in a circle and share out something they did over the summer. Then the technology teacher in me stopped and thought HOW BORING!

I decided to utilize Padlet to have them share out with their classmates. They were required to post one sticky note telling about at least 1 thing they did over the summer. After posting their sticky they were required to then respond to others.

They had a blast and it gave me an opportunity to get to know them! Such a fun experience!

I have been busy setting up my new technology lab this summer! I am beyond excited to have a beautiful technology lab filled with 27 Mac computers!

When setting up a room I think it is very important to incorporate color and personal touches! I have chosen to stick with my Broncos theme. I am hopeful that I can connect with all of my classes through my love of football!

I am so excited for my students to see my technology lab! I am hopeful that they will be as excited about our learning space as I am!

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I am beyond excited to announce that I will be starting a new adventure! Next year I will be teaching technology at Cherry Creek Academy. I will be working with 5th-8th graders and helping staff integrate technology into their classrooms.

Moving on from a traditional classroom setting does terrified me a bit. I am leaving behind 11 years of fantastic experiences in the classroom to venture out into my newly found passion. I am excited to learn new things and teach to my passions.

This summer I will be learning all about coding and animation! I can’t wait to start a new adventure!